Sunday, 11 August 2013

Things I've learned From DVD Commentaries 3

Film: Gremlins (1984)
Commentators: Joe Dante (Director), Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller (Actors), Howie Mandell (Voice of Gizmo)

Hoyt Axton (who plays Billy's dad) was also a composer as was his mother who co-wrote the Elvis hit, Heartbreak Hotel.
Actor Pat Hingle almost got the part of the dad as his audition was great. However, the way he played it apparently didn't really sit well with the rest of the film.
Keye Luke (Gizmo's owner) played Number One Son in a series of Charlie Chan movies in the 30s. He also voiced Chan himself in the Hanna-Barbera series Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan.
When Gizmo sings, it is not Mandell, it's a little girl who was a member of composer Jerry Goldsmith's congregation.
Mandell got the job thanks to the mighty Frank Welker who was the voice of Stripe.
Dante is fully aware of the fact that the three rules make no sense and was more than happy to mock them in the sequel.
The older gentleman in the bar who comments on Billy's drawing is animation legend Chuck Jones.
Emilio Estevez almost got the part of Billy.
Joe Dante is a name-dropper.
The original script was more horror orientated. In Columbus' original script, the Gremlins killed the dog and Billy's mum.
Gremlins opened on the same day as Ghostbusters in America, must have been a great day.
When Billy is following Stripe through the snow, he is walking on real ice as they couldn't make the Gremlin tracks on anything else.
There is only one stop motion animation scene in the entire film. It is the scene where we see all the Grlemins together, walking in the street.
All the lines of the Gremlins were improvised by the actors as no dialogue was written for them.
The studio wanted to cut the now infamous scene where Kate talks about her dead dad. Dante loved it, though and was determined to keep it in.
Billy was supposed to save the day by opening the blind to kill Stripe with sunlight and they even filmed it that way. Steven Spielberg, however, wanted Gizmo to be the hero of the piece so it was re-shot that he opened the blind. If you look closely, however, you can see still see Billy at the cord of the blind which was from the original ending.
Dick Miller, who had been silent for the majority of the commentary gets a huge laugh from his fellow commentators when he starts to tell a story just as the final credits end.


  1. I have never seen Gremlins... *hides*

  2. Ooooooh, I was so tempted to mark that comment as spam :D You should see Gremlins, it's great. As is the sequel, which is more like a live action cartoon than the first film.