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Trivia / Gremlins

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  • Blooper: In the credits, voice actor Bob Bergen is credited as Bob Berger.
  • Breakthrough Hit: For Chris Columbus as a writer.
  • Cameo Prop: The time machine prop from The Time Machine (1960) can be seen behind Randall Peltzer when he's on the phone with his wife, while attending the convention. A moment later, the machine has disappeared (into the future or the past), to the astonishment of several on-lookers.
  • The Danza:
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    • In a bizarre example, Kate is played by Phoebe Cates.
    • Mr. Jones is played by Chuck Jones.
  • Deleted Scene: The following scenes were cut from the film:
    • Mr. Peltzer is looking in a store in Chinatown, with a shopkeeper who doesn't know a word of English, when he is greeted by the Chinese boy, who leads Mr. Peltzer to the boy's grandfather's shop.
    • Billy is lectured by his boss, Mr. Corben, for being 17 minutes late.
    • Billy looks at his drawings, for a comic strip, in his room.
    • Billy sees the reverend on the street. The reverend tries to give Billy his Christmas card, but he can't find it in his pile, so he just tells Billy he will mail it to him.
    • Kate shows Billy Mrs. Deagle's plans to sell their houses and build a Nuclear plant. They are then discovered by Gerald, who says he will let them out easy if Kate will go out with him. Kate refuses, and Gerald notes she is tough, just like him.
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    • Stripe listens to a bunch of carolers, while hidden in the snow (actually, according to the commentary, he is singing along and making the carolers wonder who's off key, but there is no audio for Stripe).
    • Mr. Futterman tells his wife that Mrs. Deagle has closed down the noodle factory where he worked for good. His wife then reassures him that there is more to life than macaroni.
    • Billy and Kate find Mr. Corben with a clock smashed on his head. They then find Gerald in the vault. Billy tries to free Gerald, however Gerald thinks that Billy wants to free him just so Billy and Kate would get promotions (Gerald presumably would now have Mr. Corben's job). Billy then closes the vault and tells Kate that Gerald will be better off in there and they will come and get him later.
      • This scene has been shown in at least a few television edits of the film.
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  • Enforced Method Acting: At least one of Phoebe Cates' screams in the scene at Dorry's Tavern is genuine. An enormous cockroach crawled out in front of her during one take.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Though he followed the basic outline of the script, Hoyt Axton is said to have improvised nearly all of his lines.
  • Inspiration for the Work: Chris Columbus' inspiration came from his loft, when at night "what sounded like a platoon of mice would come out and to hear them skittering around in the blackness was really creepy".
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: Inverted. In the commentary, Joe Dante calls Mushroom (the dog playing Barney) "the all-purpose cutaway," because if Barney is in the scene and Joe doesn't know what to cut to, Mushroom has a priceless facial expression that'll sell it. Highlights include: Looking worried and offended when Mrs. Deagle is threatening to kill him, looking curious when Gizmo first appears, looking frightened when Gizmo first multiplies. He even moves in synch with the Gizmo puppet in several shots.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: Gremlins features a Mogwai Christmas present as the Inciting Incident, the titular monsters wrecking havoc over a snowy town filled with Christmas iconography, opens with "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"... and was released in June. Critics at the time thought this was odd.
  • Release Date Change: Originally planned and scheduled for a Christmas release, the movie was rushed into production shortly after Warner Bros. found out that it had no major competition against Paramount Pictures' Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or Columbia Pictures' Ghostbusters (1984) for the summer movie season.
  • Those Two Actors: The Futtermans are played by Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph, cast as a married couple specifically because of their frequent acting collaborations in Roger Corman movies.
  • Throw It In!: Gerrold orders "vodka martini, shake don't stir," from Kate at Dorry's in an attempted Shout-Out to James Bond. However, Judge Reinhold kept fumbling the line, seemingly unable to get out the correct "shaken, not stirred." Eventually they decided to just let the line stand, since it made Gerrold seem even more pretentious and clueless.
  • Troubled Production: Post-production of the first movie was a nightmare due to the gremlin and Mogwai animatronics never working properly. On the DVD commentary, Chris Walas (the creator of the animatronics) calls working on Gremlins the closest thing he's had to a complete mental breakdown.
  • Underage Casting: Keye Luke had remarkably young-looking skin, and had to be made up to look older than his real age. At the time of filming, he was in his mid eighties.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The first movie was going to be Darker and Edgier. Gizmo was going to become a gremlin (specifically, the Gremlin leader Stripe), in the second act, but this was deemed too confusing to audiences. Billy's mother was also going to be decapitated by the gremlins, with her head rolling down the stairs. Additionally, Billy would have been your typical 80's Hollywood Nerd and not only traveled around the town with two companions during the madness (a love interest and a bully-turned-emergency-ally), but wielded a sword. He still wields a sword in the final film but it's limited to only one scene. As to his companions, presumably they morphed into Kate and Gerald. Also, Billy's dog would have been eaten.
    • In the same vein, Mr. Hanson's death was originally nastier and involved lots of needles, until it was changed to just the one syringe in his butt.
    • A scene would've occurred where the heroes found the aftermath of a Gremlin attack on a McDonalds - all of the patrons have been devoured, including a baby, and the McDonalds food would've been untouched. It was cut for being too dark and sad.
    • During production of the sequel, there were plans for an animated series. There was even a blurb for it in the He's 50, Folks magazine celebrating Bugs Bunny's 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, the poor box-office performance of the sequel resulted in the television series getting canceled.
    • Pat Hingle and Emilio Estevez auditioned for the roles of Rand and Billy Peltzer. On the DVD commentary, Joe Dante praises Hingle's screen test as a Frank Capra-esque character who realizes that his best days are long behind him as being too good for the movie, because he would have stolen the show from Gizmo and the gremlins had he been cast.
    • Other actors considered for the part of Billy were Kevin Bacon, Kevin Costner and Judd Nelson.
    • Jon Pertwee and Mako were both seriously considered for Mr. Wing.
    • Spielberg considered hiring Tim Burton to direct after seeing his short films. He decided against it because at the time Burton had never directed a full-feature length film.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Futterman were killed in the original script following their encounter with the gremlins. The filmmakers thought that their deaths were too cruel and removed any references to it, and they even returned for the sequel.
    • The entire concept of these movies was brought about from Spielberg's unproduced script loosely based on the Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter. The idea was eventually separated into three movies: this one, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
    • Speaking of which, during the scene near the beginning where Billy walks past the movie theater, you see the titles A Boy’s Life and Watch The Skies on the marquee. These were the Working Titles for E.T. and Close Encounters respectively.
  • Word of God: According to Joe Dante, the mogwai/gremlin (Earl) that Billy left with Mr. Hanson, later met up with Stripe's gang and joined in terrorizing the town before being blown up with the rest.
  • This movie and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are the reasons for the existence of the PG-13 rating.

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