Approx. 3 feet
Spawning new gremlins when wet; Impervious to sunlight
“Y'know they're still shippin' them over here. They put 'em in cars, they put 'em in yer TV. They put 'em in stereos and those little radios you stick in your ears. They even put 'em in watches, they have teeny gremlins.”|
Gremlins are the fictional and unknown reptile-like creatures, who are the primary antagonists of the entire Gremlins franchise. They made their debut in the 1984 film Gremlins and then reappeared in its sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). They are also based upon the creatures with the same name of old English folklore.
In both movies, the gremlins have a leader that is smarter than all others. Stripe is the leader in the first movie and though the Brain Gremlin is the smartest, Mohawk is briefly the leader in the second movie (before being replaced by the smarter Brain Gremlin).
History and Biography
A Gremlin is the last stage of the Gremlin life cycle which goes from Mogwai-Cocoon-Gremlin. It is said that the gremlins are considered to be an unwanted side-effect from when the Mogwais were created on a far away planet to be used as ambassadors of peace on other planets.
They are just about one meter tall and they have scaly reptile-like skin, large batlike ears, three sharp claws on their feet and hands and equally sharp teeth. Their looks and color may vary, ranging between various shades and combinations of green, brown, and black. Their intelligence and strength also vary and they are all very mischievous, dangerously violent, and crazily fun-loving. They are capable of working (and sabotaging) complex machinery and devices, as apparent in folklore where they were believed to have brought down hundreds of planes. No gremlin has so far proved to be good-willed and nice and most of them don't seem to value the life of their fellow gremlins, sometimes beating or even killing each other for fun. Even though they are very energetic and often aggressive, they don't seem to hurt any humans who are not afraid of them. (For example, when Grandpa Fred was doing an inside scoop of what was happening inside the building, not a single gremlin behind him laid a finger on him.) Also, in the deleted scenes when Grandpa Fred was doing his section, George, Lenny, and Daffy were present but didn't try to scare or hurt him, rather joining him for fun.
Mogwai evolve into gremlins by eating after midnight. It would appear that mogwai are aware of this as many are shown to be determined to eat after midnight. Even after their metamorphosis, gremlins still retain traits they had as mogwai, such as their dislike of bright lights, their vulnerability to sunlight, and most dangerously their ability to multiply upon getting wet. Unlike the mogwais, where small furballs pop out from their backs and quickly inflate to turn into new mogwais, the backs of the wet gremlins get riddled with big blisters that contain small gremlins, which rather quickly break free and start to grow. The gremlins that are giving birth to new gremlins are often more vulnerable than other gremlins because the birthing process is often extremely painful for the creatures. Afterwards, they continue to live as if nothing happened, often along with the newly-born gremlins that have quickly grown to full gremlin size. Like Mogwai, they can dissolve when exposed to sunlight.
It is unknown whether or not they are omnivorous or carnivorous. However, they don't usually eat food other than candy and other junk food. But while as Mogwai, Stripe and his brothers ate chicken legs (which is meat) and Mohawk, Lenny, and George ate frozen yogurt (which is dairy). Daffy has eaten corn, but doesn't like chicken or mashed potatoes. Earl liked eating a sandwich that had lettuce, meat, and possibly cheese as he said, "Yum yum" when he grabbed a sandwich and ate it. Earl also liked the chocolate candy bar that Mr. Hanson gave him. However, Earl did not like the apple that he took a bite out of in Mr. Hanson's office, but he did like eating the glass test tube. They also seemed to like Dr. Catheter's serums from Splice O' Life.
In the second film, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, some of the gremlins are mutated. The following is a complete list of the mutated gremlins.
- Vegetable Gremlin - One gremlin turns into a creature made of living vegetation.
- Electric Gremlin - It drinks a serum that turns it into raw energy.
- Brain Gremlin - It drinks a serum that increases its intelligence and gives it a human voice.
- Bat Gremlin - It mutates into a bat-creature and is injected with genetic sunblock by the Brain Gremlin.
- Phantom Gremlin - It has acid splashed in his face and hides his facial scars behind a mask.
- Greta - One Gremlin drinks a serum and becomes a female gremlin.
- Mohawk/Spider-Gremlin - Near the end of the film, Mohawk drinks a potion that turns it into a spider-like gremlin.
Behind the scenes
- Basically all of the gremlins in the film series were portrayed on screen by using animatronics and highly advanced puppets and puppetry, as it was the only technique other than stop-motion to bring the creatures to life on screen.
- The Gremlins are often seen drinking beer, but they don't multiply. However, Randall Peltzer said to Billy not to give Gizmo any water to drink, mainly because it's water that makes them multiply, not beer.
- It was unknown if the Gremlins possessed a specific gender. It was then revealed with the release of Gizmo: The Game at least two female Mogwai existed: Valerie and Grace.
- Gremlins are often said to be green, but gremlins are also shown to be other colours, including brown, yellow, and even black.
- According to the first novel, the gremlins have caused many accidents in the past: the Memphis runaway escalators of 1972, the 1969 Super Bowl, the East Coast power failure of November 1965, a lesser known power failure a month later in Texas, New Mexico and Juarez, Mexico, the closing in 1963 of the New York Mirror (a newspaper that could not rid its systems of the gremlins), the 1962 collision of a runaway train, jet plane, and a seagoing tanker at Danzig, Poland, the Bay of Pigs paramilitary fiasco of 1961, the three day episode at the Onawa, Iowa, buttonhole factory in 1957, World War 2, and the disappearance of Vansk which was, until 1936, the largest city in Siberia.
- Some critics believed that Gremlins were based off of negative African-American stereotypes, as shown by drinking beer, smoking, and break-dancing.
- In contrast to Mogwai, most Gremlins seem to love wearing clothing - even if they have no real sense of style.