On this day in horror history, Gremlins and Piranha director Joe Dante’s cult classic horror-comedy Gremlins 2: The New Batch was released back in 1990. Meant to be more cartoon-like and less dark than the original, the sequel was written by Charles S. Haas (Matinee) based on characters created by Chris Columbus and features creature designs by Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London, Michael Jackson’s Thriller).
The cast includes the return of Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, Keye Luke, and Howie Mandel along with new cast members such as John Glover, Robert Prosky, Haviland Morris, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lee, and Tony Randall as the smart Gremlin.
Produced by Michael Finnell (The Howling, The ‘Burbs), the $50M flick features music by Jerry Goldsmith (Poltergeist, Alien, The Omen).
The story continues the adventures of the creature Gizmo, who spawns numerous small monsters when wet. In the first film, Gizmo’s offspring rampaged through a small fictional town. In Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the magical collectibles store that Gizmo calls home has just been destroyed, and the tiny monster finds his way into a newly erected skyscraper in New York City. Billy Peltzer (Galligan) and his bride-to-be, Kate (Cates), who have previously dealt with Gremlins run amok, discover that Gizmo and an impish legion of reptilian pals are inhabiting the downtown building. The couple tries to stop the creatures from escaping into New York City, but this new batch of beasts might be uncontrollable.
The frightfully fun film sports a snicker-inducing 69% rating over on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: Gremlins 2 trades the spiky thrills of its predecessor for looney satire, yielding a succession of sporadically clever gags that add some flavor to a recycled plot.