Movie #356 2020: Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

Couldn’t resist. I loved Gremlins so much that I had to watch the sequel immediately afterwards. They’re infectious!… in more ways than one.

As this second instalment took six years to arrive after the first film, it picks up roughly six years after the events that occurred in the first movie too. A good move. Our heroes Billy and Kate have now moved to New York City, where they work at the country’s biggest corporation. Unexpectedly, Billy one day hears Gizmo’s signature song, and finds that he has been kidnapped by a mad science lab that operates within the building. He seeks to rescue him, but quickly realises that the scientists don’t know of the three pivotal Mogwai rules and all hell breaks loose.

What a great example of an absolutely unnecessary yet still ridiculously fun sequel. No, we didn’t need it. But do we want it? Without hesitation: hell yes. There’s even talk of a third movie thirty years on, so keep your fingers crossed for that.

The whole thing is entirely bizarre, in all honesty, and it’s bloody brilliant. I’ve never seen a kids’ movie that is so self-aware, so meta, and not afraid to poke fun at itself. Truly unique. The sequence with the gremlins taking over the cinema? Amazing. What a great way to get back at the critics of the first film.

Whilst the first movie arguably comes with the better plot, this one is actually much funnier. As an added bonus it stars Christopher Lee, so all of the Dracula references are even better than they would have been without his presence. In fact, there are many, many allusions to a bunch of pop culture references, and it’s extremely fun to try and spot them all.

Once again, what a fitting and entertaining soundtrack. Jerry Goldsmith deserves all the praise; he’s so underrated, and that’s the hill I choose to die on.

The New Batch is not quite as tightly put together as the first instalment, but my god it’s so fun. The only qualm? Not enough Gizmo. But there definitely is just the right amount of crazy, bizarre gremlin antics. For once, I was left with a feeling that I wished it was longer. When does that ever happen?

Know what? Fuck it. This is just as good as Gremlins, albeit for different reasons. So it gets the same rating from me. Whatcha gonna do?

Gremlins 2: The New Batch is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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