This week’s review is dug out of the archive thanks to the recent (and fabulous) Key & Peele sketch. I and my movie reviewing cohort saw Gremlins 2: The New Batch together during the summer of 1990, while we were formulating the idea of launching a movie review show in the fall. It’s very possible this was the movie that sparked the idea of launching a movie review show in the fall. Though the show wasn’t up and running when this was released, we found ways to cover Joe Dante’s spirited sequel a couple of times, including this review upon its home video release.
In a year packed with sequels where everything from Robocop 2 to Child’s Play 2 seemed to be trying to be a carbon copy of the original, give some credit to GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH for doing something different. While the original GREMLINS was a mix of wild humor and nasty, creature-filled horror, director Joe Dante has decided to make the follow-up lean more toward the comedy side. The most noticeable difference comes from the nasty gremlins that are created when you break the rules of care associated with the cute little Mogwai. Instead of fearsome villains, they have become broad comic characters wreaking havoc inside an all-purpose New York skyscraper. Besides the funny craziness caused by the gremlins, laughter is also generated by an omnipresent p.a. announcer promotes a new version of Casablanca, now colorized with a happier ending, and announces that the fire alarm has been pulled with an explanation of fire that begins, “Fire: ancient enemy of man….” There are plot flaws in GREMLINS 2, but certainly not enough to overshadow the fact that this movie is extremely enjoyable.