Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.
Sam: It might not be the most harmless Christmas movie of all (lacking the kitsch of Sound of Music, the morality of It’s a Wonderful Life and the cuteness of Home Alone), but Gremlins to me is the perfect Holiday season mischief fest. Joe Dante was both great in spine-tingling horror (Piranhas, The Howling) and tongue-in-cheek adventure (Explorers, Innerspace, The Burbs). He was best when we mixed both to create a classic like Gremlins in 1984. The tale about a cute Christmas present gone wrong after the three key rules have been broken (don’t expose it to light or water; don’t feed it after midnight) is best when it releases the pleasurable mayhem of its monsters on its main characters (Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates). And seeing scroogey Mrs. Deagle get ejected from her roof on her stairlift, was always the most joyful, wonderful Christmas moment of my youth! Oh, and did I mention that Gremlins 2 – The New Batch (1992) is even more joyous?!
Matt: As a stealth Christmas movie, Gremlins is in very fine company: Die Hard, Batman Returns… and Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander. It’ll be a while before I reach that one, either in its film or TV series version, on my trip through Criterion’s wonderful Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema, but I’m already looking forward to it – and sort of hoping that it’ll be some time around Christmas. (Last year at this time, we were watching Scenes from a Marriage, which wasn’t exactly as festive.)