Gremlins II: The New Batch
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Film: Gremlins II: The New Batch
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Charles S. Haas
Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates and John Glover
This film takes place in New York City. We are in the store of Keye Luke. A man working for the biggest developer in the city comes in; the man who enters is played by Robert Picardo. They bring in a television with a message from John Glover, who is the developer. It turns out that he is trying to create an updated Chinatown and the only one holding out is Luke. He refuses the offer, but Picardo points out that he isn’t doing too well. We also get to hear and meet Gizmo the Mogwai as well.
The film then moves six weeks into the future. Luke has died and now Glover owns all of the area. The building is being torn down, but Gizmo escapes. He can’t get away though as he is picked up by twins Don and Dan Stanton.
We then meet the young couple from the original film as they go to work in Glover’s building; they are played by Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates. We learn that they do not have a lot of money and are struggling to get by. Galligan works in Glover’s art department while Cates works as a tour guide for the building. The building is the first completely automated office building.
Picardo visits the department and yells at Galligan for violating rules, which are pretty strict. He also gets scolded by his boss, played by Haviland Morris. We see that Galligan has befriended an aged, horror film host who dresses as Dracula, he is played by Robert Prosky. He doesn’t like what he does though.
We see that Gizmo is brought to a genetics lab in the same building. A delivery man hears Gizmo humming and repeats the tune while dropping off a package on Galligan’s floor. Galligan goes up to the lab and breaks Gizmo out. Before they can leave, Glover shows up. He compliments Galligan on his drawings. This interests Morris and she convinces him to come to dinner with her as a ‘business meeting’. He tells Cates he has to break their plans and asks her to get Gizmo. She is bothered when she sees Galligan leave with Morris.
Before she can get there though, Gizmo gets wet due to a careless maintenance man. The mogwais that come from him this time have different personalities. There is stripe, who is the leader at first. There is also one with a bad attitude, one with buck teeth and then a crazy one. Gizmo is shoved into the air ducts. When Cates arrives, she finds the crazy one and takes him home instead.
When Galligan gets home, he realizes that his girlfriend has brought the wrong one home. He also knows that he needs to prevent the others from eating after midnight. He is arrested while trying to turn off the water in the building. He cannot prevent them from eating.
Cates bails him out of jail and he immediately goes back to the building. He tries to convince Picardo and the rest of the command crew of what is in the building and that they need to stop it. They do not believe him, but soon change their mind when they are attacked.
What makes it even worse is that the gremlins break into the genetics lab and many of them go through different changes. One grows bat-wings, one becomes super smart and can talk, and there is even one that becomes electricity. Can these creatures be stopped before night? Or will they go into the city to create havoc?
I really liked the first one, as that one is more of a horror film. This one definitely leans more toward being a comedy. What I really like about this one is that the other Mogwais all have a different personality and they carry them over when they become gremlins. I really like them drinking different things in the genetic lab to help create different gremlins as well, makes it different from just putting on different clothes and acting certain ways. I also like the issues this film brings up. There is technology that doesn’t work against tradition. This also brings up an issue of modern vs. traditional as well. Then we have Prosky who doesn’t like what he is doing and wants to be normal while Galligan likes that he isn’t. I felt the acting was pretty good, the story isn’t bad and action/horror is less in this one, but still enjoyable.
My big issue is that this one became more of parody, mocking things in the first one and other popular things. I like that about this film, but I feel that they scaled back the horror to include more of that. This one also has a spot in the middle where the film cuts off and has a little intermission. It is kind of funny, but I wasn’t a big fan.
With that said, this is a good film. It is really a comedy with some horror movie elements mixed in. I think the mogwais and the gremlins with their different abilities and personalities are good. The story isn’t bad. I do wish it was a little bit scarier and maybe a little bit less focused on the comedy aspect. This film does bring up some interesting social issues that are relevant today. I used to watch this film a lot as a kid and it is still enjoyable to watch even today. I would recommend giving this film a viewing.
My Rating: 7 out of 10