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Gremlins - Kate "The House was freezing, so I went to try to light up the fire. That's when I noticed the smell. The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney...His arms loaded full with presents. He was going to surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus."
I never thought of Gremlins as a straight up Christmas movie but as I was rewatching it lately I had forgotten the very strong Christmas themes that can be found throughout the film. The biggest one, the Scrooge/Mr. Potter inspired character, Ms. Deagle who seems to enjoy tormenting the have-nots of Kingston Falls. Thankfully she gets hers in an amusing bit of sabotage by the Gremlins and her stair chair. This movie was quite frightening as a young boy, seeing Spike running at the camera from the shadows always got me. Also the scene in the lab where Billy's Professor bites it, literally. Always kind of creeped me out. There was also great humor like the bar scenes where poor Kate is subjected to some awful clientele as you had some of those green bastards hanging from the ceiling fan and playing russian roulette with a pistol. I always will have fond memories of this movies but in the end I'm still on the fence on whether or not this can be considered a true Christmas movie, so it will remain on the short list. Sorry to all you Gremlin fans out there but that's the way it's gotta be. But that shouldn't stop you guys from telling us your top ten Christmas movies. Let us know, and who knows maybe you'll convince us to revise the list for next year!
Have a happy New Year,
Jeff: So here we are at number one! The immortal classic Scrooge, this 1951 Black and White film is by far the best version of a Christmas Carol period. Obviously there are other versions that are great fun but none capture the spirit of the Dickens novel quite like this one. Alaistair Sim is the perfect Scrooge he's grumpy as all of the others are but there is also something terrifying about him which I gathered was an important image derived from the book. He has those sunken eyes and he looks like death when he walks through the streets and pushes the kids out of the way. I wouldn't want to see that guy coming at me in a dark alley. The film also is exceptional in showing the travesty of poverty and the effect on average citizens who are forced to suffer in work houses or are brought under the thumb of the poor law. It is a particularly cruel place one that Scrooge relishes in as he makes his fortune. We get to see the full picture of Scrooge and his cold turn. The parallels between his Mother's death and his Sisters' and how the latter one spirals him into the terrible man we first see him as. It's a wonderful story of redemption and reconnection to the world of man. This film is not just a staple at my house it simply isn't Christmas until it has been watched.
Jen Huber: Alaistair Sim as Scrooge ha some fantastic facial expressions in this movie. The best come near the end when he is drunk with happiness and he ends up scaring the crap out of the housekeeper. There is truly something special about a good black and white movie. When Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, the effects are so simple how they make him look ghostly, but it really works! This is such a classic story and even though there have been many remakes this one will forver stand out as one of the best all time.
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