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Exploring Gremlins 2 The New Batch – Episode 152

24 Responses to “Exploring Gremlins 2 The New Batch – Episode 152”

  • Viewer:

    While I love the first movie and like the sequel, it’s really not that hard to see why it didn’t connect as well with the audience. It was too unsubtle, too over the top and too cartoony. This was borderline slapstick comedy. The perfect balance of every element in the first movie (from drama, black humor, action and horror to effects, characters, Gremlins build up and subtle yet clear satire) is what made it great for me. Here, they go nuts, and while it is still fun, it’s not (if you’ll allow me to be ridiculously pretentious for a second here) as deep as the first one. Great cameos though.

    Still, I’m also glad they made this and I’m still sad that they didn’t wrap it up with a trilogy (maybe in the third one, we could have seen where they came from or something).

    Anyway, great video, can’t wait for the other two January reviews. You only missed to mention that the “intermission scene” (the one with Hogan) had two version, one for the VHS and one for the theatrical release.

  • I always enjoy the little homages and in-joke references to movies of the ’40s and ’50s in Dante’s films, probably because those are the kinds of movies I grew up watching on VHS as a little kid.

    I think its pity he’s not headlining any big material now. With his connection with audiences of the 80s and 90s and his love of old school cheese classics I think he could be a powerhouse producer, coming up with ideas for some place like Disney to try and develop movies that can appeal to the adults who saw things like Gremlins as kids and attract the current generation of kids with charm and good storytelling.

    Animated films, Pixar and Dreamworks especially seem to be heading in that direction lately, blending warm appealing often doll like characters with darker surroundings and sudden twists so I think it’d be a good match.

  • jack:

    I didn’t know Gremlins 2 was not a financial success.

    I figured given its more comical direction it would appeal to a larger audience than its darker original.

    I thought Dick Tracy flopped but it did actually make 3 x the budget in box office sales.

  • MH:

    Why did it not do as well? I think I know why. I saw the first as a child and it was thrilling. It was horrific. I was excited to see this, and was disappointed. It was different tonally. It was too comedic and the climax was not as strong as the original. My father watched it with me, and he kept commenting on, “What type of mind thinks up creatures like these?” He had a strong reaction to the ending that I had not seen him have to a movie before. He forcefully said, “Sick!” I also didn’t care for the bestiality.
    The original, I think he liked, but he really disliked the sequel. The response of Forester at the end is what did it for him and he commented about it after the movie.
    The reason, I think, the movie did not do as well was that it was too bizarre for people. The first had a small town and family setting that grounded it so the audience could more easily buy the creature elements. Without that context it probably seemed too strange. I think the bestiality caused the audience to turn away.
    Shortly before the movie came out, Phoebe Cates promoted the movie, saying that parents shouldn’t be afraid to take children as the violence was cartoonish. The violent reputation of the original might have also have had an effect.
    When I was at Disney’s Pleasure Island in Florida, the cinemas there had multiple screens showing “Dick Tracy”, but for “Gremlins 2”, I think one. There was a buzz with the first movie, people talking about it, but with the sequel, I don’t recall one person at school saying a word about it.

  • Alter Undying:

    Gremlins 2 has a special place in my heart. Me and my Husband were in an apartment at the time and suddenly our TV turns on by itself. What is it playing? Gremlins 2. So we stopped what we were doing to watch it because we both love that film.

    The Movie ran until the credits then our TV turned itself off. We both looked to each other, looked at the TV and went. “Nawh.”

    • Jason:

      to quote the ending of the original Gremlins, “Turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds. ‘Cause you never can tell. There just might be a gremlin in your house.”

  • mogens:

    i have heard rumors of an 3rd one in prodution

  • I’m a fan of the Brainy Gremlin,too and love how hogwild they really went with this film in terms of creativity. I remember when Dick Tracy came out and while Gremlins 2 I would see again in a heartbeat, you can’t say the same for DT(one big flaw in that movie is they used every single Dick Tracy villain in the deck and then wiped them all out!).

    Love that movie theater sequence and also that Girl Gremlin,she was a hoot! Great job,Cecil and Handsome Eric:)

  • demonknight:

    Handsome Eric’s best work. Good episode, although I did notice several flaws. Written by Chris Haas? Charlie wrote it. Cameo by Dick Bartel? Paul Bartel. Minor nitpicks in an otherwise fantastic episode. Also, no mention of Eddie Quist? For shame.
    The problem with this one is that it hits you wrong the first time. I rented Gremlins for the first time about 8 years back and loved it. The next day, I went back to Hollywood Video and got the sequel. I hated it. A year goes by and I get it for $5 at Stop and Shop. I watch it again, and I love the hell out of it. I like it more each time I see it.

