Just last week, we paid our respects to the great Murray Futterman (Dick Miller) who, over the course of the two GREMLINS movies, knew a thing or two about how to handle those little suckers. But, having just revisited the original Joe Dante classic, something struck me: Can we please also give it up for Lynn Peltzer (played by Frances Lee McCain), beloved mother to Billy and devoted wife to Randall Peltzer, for being an all-around natural Gremlins ass kicker?!
When the first batch of Gremlins emerge from their cocoons, both the audience and the characters in the movie have no idea what to expect. And yet, when Mrs. Peltzer stumbles upon them in her kitchen, she takes immediate action and dispatches of them in the most brutal and violent of ways.
Let’s take a step back here for a second. GREMLINS opened to an unsuspecting general audience in the summer of 1984. It was produced by Steven Spielberg. It was Rated PG and, from the marketing, it seemed to be a fairly family-friendly affair. So plenty of parents brought their kids, thinking it’d be the ideal movie for them. And then this scene happens, which scarred children (myself included) for life! Here’s the play by play.
The first Gremlin Mrs. Peltzer spots is sticking it’s gingerbread covered face into a blender. When it’s not looking, she pops over and turns that sucker on turning him into a slimey green and black Gremlin milkshake.
Almost immediately after this, another Gremlin is standing on the kitchen counter and starts throwing plates at poor Mrs. Peltzer. She arms herself with a chef’s knife and uses a mini kitchen table as a shield and when the moment is right, she strikes! Repeatedly stabbing this little critter to death!
Next up, she picks up a bug spray can, hits the next Gremlin straight in the face with its contents and forces it back into a microwave. 30 seconds later and BOOM!
I’d hate to have to clean that mess up!
After that, she’s caught off guard by one more Gremlin, along with Stripe, the leader of the bunch, but thankfully Billy comes home just in the nick of time for the rescue. She’s then walked over to a neighbors house, but if you stop to think about it, Mrs. Peltzer’s one-on-one average against a full-on Gremlin was pretty darned good!
Another thing I noticed about Mrs. Peltzer, she fully supports her husband’s wild and outlandish inventions, no matter what. Pretty much every new scene she’s in, we can usually spot her trying in vain to use one of Randall’s contraptions even though none of them tend to work properly.
One moment that pulls on my heart strings is the automatic coffee maker. When her and her husband go up to refill their cups, a black fudge like substance starts slowly dissipating from the pump. She says, “I don’t think we can drink this.” And knowing this to be obviously true, Randall just laughs and asks, “why not?” It’s a really sweet moment between Billy’s parents that I just love.
For the above tender moments, and for literally decimating the first batch of Gremlins single-handedly and in record time, I think this hashtag is richly earned by Mrs. Peltzer.