Study Guide

Gremlins Violence

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MRS. DEAGLE: I'll catch the beast myself. Then he'll get what he deserves. A slow, painful death. Maybe I'll put him in my spin dryer on high heat.

Mrs. Deagle is one of the few violent human characters. She's like a human gremlin, threatening to harm Billy's dog. Someone check the back of her head for a zipper. She might be gremlins in a human suit. (Hey, there's an idea for a sequel.)

[STRIPE bites Pete's finger.]

It's just a little nip, but right away you know that Stripe means trouble. Gizmo is peaceful and never tries to harm anyone. But Stripe is a troublemaker even when he's still a cute little fuzzball.

[BILLY finds BARNEY tied up with Christmas lights.]

The bad mogwai, Stripe and his gang, are initially pranksters, rather than outright violent. But when they mutate into bigger creatures with sharper claws, things get dangerous. Always have your mogwai declawed.

MOVIE: Can't you see? They're after you! They're after all of us! Our wives, our children, everyone! They're here already! You're next! You're next! You're next! You're next!

Billy likes to watch old horror movies, and this one foreshadows the tide turning from relatively harmless pranks to violent acts by the gremlins. Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband, because gremlins are hurting everybody out here.

[The GREMLINS play darts with GIZMO pinned to the board.]

Poor little Gizmo. It shows us how mean the other gremlins are when they pin him to a dart board and use him as target practice. Lucky for Giz they have bad aim.

[MOM's gremlin massacre.]

The '80s introduced us to amazing action stars: Rambo, Robocop, and Billy's Mom. This is a violent scene you can root for, as Mom liquefies a gremlin in a blender, stabs one with a knife, and microwaves another one. She has to fight violence with violence.

[STRIPE attacks BILLY with a chainsaw.]

The violence in the film ratchets up the intensity as we approach the finale. Stripe with a chainsaw is one of the craziest scenes, because it's the first time we see, on screen, a gremlin attack another human with the sole purpose of killing him. Stripe means business.

[STRIPE melts.]

Like a vampire from Buffy, Stripe melts in the sun. It's gross and drawn out, showing us that filmmakers are a) willing to push this as far into the horror genre as possible and b) proud of their special effects. That's some A+ goo, guys.

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