Study Guide

Gremlins Murray Futterman (Dick Miller)

Murray Futterman (Dick Miller)

Mr. Futterman's Billy's drunk neighbor. He complains about foreign machinery and foreign people, but in his rants, he gives us the title of the movie. Check this one out:

MR. FUTTERMAN: Gremlins! You gotta… you gotta watch out for them foreigners because they plant gremlins in their machinery. The same gremlins brought down our planes in the big one. […] That's right. World War II.

Mr. Futterman's ravings recall episodes of Looney Tunes and The Twilight Zone that showed gremlins on planes. It's also a real World War II legend.

But considering America's xenophobic attitude toward China, could Gremlins be an allegory about the Chinese—or any other non-white influence—in America? Or is this monologue just the ravings of a drunk man?

Mr. Futterman's worst fears come true when the gremlins take over his plow and run over him and his wife. The movie frames it as though the Futtermans are dead, but they actually return for the sequel. It was only a flesh wound.

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