There’s nothing better than a good old showdown in a horror movie. Those elongated scenes where a hero or ancillary character face off to the monster/creatures/killer. Our characters strap on the gears of war and go head first into the depths of evil! Ripley’s fight with the queen Xenormorph. Lionels lawnmower scene. Ash’s fight with evil itself.
One face off scene I love is in Gremlins. Where sweet Mrs. Peltzer is at home baking gingerbread men and is soon terrorized by the little monsters.
I wish this clip included the wind up to that inevitable showdown. Where Mrs Peltzer hears the sound coming from upstairs and grabs the knives and then comes down stairs while “Do You Hear What I Hear” is playing on the record. Such a great build up of terror.
This scene is epic because the Gremlins don’t actually attack Mrs Peltzer. To be honest, Mrs. Peltzer is the antagonist in this scene! The little Gremlins are just really happy to be eating the gingerbread men and other Christmas goodies! But Mrs. Peltzer is the one that comes in and instigates the fight! WAIT! Maybe Gremlins aren’t actually bad at all. Think about Gremlins overall. They’re actually defending themselves!
One Gremlin is innocently eating icing from the mixer. Who doesn’t enjoy doing that every Christmas season? He’s getting his sugar high and this woman just flicks the switch that kills him! Now, the other Gremlin witnesses this murder. He’s like “Hey bitch, that was my brother!” But he can’t talk human, so he throws plates at her because he doesn’t have a knife to defend himself. But Mrs. Peltzer just narrows in on him and stabs the poor creature to death! Another Gremlin has no choice but to attack with the cooking rack. You can see he’s like “PLEASE STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! We’re just foreigners from Japan!” But she sprays him with cooking spray and then nukes his ass! This pure xenophobia right there.
Now the Gremlins go into offense mode and why not? Mrs. Peltzer declared war on them! All they know is pain and every run in with a human has been bad thus far. Notice how Stripe is never the one to attack. He’s just watching everything. He blows his nose with the window drapes because he’s crying from losing his relatives. All they wanted to do was go to Disney World and ride splash mountain!