Before he directed the first two Harry Potter films (or, if you prefer, Pixels), Chris Columbus first came to Hollywood’s attention as a script writer. Undoubtedly, his greatest success as a scribe was Gremlins, Joe Dante’s 1984 dark comedy that was one of the weirdest family films ever made, thanks to its over-the-top violence and unrelentingly mean-spirited nature. In honor of Columbus’ 57th birthday, we thought we’d take a look back at Gremlins and provide you with some insight into aspects of the film that you may not be aware of. Unlike caring for Mogwai, there are no rules for this list. Let’s begin!
The movie spawned a would-be dance hit.
In 1983, Michael Sembello had a huge hit with “Maniac” from Flashdance. Hoping to recapture sweaty, headbanded lightning in a bottle once more, the film’s producers enlisted Sembello to record the above single, “Gremlins… Mega Madness,” for the soundtrack. (It can be briefly heard during the sequence in the movie when the Gremlins take over Dorry’s Tavern). Unfortunately, the track failed to chart, proving yet again that America was not ready for monster puppet-inspired aerobics. Bummer.