My Favorite Movies - Gremlins
Updated: Jul 15, 2022
Hello, Once And Future Writers!
I love to read, but I don't consider myself an "avid reader." My wife can read an entire paperback in one day, but not me. I am aware of the classics in literature (Treasure Island, Moby Dick), but most in passing. I read the Harry Potter series through, dare I say, ONCE!
"But how can you be a writer when you don't read every day?" It's weird, I know, but hear me out!
Whereas most writers are voracious consumers of the written word, my love of storytelling comes primarily from the silver screen: movies are my inspiration!
So I thought I would share some of my favorite movies of all time with you, and talk about how they've influenced me creatively. You know, give you a window into my brain. Don't peek for too long, though, because it gets kinda... eldritch in there.
Today's movie, if you haven't guessed by the headline, is Gremlins!
Released in 1984, Gremlins is directed by Joe Dante. I'm sure most of you know about this movie already, but here's the short version—
Oh wait! If you haven't seen it yet, go find yourself a copy and watch it right now! I'll wait.
Welcome back! Great, wasn't it? I'll go ahead and assume you said yes ^_^
Okay, now we can talk about it:
Gremlins is about a boy named Billy that gets a mysterious pet for Christmas. This pet comes with a set of rules that, if not followed, can lead to unfortunate consequences. Of course, Billy doesn't follow any of the rules, and inadvertently lets a hoard of little green monsters loose on his hometown!
Sound familiar? It should, because it's the perfect middle-grade story concept. What do I mean by that, you ask? Well, it helps to know what the middle-grade story concept actually is. Let's break it down together:
Kid encounters a thing (a monster, a bully, a really gross sandwich, etc.).
Kid has to deal with aforementioned thing (fight monster, confront bully, eat/throw out yucky sandwich, etc.).
Kid triumphs over the thing (horary!), and learns a life-lesson in the process (sorry about the spoilers, by the way).
You see what I mean, right? Gremlins could've fit easily in the volumes of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series, right next to Night Of The Living Dummy, and Monster Blood 2! You know, if the shelf weren't alphabetical...
I don't know how old I was when I first saw Gremlins, but I was young (like 8 or 9). And boy oh boy did it make an impression! I couldn't sleep with the lights off for, like, years! I was convinced that there were Gremlins hiding in every drawer, under every bed, and behind every appliance (thanks, Hoyt Axton). I was terrified, but fascinated at the same time! I watched the movie over and over, drew the characters countless times, and memorized every line of dialogue (which I can still recite to this day). I even tried to build my own Bathroom Buddy, with about as much success as Billy's Dad...
As much as Gremlins scared the living daylights out of me, it also lit a creative fire that I still carry to this day. It's one of the biggest inspirations behind my first novel The Berge Sisters Tour The Neitherswarth! While the circumstances are different (I an't no plagiarist!), my story is also about little troublemaking monsters that run amok! You can check out the blurb here!
Now I ask you: what are some of your favorite movies? Do you draw inspiration mostly from books, film, or somewhere else? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
'Till next time, One And Future Writers!