Those of you who read my work on the site know that I’m a huge fan of Gremlins 2: The New Batch. While I won’t go as far as saying I like it more than the original Gremlins (though I know people who do), I think it’s equally as good in different ways.
While the original film is a family horror classic, impeccably crafted and audience friendly – the sequel is a different beast altogether. Warner Bros. was so jazzed on the idea of continuing the franchise that they gave director Joe Dante carte blanche to do whatever he wanted with a $50 Million budget and he went bonkers in the best way possible.
Head below for 5 Reasons Gremlins 2 Is A Masterpiece!!!
Joe Dante has repeatedly stated that this film is about entropy, which is sort of self evident when you watch it. It’s interesting how effortlessly The New Batch imports the WW2 meaning of the word “Gremlin” from the first film and applies it to the more surface-y failings of late-stage capitalism. Clamp Center is a great, modern Wild West for one man only… where nothing works.
Even the Clamp logo is perfect, a giant “C” in the shape of a wrench – squashing the earth.
While there’s no shortage of zany characters and scenarios in Clamp Center, from “Microwaving With Marge” to Dr. Catheter’s lab “Splice Of Life,” it’s the Canadian restaurant that really encapsulates the film’s tone for me. It’s something that went totally over my head when I saw the movie as a child, but when I watched it a few years back it struck me as one of the more outrageous elements even though it’s pitched at a comparatively lower key.
Billy Peltzer and Marla Bloodstone being served by a waiter dressed as a mountie, dining on chocolate mousse molded in the form of a moose’s head. Perfect.
One of the coups of the film is making John Glover’s captain of industry Daniel Clamp sort of likable. Sure, he’s boorish and full of terrible ideas, but those qualities stem from a lack of self awareness instead of outright malice. It may seem like small potatoes but character reversals like this, when “the bad guys” are not at all what you’re expecting them to be, can really breathe fresh life into the experience.
After being tied to the train tracks and generally abused by the gaggle of Gremlins that have invaded the Center, poor Gizmo finally decides to stop being passive. The result? Some weight training, some punching bag work, the construction of a paper clip and rubber band hunting bow.
Moments later he’s wearing a Rambo-esque red headband and shooting flaming arrows at the Gremlin spider bearing down on Kate and Marla. As Billy puts it, “I guess they pushed him too far.”
Kudos to Gremlins 2 for addressing the audience’s natural questioning of “the rules” after the original film. It dares to have characters ask stuff like, “what if he’s eating in an airplane and the cross the time zone?”
It’s a great way of acknowledging the imperfect logic of the film while simultaneously reminding you to forget about it and enjoy the movie.
Actually, there are so many reasons to love this movie. From the different mutations and personalities bestowed upon the various Gremlins to the immortal line, “Mister, welcome to the Men’s Room!”
What’s your favorite?