the pitches

Title: Gremlins 3
Directed by: joe dante
Starring: zach galligan, rob corddry, craig robinson, lucy liu, phoebe cates

The duo of mogwai and man have escaped to the deserts of west Texas, far from precipitous weather and populous cities. We see Billy, a mountainman look of thick hair and thick beard, at a small bar in town, his once a month visit to have a beer, check his mail, and hear about the state of the world he left behind.

As he reads a letter from Kate asking him to leave Gizmo behind and come home, a news bulletin comes on the television above the bar. There are reports of strange lights in the skies and earthquakes worldwide. One earthquake unearthed a mysterious temple in China under the Forbidden City. Inside are dozens of scrolls referencing personal warriors to defend all the nation’s families. There are sketches of the tiny warriors and instructions for their use, but the Chinese government is keeping those details private.

As the dust trail fades we see Billy get out of his aging, rusted truck and enter his home, an old storefront in a ghost town, complete with broken boardwalks and empty horse corrals. Inside the dank wood structure of dust and cobwebs, Billy crosses behind the counter to reveal an electronic keypad behind a wooden panel. The panel says “Peltzer, a Clamp Industries company.”

When the door opens we’re taken on a tour of a home and laboratory. Newspaper clippings and glass case product displays tell us a history of Daniel Clamp praising Billy for saving his building and the city, the construction of Clamp Corners, the small business support program, Peltzer Inventions being its first financially-backed company. We see original and sleek new versions of the bathroom buddy, the peeler juicer, the electric hammer, and finally the Pet Communicator, a tiny helmet with wires and antennae sprouting from it.

At the end of the displayed inventions hangs a picture of Billy’s dad with a plaque underneath. It reads: “’If necessity is the mother of invention, then curiosity is its father.’ – Randal Peltzer”

Billy shouts for Gizmo as he enters the lab. Passing tables of half-finished gadgets, then beakers and jars of chemicals, he sees a mogwai in a hazmat suit hunched over a microscope. When Billy gets the mogwai’s attention, we see that it’s not gizmo. Billy asks where his friend is and the mogwai, Kevin, points him to a thick metal door with a red light above it.

Gizmo emerges, his fur grayer, his belly slightly thicker than we last saw him. They observe a new batch of mogwai encased behind thick glass. They’re wild, unhinged, and dangerous. Gizmo rejects the batch, and the mogwai’s are moved into a caged area for further testing. Nearby is an intermediate room with recently-opened cocoons. The next room over is a thicker line of cages, each housing odd-looking Gremlins, a giant angled mirror overhead.

Billy picks up a pet communicator helmet, the same worn by all the mogwai, and asks him to put it on. Gizmo refuses. Billy points out the handful of tame mogwai lab assistants Gizmo has made and questions what his friend is trying to achieve with his experiments. Appearing defeated, Gizmo grabs a beer and leaves. Accessing a much lower electronic keypad, Gizmo leaves the protected bunker and goes for a walk through the ghost town.

It’s nighttime. Billy puts the other mogwai into their cages. Billy briefly tinkers with an invention, then stares longingly at a picture of Kate. Gizmo empties his bottle of beer and stares up at the night sky. Just as he decides to return home, fiery objects crash to Earth in the distance. Gizmo runs home to tell Billy.

The next day Billy heads back to town. The shops are demolished except for the church and the bar, which are boarded up using pieces of the other buildings. Inside both are the townsfolk, armed to the teeth and scared out of their minds. They let Billy in and the news shows an alien invasion, and the Texas townsfolk have prepared to defend themselves. Cities worldwide are under attack and losing to the alien hostiles except for regions of China. They appear to have a secret weapon, and satellite images of China show a huge number of torches and lights throughout the nation.

Billy tries to reach Kate and his mom in New York but the lines are down. He heads back to the ghost town to tell Gizmo he has to go to save his loved ones, when the aliens descend on the small Texas town. Billy and Gizmo initiate defensive measures and we see the ghost town bathed in bright lights. In addition, every building is rigged with lethal inventions designed to kill the Gremlin creatures, had they ever managed to escape the lab. The defense system conveniently serves to kill aliens just as well, but the aliens are relentless. It’s obvious they’re hell-bent on destroying life on earth and last resorts must be taken. As the aliens are smashing through into the bunker, Gizmo and Billy lock themselves and the mogwai in the steel-walled testing chamber and purge the Gremlin cages, letting the destructive monsters out into the ghost town.

They can hear the screams of both aliens and Gremlins being slaughtered.
In the morning, the hostiles are gone, corpses of the fallen all over the lab, ghost town, and surrounding desert. Billy, still determined to go to Kate, says they’ll need an army clearing their path if they want to reach New York. He begins constructing tiny helmets and Gizmo enters the multiplication lab. Inside is a kiddie pool of water, and Gizmo jumps in.

A montage of breeding, feeding, cocooning, and gadget-building goes by and hours later there is a room full of armored Gremlins, their talons exposed and, with their helmets on, they are under Billy’s control.

They get in the truck, Billy’s Gremlin army in the bed and they head to town. They stop to see that some of the people from the bar and church also made it through the night, and Billy stops in for help. He says he can help them survive, but they have to help him get to New York. A select few take helmets and each get a personal Gremlin to control.

