aka Gremlins 2
106 min., 1990
Written by Charlie Haas
Directed by Joe Dante
My rating: ★★★★★
Not as dark, but just as much fun.
* * *
A little time has passed since the end of Gremlins and now Billy (Zach Galligan) is working as an artist for Clamp Enterprises in Manhattan and lives with his now fiancée Kate (Phoebe Cates) who also works for Clamp, as a tour guide. We also see that Gizmo’s (again voiced by Howie Mandel) old home is destroyed and he is caught. He gets experimented on by some scientists and they show their results to Dr. Catheter (Christopher Lee). After some more craziness Gizmo escapes but is sprayed by a drinking fountain and from that comes the three “main” gremlins. The gremlins start to raise some more hell and get into a bunch of trouble, and then they get into the science lab where they start injecting themselves with strange serums. So we get a bunch of gremlins that now have strange “powers” that are raising hell in a giant office building and the only ones that can stop them are Billy, Kate, Grandpa Fred (Robert Prosky) and Murray Futterman (Dick Miller).
The acting this time around is a lot more polished than last. I’m not saying the acting in the last was bad, it’s just this time they don’t seem as natural. Then again the whole feel of the movie is one big goof fest. Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates are great as always and having Dick Miller come back is just awesome, but one of the newcomers does some of the best work. My favorite is John Glover who plays the ultra-rich Daniel Clamp. He plays the role with so much charisma that you just love the guy and his character isn’t even the typical rich guy. He’s actually nice and helpful. Surprisingly no one in the movie is actually terrible or even remotely bad. Pay attention to the numerous cameos throughout the movie which includes Leonard Maltin and Hulk Hogan or John Wayne (depending on which version of the movie you are watching).
The effects have stepped up since the last movie and this time they took some real care with the gremlins. Since there are about a billion of the classic gremlins and a handful of the new “powered” gremlins they left the classic the exact same and concentrated on the new ones. The bat, spider and the vegetable gremlins all look awesome and the female gremlin is just a blast. Now we still get some pretty sketchy effects which do show their age, but it’s easy to forgive and forget because the whole movie is about fun and excess this time around.
This is really one of the first movies that I ever saw, that wasn’t a parody or straight up comedy, that does the whole self-aware thing, down to the part where the film (or video) breaks, the gremlins start to make shadow puppets, then Hulk Hogan appears and he starts yelling at the gremlins that are fucking with the movie. Another time is when Kate starts to tell her sad story (if you remember from the first, she really darkened the whole feel of Christmas) about a guy dressed as Abraham Lincoln, and everyone just kinda ignores her. I can’t even tell you how I almost lost my shit when the gremlins go into the big number to introduce the female gremlin. Funny and smooth is the best way I can describe this movie. Now there is still some gore in the movie, cough cough the paper shredder, so even when you are laughing blood is still flying. I love this movie, because it’s pretty much got something for everyone.Have You Read...?