Saturday, September 7, 2013

MR Gremlins 2

It took about six years to have the Gremlins back on theater.

This time they take over Manhattan! Here comes The New Batch!

Movie: Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Directed by Joe Dante
Release date 1990
Genre Horror comedy/parody
Country USA

After the immense unexpected success of the first Gremlins, a sequel was a natural decision.

But while it gave birth to an entire "critter invasion" genre, Joe Dante didn't simply make another installment. Instead he opted for a complete deconstruction of the first film and Hollywood in general.

Due to the success of the original, Warner Bros wanted a sequel right away.

Thankfully Joe Dante didn't let them pick just anyone else to make a simple bland generic copy-paste blockbuster sequel.

The early scripts saw the Gremlins invade about any possible place from Las Vegans to even planet Mars!

But none of these directions went far enough. In the end Dante accepted to come back only if they'd allow him complete creative control over the production, and triple the budget.

What followed is probably one of his best, most creative and most personal projects to date...

The film begins with the death of the mogwai creature Gizmo's original owner - Mr. Wing.

Now Gizmo ended up in the hands of scientists at Clamp Enterprises, a building located in the heart of Manhattan. The head researcher Dr. Catheter wants to dissect and analyze Gizmo entirely.

But thanks to a coincidence that is precisely where Billy Peltzer is now working alongside his fiancee Katie.

Billy tries to save Gizmo, but a new batch of mogwai offsprings start to pop up when Gizmo gets accidentally wet again. Katie brings the wrong mogway home and more and more mogwai appear.

Did they eat after midnight?

What ensues is a horde of new Gremlins running amok all over the building.

Billy plans to use the natural sunlight the next day to flush 'em out, but it's not going to be that easy this time.

Meanwhile the invasion finally gets to the laboratory situated on the upper floor. Thanks to a "brain serum" the Gremlins get a new leader in the form of Brain.

Brain comes up with a sunblock formula to allow them to invade the streets.

From a small town to an entire building in New York City. This sequel amps up everything! More Gremlins, more crazyness and more slapstick humor!

A chaotic anarchy reigns through this entire picture, you can say it's the entire theme of this sequel!

The film principally exploits and plays with this sense of anarchic terror that comes with the Gremlins, more than the actual horror plot from the first one.

Joe Dante made this episode lighter on purpose.

Like an extremely violent cartoon, dark, with plenty of slapstick.

The films enjoy poking fun at the absurd rules of the series.

There are several parodies of films such as Rambo, Wizard of Oz and countless other classics!

Gremlins 2 once again stars Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates, both back more mature in this less mature setting. They have a great chemistry on screen and seem to have had a lot of fun this time.

Christopher Lee plays here the big bad villain, in a perfect tribute to old classics.

Tony Randall voices the intelligent Brain Gremlin, while Frank Welker is back to voice the secondary main Gremlin villain, a reincarnated Stripe from the first film, Mohawk.

The opening film sets the tone of the entire film.

A Looney Tunes segments animated by none other than Chuck Jones himself. Bugs, Daffy & Porky all make some appearances in Gremlins 2. Chuck Jones had actually quit animation but Joe Dante was able to get him back for the occasion. The film starts with a classic Looney Tunes opening title and ends with a classic "Th-th-th-that's all, folks!"

Gremlins 2 is full of meta references and self-referential humor. The gremlins do know their pop culture references!

Mocking the first film from time to time, such as Kate's traumatic past Holiday, another Gremlin flashing her again, etc.

Gremlins 2 is clearly a product of its time, the 1990s, but not solely depending on that decade to still be considered as fresh nowadays.

It has great much more impressive special effects.

They made the gremlins and mogwais more diverse. Great puppetry and even stop motion. But in return they also had to reduce the quality and work put into the mogwais. They're a bit simpler so they could focus the better work left on the gremlins.

Finally the film is served by a great score even inspired by Rambo directly in its later half, more epic. It was composed by Jerry Goldsmith again. And contains a memorable classic Frank Sinatra piece, "New York, New York"!

Overall, it's the perfect original sequel!

Strangely the first one was a more straightforward horror movie, this Gremlins 2 can be summarized as a parody of the first film!
Joe Dante was smart enough to simply avoid the trap of simply replicating an identical experience and went for a change of tone. The result is a crazy chaotic experience that really match the gremlins themselves.

While it might seem too random at times, I find it a perfect balance between horror (or horror tropes at least) and comedy.

The film generated a horde of videogames, plushes, toys and other merchandising products!

A security crew ends up mocking the "Gremlins rules" and proposing scenarios to Billy, theories what would happen if a mogwai was eating on a plane passing another timezone, etc. This really gives the tone of what follows next.

Fun enough, Joe Dante would go on to direct his own Looney Tunes live-action movie, very much in tune with this second Gremlins.

I give it:
3 / 3 Necronomicons!

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