The 1984 Christmas classic Gremlins rates high on the nostalgic charts in terms of enjoyment and fond memories of being lulled into a false sense of cuddly before being terrified into a nightmare-scape. I remember being first consumed by the need for a Gizmo of my very own to coo and sing at me. Very quickly, though, I was slammed into reality — and the corner of the couch — as murderous Gremlins began to terrorize the small town of Kingston Falls and I was presented with a tale of a dead father in a chimney.
The ’80s were a hell of a drug, you guys.
I re-watched Gremlins this past weekend, and while the movie itself remains as entertaining as ever, I was struck by the number of mistakes in the film. Of course, age cannot be held accountable for all of the problems. But here they are, presented for your annoyance:
1. If you walk out of your bank job to chase the dog you had tied up under your teller window, no matter how small the town or the bank, you will be fired. You just left a cash drawer unattended and chased a dog that wasn’t supposed to be in the building at the first place? COME ON. So fired.
2. I don’t recall child labor laws of 1984, but it seems to me that making a child wear a tree costume outside in the dead of winter is at least a fineable offense. Why would you send young Pete (Corey Feldman) out into the snow all alone to deliver Christmas trees to the psychotic residents of Kingston Falls? If it isn’t against labor laws, it has to warrant a call to Child Protective Services, right?
3. When the gremlin gets loose in the science room, Mr. Hanson attempts to entice it out from under his desk with a Snickers bar. The gremlin appears to take a bite of the bar before taking a larger bite out of Mr. Hanson, killing him. This is ludicrous, as we all know that Snickers really satisfies and that gremlin would have no need for delicious human flesh.
4. While in the store during the movie’s climax, Kate (Phoebe Cates) is unable to find the lights. How can you not find the lights in a store that requires lights before opening every morning? It also appears to be a sporting goods store with an ample candy supply, but I can’t argue with that logic. It’s as flawless as the baseball bat stopping the chainsaw.
5. Finally, those kids appeared to be in school up to the day before Christmas. Is that even legal in America? They were watching heartbeat filmstrips when they should have been at home preparing to gorge themselves on presents and stocking candy. I mean, how much disbelief can one person suspend?
Next time you bring me a movie about strange creatures with arbitrary and vague rules governing their care, lest they become tiny monsters that destroy an entire town, you best come correct.