12 May, 2008

Bright light. Bright light.

So here's the thing.

I love the Gremlins movies. The first film is a brilliantly-executed work. The screenplay is tight, Joe Dante's direction imbues the early scenes with a strong sense of threat and danger, and when the gremlins finally break out of their cocoons and attack, the film just gets terrifying. While I'm not a big horror fan, I will happily sit through some of the great horror films - Halloween, The Shining, The Exorcist, and the like - generally pretty unfazed. But Gremlins, no matter how many times I see it, still actually kinda scares me. Pehaps it's just that I saw the film at a young age, and can still recall how those scenes made me feel, but I don't think so. The gremlins really were menacing and dangerous - and the fact that they viewed killing people and causing mayhem as being just as entertaining as watching Snow White really added to that menace. It is a genuine horror film, that gets away with so much just because they just barely lighten the mood with a few comedy scenes.

The second film is not as good, mostly because it largely abandons the horror element and focuses on the comedy - the mutated gremlins im particular lose their focus on killing and destroying, and just running around pretending to be Carmen Miranda or whatever. And there are a few too many nods to the film's existence as a film - from the shadow puppet scene to Leonard Maltin being attacked while giving a negative review of the first film (which, if I remember correctly, he genuinely disliked in real life). Plus, Gizmo as Rambo? Still, it's definitely a fun film that I do enjoy. I seem to remember hearing a few years ago that Terry Jones wrote a supposedly good script for a third Gremlins film that was well-received, but abandoned because it would have been impossible to make with puppets, and I've always thought they should think about revisiting that script using CGI to create the gremlins. I would like to see that.

And that is why I wanted to post the link to this new ad. Because it is always nice to see new footage of the Gremlins, causing collosal problems and generally being scary. (The final shot is a killer - imagine sitting at your desk at work and having that happen to you. Scary, right?)

My only problem with the ad is the music. I love the Gremlins Rag that was the theme for the films - it's a brilliant composition by Jerry Goldsmith, and is perfectly suited both to the sense of mayhem, and the fun, of the films. It's an enjoyable piece to listen to, even though it has this insane feel of mischief-making to it. And so I love that the ad makers used Goldsnith's theme, but the pacing of the track seems a little too slow, and the arrangement feels subtlely off. The end result is that the music sounds like it should be right, but it's just not.

Still, it's a cool ad, a lot of fun, and worth checking out.

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