One man, 52 Christmas movies, one must be watched every week or the challenge is lost. Welcome to The Christmas Movie Challenge.
After Ben Affleck nearly ruined my Christmas Movie Challenge last week, I needed a go to film certain to raise a cheer. I’d like to point out that it was watching Surviving Christmas that ruined it, and not Affleck turning up at my house and pissing on my Christmas tree announcing to the world that he killed Santa, although the film was so bad it nearly caused me to stop this challenge.
So I needed a festive movie that reminded me why I set about this foolishness in the first place. Director Joe Dante and executive producer Steven Spielberg’s pitch black comedy/horror hits all the right notes, and for a movie that’s 28 years old it still holds up brilliantly well.
Billy (Zack Galligan) gets a mysterious gift for Christmas from his inventor Father. Although, this isn’t one of his madcap inventions but a living breathing creature he bought from Chinatown.
Despite being told the three golden rules, things don’t go according to plan.
1) Don’t let them near bright lights
2) Don’t get them wet
3) Don’t feed them after midnight
It’s not long before cute little Gizmo has reproduced a mean spirited bunch of siblings, all of whom have a far more murderous streak than their maker.
After they change into evil Gremlins, they run amuck through the town and go on a murderous rampage, which ends with them all watching Snow White in a cinema.
I love this movie, there I said it. From the brutal horror of the kitchen siege, to the in jokes and knowing winks to camera it never fails to make me happy. The sequel was a bit too knowing for its own good, but remains a fun and enjoyable (toned down) follow up.
There’s plenty of Christmas cheer and they even show a small scene from ultimate Christmas movie It’s a wonderful life. So we get a dash of Capra, a load of monsters, a cute furry hero, a generous helping of murder and it’s all wrapped up in a perfect 100 minute package. If that’s not enough for you there’s also a young Corey Feldman and a gut wrenching cautionary Christmas tale from Phoebe Cates, which still sends shivers down my spine to this day.
The moral of the story is, don’t buy a creature of unknown origins from a back alley in Chinatown. The Christmas Movie Challenge is back on track.
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