Dante subtly shifts gears into horror movie territory as the Gremlins hatch out of their slime-laden cocoons.
The scene is all the more effective thanks to the terrified Gizmo, who watches in horror from the safety of a motorcycle helmet. Aww.
The New Batch
While it isn’t quite as great as the original, Gremlins 2: The New Batch isn’t half bad either, thanks largely to Dante’s unwillingness to take the whole thing too seriously.
“Obviously there was no real need for another Gremlins movie, so I approached the sequel as irreverently as possible,” says the director.
“Which got me in a bit of trouble: 'You can't make fun of the merchandising!' - spoofing the arbitrary 'rules' and everything else.”
By the film’s end, the wise old shopkeeper has been proved right, and the message that a pet is not just for Christmas is rammed joyfully home.
“You do with Mogwai what your society... has done with all of nature's gifts,” he says reproachfully. “You do not understand. You are not ready.”
Gizmo Saves The Day
If you’ve watched the scene in which Gizmo saves the day whilst driving a hot pink toy car, and still don’t love the film… well there’s really nothing we can do for you.
Naturally, there have been all manner of tie-in toys and other assorted crap released to cash in on the Gremlins license, and while some of it is rubbish… everyone would like their own cuddly Gizmo, right
Especially one that dances.
This May Hurt A Little
Poor old Turman’s character goes out in hilariously undignified, as a Gremlin plunges a lethal needle into his backside. Still, it could have been worse.
The original script had him dying with hundreds of them plunged into his face!
While it might not have the starriest cast, Gremlins can boast some sterling supporting work from the likes of Glynn Turman and Hoyt Axton, the latter of whom improvised nearly all of his lines.
And then there’s Corey Feldman as the klutz who gets Gizmo wet in the first place.
Columbus’s script buzzes with quotable lines, including this pithy exchange between Sheriff Frank and Deputy Brent.
“Let me drive,” wails the Deputy. “No, you’re drunk,” comes the reply. “You always get to drive,” grumbles Brent. “That’s cause I’m the sheriff, asshole.” Gold.
A Boys Life
Gremlins is packed to the rafters with in-jokes, but one of our absolute favourites is the movie playing at a local theatre, which is entitled A Boy’s Life .
The significance? It was the working title for ET . And Watch The Skies ? Try Close Encounters .
Of course, some Gremlins can’t hold their drink, and decide to behave in a regrettable manner.
Kudos to Joe Dante for including a Gremlin who takes it upon himself to flash Phoebe Cates!