This Friday and Saturday night, River Oaks' Midnight Movie Classic is screening everyone's favorite Christmas-gone-awry flick, Gremlins. Gremlins is one of those '80s movies that remain unparalleled. Can you imagine a movie like that coming out nowadays? Technically it is a horror film with blood and gore and microwaved, exploding Gremlin guts. However, it was also something of a comedy. You have to admit it is pretty hilarious when the bitchy old lady on the stair shaft gets her comeuppance. Then again, it was marketed as a children's movie complete with plastic figurines and stuffed Mogwai dolls being sold like hotcakes. Many questions come to light when thinking of this film.
I recall seeing Gremlins in the movie theater as a kid and remember having several questions run through my young head. Why did the Chinese man give Gizmo away knowing that havoc would be wreaked? How did Billy's dad support his family selling those crappy inventions? Why did Billy not know that his pseudo-girlfriend's dad died on Christmas? Pushing all plot logic aside, there is one question that has bugged me since I saw the movie in 1984: What the hell is a Gremlin anyway?
To try and answer this question, I have broken down some of the physiological attributes of the Gremlin in the most scientific way possible and compared it to known species.
Gremlins are like pets with big ears but they understand humans It's hard to argue that the Gremlin/Mogwai is anything like a human. Sure, the Gremlin can walk on two feet, likes to eat people-food, and understands English and Chinese, but clearly this thing is not a homosapien. It's furry or scaly, depending on its current state of being, and it has those incredibly large ears. While there are many humans that have large ears (Kate Hudson, I'm talking to you), there is no way those ears come from the same chromosomes as ours. There is only one potential genus the Gremlin could spawn from and that is Bat Boy. He is part bat and part boy; the resemblance is striking.
Gremlins like to eat late at night and then turn into a-holes the next day There is only one species that I am aware of that likes to eat late at night and then turns into a completely different, crankier version of themselves after consuming everything in sight, and that species is called "The Stoner." Stoners are happy as pie when they are eating, and then the effects wear off and it's mood-city. Most stoners, like Gremlins, coerce you into letting them eat bizarre foods, cheese doodles and ice cream in one bowl, and convince you that this is a good idea. The next day, however, they are miserable, as they should be.
Gremlins hate bright light
A Gremlin will do anything to stay out of the light because when they are exposed to it, they die! What other creature out there is deathly afraid of sunlight? Vampires. Take a look at the original Nosferatu movie and you can see the similarities.
Mogwais sing that catchy tune and when they become Gremlins, they hate it with a passion.
I can name one other creature that used to belt out a note or two and after some surprising transformation he pretends that this music never existed. His name is Marky Mark.
Gremlins multiply in water
I searched high and low to find another species that multiplies when they get wet and was unable to. There is only one creature that I am aware of that has the uncanny ability to develop numerous iterations of itself, and that is Michael Keaton fromMultiplicity
. I don't think that the Gremlins are in any way related to him.
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Gremlins love a good party
The Gremlins know how to rock out. Give those suckers a few shots and they are swinging from the ceiling fans, literally. One very distinguishing attribute of the "Gremlin party" is that they have no regard for anyone else, especially the proprietor of said party. Then, after having all the fun they want to have, they'll steal some stuff and leave the scene of the crime. Is it possible that the Gremlins are ancient descendants of none other than Lindsay Lohan?
People cannot handle Mogwais/Gremlins Do you know what else we can't handle? The truth. The truth is that Gremlins are aliens and we've known it all along.
Gremlins screens at the River Oaks Theatre at midnight November 2 and 3. For more information, visit Landmarktheatres.com