As the Christmas snow powders the sleepy streets of Kingston Falls, inventor Randall Peltzer (HOYT AXTON) returns from a business trip with an exotic mogwai he picked up in New York’s Chinatown for his son Billy (ZACH GALLIGAN). Billy is delighted by the furry little creature his father has dubbed Gizmo, and sort of half-listens to the three caveats that govern the gift of the mogwai: don’t expose it to bright light; don’t get it wet; and never EVER feed it after midnight. COREY FELDMAN shows up soon after and spills some water on little Gizmo, which causes him to asexually reproduce four other mogwais. These mogwais, led by the mohawked Stripe, have more impish temperaments than the Persian cat-faced Gizmo, and succeed in getting Billy to give them a plate of fried chicken after midnight. This late night feeding marks the movie’s transition from light-hearted holiday romp to full-blown monster movie, as Stripe and his lackeys are transformed into grotesque Gremlins. They brutally attack Billy’s mom, who manages to take one out with a knife, another with the food processor, and the last one with the microwave, but Stripe escapes and makes his way to the pool at the YMCA for some mass reproduction. Soon Kingston Falls is overrun by the Gremlins, who manage to cut a bloody swatch across the town by killing the town’s resident crank Mrs. Deagle (POLLY HOLLIDAY), and terrorizing the Futterman’s with a snowplow. When they’re not wreaking havoc, the Gremlins take refuge at the local tavern where Billy’s love interest Kate (a demurely dressed PHOEBE CATES) moonlights as a barmaid. Billy saves Kate, and the pair track the Gremlins to the local movie house where they come really close to annihilating the little monsters with the help of a gas leak; however, Stripe escapes again, this time to a department store. The final show down between Billy and Stripe drags on against a backdrop of product placements, and just before Stripe succeeds in jumping into seemingly out-of-season water display in the lawn and garden section, Gizmo saves the day in a Barbie Corvette.


  • Billy’s mom’s bloody kitchen battle with the first generation of Gremlins
  • Mrs. Deagle’s fatal chair-lift ride
  • The Gremlins chain-smoking, beer pounding, flashing, and other inappropriate antics at the bar
  • Kate’s “Why I hate Christmas” monologue
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