Catching Up: “Gremlins 2: The New Batch”

There’s a belief that sequels are inferior to the originals. There’s also the belief that many sequels are unnecessary. Most of the time that’s true. They simply lack the story and are usually rushed. However, for some reason I don’t get, they still manage to make tons of money.

When it comes to “Gremlins 2: The New Batch”, there’s no escaping these beliefs. It may be considered a cult classic now, and all glaring problems are nothing but minor inconveniences, but if you’re still trying to convince people that your classic sequel is worth it, then make sure it can survive over the years.

This horror comedy stars “Zach Galligan (“Hatchet III”, “Nightbeasts”), Phoebe Cates (“The Anniversary Party”, “Princess Caraboo”), John Glover (“Sweet Talk”, “Sanitarium”), Robert Prosky (“The Skeptic”, “The Practice”), Robert Picardo (“Stargate: Atlantis”, “Star Trek: Voyager”), and Christopher Lee (“Night Train to Lisbon”, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”).

The film was directed by Joe Dante (“Looney Tunes: Back in Action”, “Small Soldiers”) and written by Charles S. Haas (“Martians Go Home”, “Tex”). It originally opened in theaters on June 15, 1990.

Gizmo. That about sums up the only truly appealing thing about this movie. While at first you spend time feeling sorry for Gizmo, as he’s being bullied, you quickly get over it. He begins to train himself, in a pretty funny manner. Taking cues from “Rambo” of all things is pretty adorable.

There’s also a scene where it was hilarious, for a moment, when Leonard Maltin was doing a review of the first film, and is then attacked by the current crop of mischief makers. It was meant to be a kind of spoof or ribbing of the fact that he originally gave “Gremlins” a terrible review.

There’s a very thin premise and a bunch of mayhem. What starts off as having a direction for this whole film, quickly divulges into a 45 minute, or more, grouping of scenes with Gremlins causing trouble and terrorizing people. There’s occasional spoofs thrown in, that make things slightly funny, but beyond that, it’s tiresome. I feel like the attempts at being interesting with the mayhem are too desperate. Everything you loved about the original sadly couldn’t be replicated. You may as well have just watched it again.

The film also tried to be funny with some random cut scenes of how the Gremlins interrupted the film, which ended up involving Hulk Hogan, all to the detriment of the film. It wasn’t funny. Just annoying. The Loony Tunes opening scene was more amusing.

Other than Gizmo, the only thing this film has going for it are the Gremlins. I mean that as the special effects used still make them look creepy and realistic.

I’m not entirely certain what I was expecting from this film, as I knew that it wasn’t even trying for horror anymore, but it wasn’t this. It could vry well be the time of its release, but I doubt that has any major role here.


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