Combustible Celluloid
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With: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover, Robert Prosky, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lee, Haviland Morris, Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, Gedde Watanabe, Keye Luke, Kathleen Freeman, Don Stanton, Shawn Nelson, Paul Bartel, Julia Sweeney, John Astin, Henry Gibson, Leonard Maltin, Hulk Hogan, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith, Howie Mandel (voice), Tony Randall (voice)
Written by: Charles S. Haas
Directed by: Joe Dante
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 106
Date: 06/15/1990

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Corporate Shenanigans

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch is actually better than the original Gremlins (1984) in many ways: it's darker and more cynical, contains more pop culture references and takes on a bigger target -- corporate greed in New York City. John Glover stars as the thinly veiled Donald Trump character named Daniel Clamp; their logo is a giant "C" crushing the world into an oval shape. Billy (Zach Galligan) and Kate (Phoebe Cates) now work for Clamp, but still hold on to their small town sensibilities. When Gizmo's Chinatown home gets bulldozed to make way for a Chinatown-like strip mall, Gizmo finds his way back into Billy's hands. Before long, the slimy green guys are back. But this time, the electronically-rigged and constantly malfunctioning Clamp building is even more of a nemesis than the creatures. This time Dante hired Chuck Jones to animate an opening sequence (with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck) and hired the great Christopher Lee to play a scientist. Plus Dick Miller returns in his original role to help fight the green beasties. Gremlins 2 only played for a week at my local theater, but it was my favorite movie of that summer. Steven Spielberg executive produced.

Warner Home Video's DVD is bargain priced, and contains a Dante commentary track, plus multiple extras, including deleted scenes.

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