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'Gremlins' Was So Intense That It Led To The Invention Of The PG-13 Rating

While Gremlins may be rated PG, the film was so psychologically scarring to some that it triggered the dawn of the PG-13 rating. While many were lured into thinking the 1984 flick was family-friendly thanks to cuddly Mogwai Gizmo gracing the cover, the film's intense and nightmare-inducing moments sparked a controversy that birthed a new classification of age-suitability for cinema.

In the early summer of 1984, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins hit the big screens almost back-to-back. Temple of Doom teetered on the fence of its PG rating, and two weeks later, Gremlins shook things up again, prompting the Motion Picture Association of America to reevaluate its rating system. Thanks to the Gremlins rating controversy, the PG-13 classification was born and saw its debut when Red Dawn hit theaters a few months later.

  • The Biology Teacher Is Taken Out With His Own Syringe

    After Gizmo spawns multiple Mogwai, the biology teacher, Mr. Hanson, keeps one for himself. However, his Mogwai is angered by the constant needles poking and prodding it for blood tests, ultimately prompting the creature to seek revenge. 

    Turning the tables on the teacher, the Mogwai pierces him in the backside with one of the teacher's own syringes, leaving his remains on the floor for Billy to find. 

  • Hundreds Of Gremlins Are Eliminated When Billy Blows A Movie Theater Up

    At one point in the film, all the Gremlins gather around the cinema screen to watch a theatrical showing of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While the Gremlins are distracted with soda, snacks, and celebration, Billy starts a gas leak in the building.

    He lights a flame and runs, transforming the building into a soaring-high pile of dust before the Gremlins can escape.

  • The Evil Gremlins Use Gizmo As A Dartboard

    The lovable Gizmo is too docile for his own good when he has to defend himself against the Gremlins. From the creatures' first encounter with Gizmo, they find ways to torment the cute, furry Mogwai.

    After they transform into their vile, demonic forms, they take Gizmo hostage and strap him to a dartboard. The unfortunate fuzzball then becomes the centerpiece of their twisted game of darts.

  • The Cute, Cuddly Gizmo Is Just A Trojan Horse For The Depraved Gremlins

    One of the rules of owning a Mogwai is that they can never get wet. When Gizmo, the pet Mogwai, is splashed with paint water, he screams in pain and spawns into multiple Mogwai. While Gizmo is the cute and cuddly type, the Gremlins that spawn from him are anything but.

    Most of the Gremlins are vile, aggressive creatures that spit and bite, all for their own personal enjoyment. For the rest of the film, the deranged Mogwai continue to do as they please, feeding a constant hunger for crude actions and demonstrating no remorse.