Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Switches up the Gremlins formula to make something new

Some might not like the changes

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Gremlins 2:  The New Batch

Studio:  Ambin Entertainment

Genre(s):  Comedy/Horror

Release Date(s):  June 15, 1990

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


We’re just trying to be civilized!

Mr. Wing (Keye Luke) has died, leaving Gizmo scared and alone in Chinatown. When he is found by twin scientists Martin and Lewis (Don and Dan Stanton) from the ultra-modern Clamp Enterprises, Gizmo is about to be subjected to their experiments under the watchful eye of their boss Doctor Catheter (Christopher Lee). Little does Gizmo know that his old master Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) and his girlfriend Kate (Phoebe Cates) also work in Clamp Enterprises.  When Gizmo gets wet and the new mogwai are set loose in the Building, all hell breaks loose when they’re transformed into gremlins. Now with the building on lockdown, Billy, Kate, the Futtermans (Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph), a up-and-comer named Marla (Haviland Morris), an old TV horror host named Grandpa Fred (Robert Prosky), and the building’s owner Daniel Clamp (John Glover) must stop the gremlins before they escape into New York City…but the gremlins have found the science lab and they are changing too.


Not creepy at all….

Directed by Joe Dante, Gremlins 2: The New Batch followed Gremlins in 1984. While the first movie was a horror-comedy, this film is more of a comedy-horror. Some critics liked the change of pacing of the film, while others felt that the original film’s approach was better.

I loved Gremlins, and I loved Gremlins 2: The New Batch for not being Gremlins all over again. The movie is a smart satiracle look at the film Gremlins which admittedly had a lot of problems itself. Gremlins 2 changed-up the formula enough without ruining the original film.


Gremlins, gremlins bite after bite…what a tasty way to satisfy your gremlin appetite (The catchy Gremlins cereal jingle)

I have to credit Gremlins 2’s script for a lot of what made the film work. The studios wanted Dante to make the film immediately, but Dante didn’t want to. The movie smartly incorporated the excess of the ’80s into the script, and Glover’s is a Ted Turner/Donald Trump type character. The whole idea of the skyscraper world is ripe for satire (and horror) and this movie does it so much better than something like Poltergeist III which used a similar setting (I will say Cronenberg’s Shivers also works).

The gremlins continue to be quite cool and the mutated gremlins are perfect for changing up the story. Stripe from Gremlins was a great villain, but Brain, Mowhawk, Daffy, Lenny, George, the flying gremlin, the lightning gremlin, the vegetable gremlin, and the spider gremlin all provided visually different enemies and plot directions for Dante to work into his parodies.


Hulk Hogan kicks Gremlin ass!

The cast also is quite fun. I was glad to see a majority of the actors back (ok, not the Futtermans who were clearly dead in Gremlins). Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates may not be the best actors, but they had to come back for it to work (plus it leads to the great Abraham Lincoln birthday joke on Cates’ behalf). John Glover as the Trump-esque mogul and Star Trek alum Robert Picardo as his aid also are good.  It was nice to see Christopher Lee in this film because at the time (before his late life revival), he had almost disappeared from films.  Robert Prosky is good as the aging horror host (who does resemble a lot of horror hosts) and his photographer Gedde Watanabe provide laughs.  There also cameos by Julia Sweeney, Leonard Maltin, Jerry Goldsmith, John Astin, Henry Gibson, Dick Butkus, and Bubba Smith.  Plus you can’t forget to credit Howie Mandell and Tony Randall as the voices of Gizmo and Brains (plus you have voice over extraordinaire Frank Welker providing voices). The movie also has an interlude in which the film “breaks” and Hulk Hogan appears (he was replaced by a whole new segment for video).


Give me some sugar!

Though some were critical of it, I enjoyed Gremlins 2: The New Batch, and I enjoyed the original. The two movies are different beasts, and both have their own positive and negative aspects. There have been talks of a Gremlins 3 and there has also been talk of a Gremlins remake. I wouldn’t endorse a remake, but a sequel could be interesting…if it is done in the same vein (or as something entirely new much like this film).

Related Links:

Gremlins (1984)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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