A small group moves northeast, killing aliens in their path. During the day, dark visors drop over the heads of the Gremlin warriors, but as the humans sleep through the nights, something disconnects from one of the little helmets and they lose some of their crew, human and Gremlin. Catching radio broadcasts they hear that New York is a wasteland, but the tides have turned in Asia as an opposing force has beaten back the aliens.

Eventually the US-based group meets with the force out of China. They’ve come to help, and we see who ‘they’ are. A variety of men and women, each with little mogwais on their shoulders join with Billy, Gizmo, the Texans, and some folks they picked up along the way. The leader of the China force explains how these mogwai were protected for generations underground, meant to be a failsafe defensive measure in case the Chinese people were ever threatened with annihilation, but the mogwai warriors were forgotten.

What makes them special is that there are females among them, and they breed to create kind and helpful mogwai that care for humans and seek companionship. Billy says that’s great, but mogwai aren’t warriors. Then when aliens come at the crew we see what else makes these mogwai special. They transform into Gremlins at will and kill the aliens with ease, then return to their gentle mogwai state.

The group moves on to New York. Kingston Falls is destroyed but Billy finds Kate alive and well in the Futterman’s old bunker. We move forward to see Billy and Kate together, Gizmo and a mate together, and they’re all happy. Humans are rebuilding, each with a mogwai by their side, Randal Peltzer’s vison of a Peltzer Pet in every home fulfilled.

Picture of Chris Sully

Chris Sully

Title: Gremlins 3
Directed by: Stephen Spielberg
Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates

The film opens on the day-to-day life of Billy Peltzer and his wife Kate, who have now become quite wealthy, thanks to the deal with Daniel Clamp. On the surface, everything seems quite normal and it seems that their life has been free from any drama or the outbreak of tiny green creatures for many years.

Billy & Kate (along with Gizmo) had taken Daniel Clamp up on his offer to work together and had been involved in many projects together, but had always kept Gizmo a secret from the rest of the world – part of their business agreement and something that they all agreed would make the most sense, considering the possible problems that could come from Gizmo being integrated into society.

It’s 2021 and the events of the first two Gremlins films have become a distant memory to most. In 1990 the entire world saw the events of Clamp Center unfold on TV, as hosted by Grandpa Fred, but most believed it to be a hoax.

There were however those who believed everything they saw and sought out to locate the Gremlins. Their attempts were widely publicized, but always ended in failure, which just added to the mystery.

It’s Christmas time in New Kingston Falls, the big tiny town created by Clamp and the Peltzers. As had been the tradition for years, Billy and Kate are hosting their annual Christmas dinner, but most of their relatives had passed, so it’s Billy’s Mom, a small group of friends and their lifelong friend Pete (played again by Corey Feldman).

The dinner goes well, everyone says their goodbyes and heads towards their respective homes. Billy & Kate head to bed. It isn’t until they awake the next morning and go to check on Gizmo that they notice something is very wrong. Gizmo is freaked out and trying to tell them something. He keeps saying uh-oh, then points to a wet spot on the floor. He musters up the strength to say one word …… “Pete.”

Being that it’s 2021, and there was always a concern for their safety, the Peltzer’s were smart enough to install cameras throughout the house, including Gizmo’s room. They check the footage to find that Pete had sprayed water on Gizmo, created 4 more Mogwai and then put them outside the window in a bag, which he retrieved when leaving their house. All of their security and measures to keep out those who tried to locate Gizmo hadn’t taken into account that they would be betrayed by an old friend.

Billy & Kate load up the car and speed over to Pete’s house. They barge in to find Pete, surrounded by several well dressed men with guns. They’re yelling at him, beating him and threatening his life because he hadn’t come through on “his end of the deal.” He was supposed to deliver the creatures, but instead they had found these “pod things.”

It didn’t take long to figure out that Pete had gotten himself into some big trouble and had promised these men a Mogwai to get himself out of said trouble. He had betrayed the Peltzers, created new Mogwai from Gizmo & brought them home to hand off to these guys but somewhere along the way the Mogwai hadn’t gotten ahold of something to snack on….. after midnight.

The men were now threatening the Peltzers as well, and weren’t really paying attention to what was going on with the pods. Before they even know what’s happening, Gremlins are attacking the men with guns and destroying the house. Shots are fired and the well dressed men manage to take each other out with their guns… all but one.

The rest of the night is spent in similar fashion to the first Gremlins film, but this time with the Peltzers & Pete trying to stop the Gremlins and this new addition to the crew, named Antonio, keeping them in check with a gun, while trying to take the Gremlin alive.

During all of this craziness, Gizmo emerges from the back seat of the Peltzer’s car. He knew they would need his help and had watched enough movies and TV to know what to do next. He waited for his moment and set several traps around the house, just like he saw in Home Alone, to take down the criminal and the Gremlins.

Eventually, through a weird mixture of sci-fi, horror and comedy, Gizmo saves the day by taking out all of the “bad guys.” Pete begs for forgiveness and, being the generous, sweet people they are, Billy & Kate forgive him.

The Peltzers and Gizmo return home.

All is well…… or is it?

In a final scene we see a cut to a secret government lab, where Greta (the sexy pinup Gremlin) is being held in a cage. The scientists and men in suits in the area are all freaking out. One voice is heard over a radio … “He’s been spotted. We’ve located the original…. Agents are moving in now.”

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