Tonight horror fans got the rare chance to relive their childhood at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, which hosted a Joe Dante double feature of his 1984 creature feature masterpiece Gremlins that was followed up with his 1990 sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
The night got even better when Dante announced to fans at the beginning of the evening that he’d be showing us the workprint copy of Gremlins with a bonus six minutes of footage that had never been shown in public before.
The bonus six minutes included more shots of the gremlins in action in addition to some scenes that gave Judge Reinhold’s douchebag character Gerald a chance to show what a perfect comedic foil he was to Zach Galligan’s Billy.
One other key piece that was edited out of the theatrical version of Gremlins was a scene where Billy and Kate (Phoebe Cates) discover Mrs. Deagle’s dastardly plan of foreclosing on Kingston Falls in order to sell the land to a chemical company so that they could build a plant in their charming small town. While I don’t necessarily see losing this scene as detrimental, I think keeping it would have added a little more dimension to Deagle, who generally just comes off as an evil, money-hungry cat lady.
Dante said, “Chris Columbus’ original script was definitely more of a horror film than what we developed Gremlins into. His original version had the monsters killing the dog and cutting off the mom’s head and tossing it down the stairs. We realized as we continued developing the project we needed to have a different tone.”
“One thing that almost got pulled in the sequel was when the film ‘breaks’ and then we have a featured cameo with Hulk Hogan,” added Dante. “The studio didn’t think it would go over well with viewers so I really had to push to convince them that these people paid good money to see a movie and that they’d find the break as entertaining as I did.”
Dante also discussed his latest project, The Hole, which centers around two brothers who find a hole in their basement that unleashes their worst nightmares into the world around them.
“We shot the movie on a RED camera and are using 3D technology, which was really exciting to try out,” explained Dante. “We don’t have an exact release date for it yet, but I imagine it should be coming out sometime in 2010.”
Dante also told the audience that his long-rumored project, Bat Out of Hell, has been officially shelved. “At this point it’s not going to happen,” Dante stated.
When asked about a possible third installment of the Gremlins franchise, Dante acknowledged that he figured at some point Warner Bros. would want to dust off Gizmo for another round.
Dante said, “I think Warner Bros. would be crazy not to do another one. The only thing is, I can’t imagine they’d ask me to direct it though. If Gremlins 3 ever happens, the person who would take the reins has my total blessing for it.”
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