Known to My Generation as "Evil Furbies"
I'm one of those unfortunate souls who missed out on some classic 80's films. Basically, I've only seen films that Chris Columbus has directed, never ones that he's written (the first time I saw "The Goonies" was when we made our pretty stellar drinking game). I've heard the quotes. I know you're not supposed to feed them after midnight. I was not prepared for how fun and dynamic this movie is. It's a perfect example of the best of 80's entertainment; ridiculous, at times raunchy, cheerfully offensive and carefully crafted.
In other words, perfect for Christmas. Come drink with us as you recover from your holiday, as we gaze upon a film about fighting monsters, the dangers of over-reliance on technology, and the constant fear of a Red Invasion.
Yeah, you heard me.
"(I Wanna Get Drunk With the) Gremlins:" The Rules
"I like how adding the soda was like when you take the glasses off the girl in an 80's movie," said Velma Jinkies.
"Really, it's only like that if you took the glasses off the girl and say, 'passable'", corrected Bride of Buggerlas.
1. Title drops: drink whenever someone says the word "Gremlins". You can drink for the singular too.
2. Drink when they drink.
3. Drink for Daddy Issues. There's one monologue that's alllll daddy issues.
4. Drink when something breaks. Ah, my favorite rule. It continues to serve me well.
5. Drink when someone watches something on TV or a projection.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink whenever the dad's inventions get used. Drink again when they break.
2. Drink when someone says the word "Mogwai". The correct term for the creatures.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink when Christmas or Christmas paraphernalia is referenced.
2. Drink for every new Mogwai that appears.
Krissy Pappau: Fearless Leader (Medium)
Pooh Daddy: The Kid (Easy)
Bride of Buggerlas: The Mom (Medium)
Velma Jinkies: The Creature (Medium)
Some Guy: The Mentor (Hard)
Champjagne Austgin: The Love Interest (Hard)
Big Moose: The Fake Antagonist (Hard)
The Red Menace
Think I'm reading too much into this? Okay, let's break this down. One of the very first scenes of the film is between our main character, Billy Peltzer, and an old coot named Mr. Futterman. Futterman notices that Billy is having trouble getting his car to start and blames the car's problems on its foreign origins. He brags about his Kentucky Harvester and how it gives him no trouble; he knows where it comes from, and he knows America makes dependable machines.
The Mogwai are strange creatures of Chinese origin; clearly they're meant to be pets and Gizmo, our trained ambassador, seems docile enough. However, they have a strange set of nonsensical rules you need to follow when you're dealing with them. If you break these rules, they become gradually wilder, more feral, until they gather en masse and attack everything you hold dear. The only way to then defeat them for good is to use their rules and customs against them to drive them back.
I'm not sure how this could be more of a straightforward metaphor for foreign diplomacy. Gizmo in particular is presented as a socialized, tame Mogwai. He's gentle and polite, and he fascinates Billy and his friends with his otherworldly singing skills. While the other Gremlins, once they appear, constantly try to cause mischief and trick Billy into breaking the rules, Gizmo decides that he enjoys the comforts that Billy and his family can offer him and sticks to their codes of conduct. He treats the other Mogwai with suspicion and fear, and even helps Billy fight against them in the movie's climax. There's also a small throwaway scene when Billy tries to get the local police to help him where the officers call Gizmo a "patriotic little guy" because he starts waving around an American Flag.
I dunno, this seems to be more about isolationism? Or the aftermath of a war, where everyone wants to go back to their sides and rest up? Daddy Peltzer gives Mr Wing a smokeless ashtray as a gift and Wing accepts it, so diplomacy seemed to go well enough...
Dammit, I felt like I started out so strong. There's so much red in the movie, guys! It's all a conspiracy against the Chinese! I know it!
Holly Jolly Christmas
Reason number two is that there's no Christmas spirit in it. The film isn't about family coming together, or about reexamining what's important in your life, or about any of that stuff. It's about monsters attacking your loved ones. Your loved ones and the Capitalist Consumerist culture represented by Christmas and...
No, Krissy. We're talking about something else now.
What's genius about this movie is that it lets you think it's a Christmas film until the Gremlins show up. You have a bitchy, grinchy antagonist who's constantly threatening to kill Billy's dog and denying poor people government money, you have a family who's trying to make ends meet (until they meet a magical, self-replicating animal), and you have a potential love interest who doesn't believe in Christmas, who can't get into the spirit of things even when the streets are lined with carolers.
Also, the animatronics are still amazing. Champjagne Austgin kept cringing whenever a Gremlin appeared. Maybe that makes her a scaredy-cat, but I'd like to give credit for the realistic robot Gremlins made with Spielberg money.
If you want to add some new rules, might I suggest these?
Drink when someone is an asshole for no reason.
This covers any scene that takes place in the bank or in Kate's bar. Keep in mind, this should be reserved for people who have no possible reason to be jerks in that moment other than the fact that they're mean people.
Drink when a Gremlin attacks a person.
If several Gremlins attack one person...yeah, go ahead and drink for each Gremlin.
Drink when someone mentions a foreign import, or foreigners in general.
Once you're paying attention, this kind of thing is everywhere. Mrs Deagle has a Bavarian snowman out on her front lawn, for instance. It breaks, of course. Cheap foreign snowmen.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). All "Gremlins" images and videos are owned by Warner Bros.