Joe Dante (1984)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Although executive producer Steven Spielberg ensures that things don't get too nasty, this wonderfully anarchic affair is still one of Hollywood's blackest mainstream hits. Zach Galligan plays the teenager who is given a cuddly pet mogwai called Gizmo, but through carelessness he unwittingly unleashes a vicious, murderous swarm of little creatures. There's no doubt whose side director Joe Dante is on and he gleefully trashes the view of small-town America portrayed by feel-good movies such as It's a Wonderful Life (which is being screened on TV throughout the tale). Film buffs will delight in the many in-jokes and the long list of cameos, ranging from Roger Corman veteran Dick Miller to Spielberg himself. And Phoebe Cates's admirably straight-faced Christmas speech should be compulsory viewing during the festive season.


A teenager is given a strange, cute creature as a Christmas present by his eccentric father and warned to keep it away from water, not to feed it after midnight, or expose it to direct light. However, a chance dousing causes the furball to spawn a horde of murderous little monsters, and their devilish antics bring mayhem to a small town. Comedy horror, with Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton and Polly Holliday.

Cast & Crew

Billy Peltzer Zach Galligan
Kate Phoebe Cates
Rand Peltzer Hoyt Axton
Lynn Peltzer Frances Lee McCain
Mrs Deagle Polly Holliday
Grandfather Keye Luke
Chinese boy John Louie
Mr Futterman Dick Miller
Mrs Futterman Jackie Joseph
Sheriff Frank Scott Brady
Mr Anderson Harry Carey Jr
Rockin' Ricky Rialto Don Steele
Pete Corey Feldman
Pete's father Arnie Moore
Roy Hanson Glynn Turman
Mrs Harris Belinda Balaski
Gerald Judge Reinhold
Director Joe Dante
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Some violence and swearing.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 6 Dec 2019
Comedy Drama