Study Guide

Gremlins Violence

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Parents complained so much about violent movies in the 1980s that the PG-13 rating was invented shortly after Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. But if these parents still let their children watch Looney Tunes cartoons, then they were being hypocritical.

Seriously, the last place we'd ever want to be is next to Bugs Bunny. That is one sadistic rabbit.

The 1943 Bugs Bunny cartoon featuring little devious gremlins—from the same legend that inspired the film Gremlins—features bombs exploding, hard hits from wrenches, and plane crashes. Gremlins almost looks tame by comparison. But the fact that Gremlins uses real people (and a ton of puppets) makes it seem all the more traumatic to those with impressionable minds. Cover your eyes, kiddos.

Questions About Violence

  1. Is the violence in Gremlins horrific, comedic, or a blend of both?
  2. Why was the violence in this film so shocking back in 1984?
  3. Should the film have received a different rating for violence?

Chew on This

The gremlins are violent either to eat or to amuse themselves. Their violence is amoral.

All humans are killed off-screen. The most graphic violence comes when the gremlins are killed, like when Mom purees one in a blender. Those scenes are intended for comic effect.

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