Don't get him wet,
keep him out of bright light, and never, ever feed him after midnight.
These were the 3 rules to keep a Mogwai. Well as you probably know,
the rules weren't obeyed and as a result, the evil Gremlin, Stripe,
was born. Gremlins is one of those rare movies that blends
horror and light-hearted humor to where a kid could watch it and not
be terrified, while an adult can view the movie and not think, "Eugh,
not another family movie..." For a movie that was rated PG, there's a
surprising amount of violence and gore... granted the gore is mainly
in the form of the slimy green blood of various Gremlins being
splattered on screen.
Now most people seem to
recall the Gremlin-in-the-microwave scene from the first movie as one
of the most gory moments. While I agree that it was a great scene, I
still believe that Stripe's last stand is far better than anything
else in the movie. Most horror character icons could only dream of
having such a well-crafted demise...
After his initial
Gremlin army is killed off, Stripe (who, by the way, was voiced by the
legendary Frank Welker) manages to escape into a nearby department
store. He fights Billy for a while, and even manages to wound him, but
then discovers a water fountain in the garden center. And you know
what that means...
Stripe puts his finger
in the water and the Gremlin eggs immediately start to bubble up on
his back. He's on his way to starting a brand new Gremlin army to
terrorize the town with. Well, he would've done that if it wasn't for
Gizmo, the unlikely Mogwai hero.
Gizmo flies across the
room in a Barbie toy Corvette that he found in the store and crashes
into the garden center wall. Stripe aims his gun at Giz, but the lil'
Mogwai jumps on the puller which controls the blinds. The blinds open
up and a blast of sunlight hits Stripe in an instant. We'll ignore the
fact that it was late at night when they all went into the department
And so, one of the
longest, most drawn-out death scenes of all time begins...
As you know, sunlight
will kill them and here's the proof. Stripe's death is all kinds of
gory, with his body decomposing as he twitches and pools of green
mucus drain from his mouth and nose.
His eyes go completely
white and the flesh on his face continues to fall apart, exposing
muscle, bone and all kinds of nasty viscous fluids.
Stripe's body then falls
into the water and it continues to bubble with a variety of colorful
lights and smoke. I gotta say that they really made great use of
lights and smoke machines throughout the film, especially in the pool
scene when Stripe dives in.
Having no muscles or
skin left, Stripe's body somehow still manages to emerge from the
fountain once more, complete with the white eyes wobbling about.
The body then collapses
to the floor and slowly melts into a puddle of gurgling green goop.
In what appears to be a
puddle of rancid applesauce, the remains of Stripe blister and bubble
to signify the end of Stripe's extremely long death. And even then,
you're not quite sure Stripe is dead. With this bubbling mass on the
ground, I always wondered if it meant Stripe could come back one day.
You know, like if a scientist gathered up the remains and ran some
tests with them and accidentally brought him back to life. Well, he
didn't come back in part 2, but I wouldn't mind a Gremlins 3 as long
as it didn't involve any CGI and Stripe was the main bad guy again.
After all, a plain old Gremlin is mean... but a Gremlin with a white
mohawk is downright evil. Or as Stripe would've probably put it, "CACA!"
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