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A dark comedy and a social commentary, Gremlins adds up to more than just a monster flick. As their villainy grows, the Gremlins possess a wicked sense of humor that sets a twisted comic tone. The film also offers a number of fun visual touches, such as a sign reading “Have a safe and happy holiday” that appears at the same time as a science teacher is somewhat indelicately butchered.
The special effects are impressive if not completely authentic; Gizmo looks like an Ewok from Star Wars, and the Gremlin pods look like they were lifted straight from Alien. Gremlins even explores the evils of corporate culture in the mid-1980s: human acquisitiveness and a drive to conquer and control nature. Billy’s father is confronted by an old Chinese man who declares, “You do with Mogwai what your society has done with all of nature’s gifts. You are not ready.”
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