  • Cristiona:

    I just love this movie. Even though I can’t hear “New York New York” any more without hearing the gremlins singing.

    I have to agree with you on Gremlins 2 being better, but I always assumed it was an age thing, namely I saw the original when it came out and I was a little too young, while I was in high school when I saw 2. I should do a double feature some time and revisit them.

  • Steve:

    Great episode as usual. I’d put the Brain Gremlin right up there with Audrey II as being one of the best puppet/animatronics/FX ever.

  • Hi Cecil.

    It’s been quite a few years since I saw “Gremlins 2,” but I do remember first seeing it sometime at the end of 1990-early 1991, when I was 8 years old. I always did enjoy these movies…especially Gizmo. I saw Howie Mandel in person in 2005 and 2006 in Atlantic City, and he talked about how the Gizmo voice is such a turn-on for girls, but how quickly they forget that it’s practically the same as his Bobby and Skeeter voice. I grew up with all three, and love all three voices.

    Robert Picardo is the man! I met him in 2012 at the Stargate Convention in Chicago (I have no shame in admitting my geekiness), and he is such a great and talented man – I had a chance to talk to him (he’s from Philadelphia, and I live in the vicinity of the city). If you ever have the opportunity to check out some of his singing, it is worth it. His rendition of “You Are My Sunshine” and his forced crowd sing-a-long in 2012 was priceless, only wish I had my camcorder with me.

    I always learn so much from your videos, and it’s sad to see that this film wasn’t a bigger hit, it’s just way too much fun! Also, do you remember the Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck introduction before the movie? I have it recorded on a DVD in my collection – HBO amazingly retains the opening instead of plastering some generic Warner Bros. logo, which is priceless. Is this available on the Gremlins DVD as well? It would just seem wrong not to include it!

    Thanks a million for your awesome behind-the-scenes look! Looking forward to seeing your next video!

  • Dar:

    Great homage video!

    I saw this when it came out. I even recall they gave away a free t-shirt with the movie ticket which I still have.

    It really is a fun movie and I enjoyed it back then as a 14 year old.

    I guess it didn’t do well because the first one was too distant (as you said) but also was very much tied to the early 80’s, while by the late 80’s you had movie audiences, especially younger ones, who wanted “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and the like. Maybe Gremlins just wasn’t “cool” enough (as in the “Vanilla Ice cool” of that era)?

    Looking back from today 1990 and 1984 seem very close to each other in feel, but back then they felt very different eras.

    Thanks again for another superb video.

  • Brig:

    This was one of my favorite movies as a little girl – I loved Gizmo! I’ve never seen the first one, but I’ve been told that it’s completely different from its sequel and it wouldn’t be something that I would enjoy. Great review!

    The NES Gremlins 2 game was equally awesome.

  • demonknight:

    Guessing Phantasm is next.

  • Roy:

    After Phantasm and They Live (underrated gem, indeed), what’s next or am I being too quick on the draw?

    Also, Cecil, since you’re a James Caan fan, go check out the Criterion Collection version of Michael Mann’s “Thief”.http://www.criterion.com/films/28024-thief

  • mogens:

    BOTH DICK TRACY AND GREMLINS 2 WAS AWESOME

  • Ike Carr:

    I saw this when I was in the theater back in the summer of 1990, and enjoyed it quite a bit. However, that night I caught SISKEL & EBERT that night where their review basically eviscerated it. And thanks to that same review I never could watch the NEW BATCH with out thinking of their comments lambasting the film. Thus wringing out any of the enjoyment I had with it. And it started a growing hatred of the two critics as well for ruining the film for me.

    I have to say I’m surprised as well hear DICK TRACY did as well as it did. As I remember, the summer of ’90 was rather a poor earner that year other than GHOST, and nothing really stuck with fans that year like the previous blockbuster summer.

    • Cecil:

      Ebert especially seemed to have lost the enjoyment of movies somewhere along the way. I don’t know if I’ve seen as many as him but I’d warrant that I’ve seen way more than most and I have yet to be tired of films in the way that he was. There seemed to be almost no joy left in cinema to him anymore.

      Dick Tracy was more a success in marketing at the time. They had Dick Tracy everything. It went over for a bit but had no lasting value, much like the film.

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