As successful as Gremlins was, it only made sense for a sequel to be made. However, the director decided to make some changes with the sequel, cutting back on a lot of the horror and seriously upping the comedy aspects. And boy did they up the comedy. From cameos, to inside jokes, to breaking the fourth wall, this movie had a lot of funny moments in it. This resulted in a more kid-friendly movie, which probably made the parent’s a lot happier. So let’s get right into today’s movie, Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
The plot: When the old shopkeeper dies and his shop is demolished, Gizmo winds up being captured by a scientist and taken to his genetics lab in Clamp Towers. Billy Peltzer happens to work in the tower and after finding out that Gizmo is in the building, rescues him from the lab. He leaves him at his desk for Kate to take home while he is forced to go to a business dinner. However, a maintenance worker is fixing a water fountain and unknowingly splashes Gizmo with some water, resulting in 4 new Mogwai to appear. One of them, with a white mohawk of hair on top of it’s head, stuffs Gizmo into an air duct so that when Kate showed up, instead of Gizmo, she wound up taking a hyperactive Mogwai with crazy eyes. When Billy gets home and realizes what happened, he and Kate head back to Clamp Towers to try and stop the new Mogwai from becoming Gremlins but Billy is arrested trying to shut off the building’s water supply. The next day, the Gremlins hatch and while three of the Gremlins manage to set off the sprinklers in order to multiply, Mohawk grabs Gizmo and proceeds to torture him. Several of the Gremlins head up to the genetics laboratory and drink several of the different serums and begin mutating. One Gremlin turned into pure electricity, one turned into a bat, one wound up growing vegetables form it’s body, and one had it’s intelligence increased. As the Gremlins rampage throughout the tower, Billy and Daniel Clamp (the owner of the tower) make plans to kill the Gremlins by tricking them into going into the lobby and exposing them to sunlight. As Clamp heads out of the tower to take care of matters on the outside, Billy winds up being captured by the crazy-eyed Gremlin but is rescued by his old neighbor, Murray Futterman. Kate and Marla, Billy’s boss, are trying to escape but find themselves captured by Mohawk, who has now mutated into a Spider-Gremlin, but they are rescued by Gizmo, who decided to fight back against his bully. With the Gremlins gathered in the lobby, the plan is set to go off but a sudden rainstorm forces Billy to come up with a second plan. Billy has Murray use a fire hose to hose down the Gremlins then transfers a phone call from Daniel’s office to send the Electric Gremlin, who was on hold in the phone lines, down to the waterlogged Gremlins in the lobby, killing off all of them.
Gremlins 2 received mixed reviews from the critics, earning 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most critics felt that it lacked any real plot and relied on nothing more than sight gags to carry the movie. Some critics also felt that the sequel was nothing more than a tool to sell merchandise. The audience did not seem to care for the sequel as it wound up making just over $41 million at the box office, over $100 million less than the original film.
I like this movie for one main reason, it is pure mindless comedy. I’m not saying it as good as the first one, because it isn’t, but this is a funny movie. There really wasn’t much plot or story, just the Gremlins causing mass chaos like they do best. I thought that the introduction of the genetically altered Gremlins was a good way to keep the movie from looking completely like a rehash of the original. There really wasn’t as much horror in this movie but the comedy portions were pretty good. One of my favorite scenes involved Leonard Maltin doing a review of the original movie before he gets attacked by a couple of Gremlins. As for the acting, Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates were kind of “meh” in my opinion but John Glover (of Smallville fame) was great. The effects and puppets were decent and entertaining, especially for all of the physical comedy. A lot of laughs that doesn’t require much plot, makes for an entertaining movie to watch.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5