Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Gremlins (1984)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Gremlins (1984)

In Joe Dante's mischievous fantasy horror-comedy executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, about a small town besieged by a group of sadistic, furry reptilian creatures that were unleashed when three rules about their care were neglected:

  • the first appearance in a Christmas-gift box of a Chinatown (NY) pet known as a mogwai in the American suburb of Kingston Falls: the elfin-eared, wide-eyed, tune-trilling, four-toed, fuzzy, brown and white fur-ball (a Mogwai) named Gizmo (voice of Howie Mandel), presented to Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) by his struggling inventor-father Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton)
  • the three important rules that the Chinese junk store owner Mr. Wing's (Keye Luke) grandson (John Louie) warned about: ("There's three rules you've gotta follow...Keep him out of the light. He hates bright lights, especially sunlight. It'll kill him. And keep him away from water. Don't get him wet. But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget. No matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never, never feed him after midnight"); Randall later re-emphasized the rules: ("There's some things I forgot to tell you guys, and they're really important. Number one, he hates bright lights. We know that. But you gotta keep him out of the sunlight. Sunlight'll kill him. Number two, keep him away from water. Don't give him any water to drink. And whatever you do, don't give him a bath. And probably the most important thing, don't ever feed him after midnight")
  • the scene of Gizmo multiplying into five more creatures that popped out of his back, when Billy's friend Pete (Corey Feldman) accidentally spilled water on him: ("One, two, three, four, five new ones...Look, that one's got a cute stripe on its head") - not knowing what they had unleashed; in the film's last half - the Mogwai morphed into hateful, predatory green beasties that raised hell in the town after being exposed to light and getting wet; the leader of the Mogwai was aggressive, vicious, red-eyed threatening reptilian Mogwai leader Stripe (voice of Frank Welker)
  • the death of dog-hating, cold-hearted, crabby, and wealthy cat-lady spinster Mrs. Ruby Deagle (Polly Holliday) by jet propulsion from her gremlin-modified, sabotaged stairlift up her bannister, through the second-story skylight, and headfirst into snow, etc.; the miserly realtor was first startled and annoyed by the sound of Christmas carolers outside her door ("I hate Christmas carolers. Screechy-voiced little glue-sniffers"), similar to Ebenezer Scrooge's possible reaction. She was going to toss water on the singers, when she was shocked by the sight of gremlins outside her porch. She rushed back inside, locked her door, and then fearful of dying cried out: "What are they? They're here. Oh, they've come for me!...I'm not ready! I'm not ready yet!" She suffered a mild heart-attack. In the meantime, one of the gremlin creatures had snuck in through a cat door, and then tinkered with and modified her motorized chair-elevating stairlift; she sat on her chairlift to take her upstairs, which sent her careening up her long circular staircase's bannister at high speed, and by a picture of her dead husband mounted on the wall. The stairlift launched her to crash out of the second story window like a cannonball, and landed her head-first into snow. She died there, as Police Department Sheriff Frank (Scott Brady) noted to his partner in a patrol car: "My God, Frye! That was Mrs. Deagle."
Mrs. Deagle's Screaming Death on Stairlift Mechanism -
Crashing Out Second Story Window
Christmas-Caroling Gremlins
Gremlin Tinkering with Chairlift
Propelled Up Staircase
Propelled Through Window
Headfirst Into Snow
  • the tragic story that local bar-waitress Kate Beringer (Phoebe Cates) told her teenaged boyfriend Billy, a bank clerk, of how she found out that there was no Santa Claus - when her father died one evening dressed as Santa Claus: ("The worst thing that ever happened to me was on Christmas. Oh, God. It was so horrible. It was Christmas Eve. I was 9 years old. Me and Mom were decorating the tree, waiting for Dad to come home from work. A couple of hours went by. Dad wasn't home. So Mom called the office. No answer. Christmas Day came and went, and still nothing. So the police began a search. Four or five days went by. Neither one of us could eat or sleep. Everything was falling apart. It was snowing outside. The house was freezing, so I went to try to light up the fire. And that's when I noticed the smell. The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney on Christmas Eve, his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus")
  • the raucous group of theater-attending Gremlins during a showing of the animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, who were killed with a destructive blast, leaving only Stripe
  • the ending - the final destruction of sole-surviving Stripe due to heroic Gizmo's assistance and rescue in a Montgomery Ward department store; driving in a Barbie toy Corvette, Gizmo crashed into the garden center wall and opened the blinds - causing sunlight to pour into the area. During Stripe's long and drawn-out death scene, as he decomposed and turned to goo, he twitched and convulsed and his eyes turned white
  • Randall's narrated warning in the last lines of the film ("Well, that's the story. So if your air conditioner goes on the fritz or your washing machine blows up or your video recorder conks out, before you call the repairman, turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds, 'cause you never can tell, there just might be a gremlin in your house")

Mogwai Gift (Gizmo) From Father to Son Billy

The Unleashing of More Mogwai Creatures


Disbelief in Santa Claus Speech

Destruction of Movie Theatre Filled With Gremlins

Stripe's Gooey Melting Death - Exposed to Sunlight


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