Yesterday morning I spent a few hours at Comic Con Manchester 2019 – a sci-fi/comic book convention featuring a number of guests from iconic movies and TV shows of the ’80s and ’90s. Some of those guests included Gremlins stars Zach Galligan, Frances Lee McCain and Judge Reinhold.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch a Gremlins-themed panel at CCM2019, as that panel is taking place today, a day when I’m not at the con. However knowing these guys will be talking about the classic horror movie has got me interested in revisiting the films.
It’s been a while since I watched Gremlins or Gremlins 2: The New Batch, so late last night and early this morning I watched both movies to see how well they hold up in 2019. I kept a record of my journey.
Here we go…
Initial observations: Gremlins is a dark fantasy designed to appeal to kids, while doing its level best to make the material highly inappropriate for young audiences.
Secondary observations: ‘The Rules’. Dick Miller. Mrs Deagle. Judge Reinhold. Chuck Jones. Corey Feldman. Mogwais. Stripe. The kitchen scene. Kate’s traumatic Christmas story. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Gizmo gets tough.
Conclusion: Superb! Gremlins is as creepy as it is delightful. The film demonstrates an imaginative flair, which combines exceptional visuals with a conveyer belt of gags, and one heck of a catchy theme tune.
I don’t recall the first time I watched Gremlins – all I know is that I watched it a lot when I was a kid and I thought it was fantastic. I still think it’s fantastic all these years later.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
Initial observations: It is clear from the opening moments of this sequel this is going to be a comical movie, not unlike a cartoon at times.
Secondary observations: Robert Picardo. Christopher Lee. Henry Gibson. Casablanca in colour (with a happier ending). John Astin. Stripe. Dick Miller. Rick Ducommun. The kitchen scene. Leonard Maltin. Hulk Hogan. Spider-Gremlin. Gizmo gets tough. Kate’s traumatic Lincoln story.
Wow – this movie is stuffed with cameos, in-jokes and references to its predecessor!
Conclusion: Equally as good as the original (if not better), The New Batch is a joy to watch. The film takes elements from Gremlins (‘The Rules’, defective technology, the kitchen scene, the oddball Gremlins etc) and finds a new way to present them.
I’ve loved revisiting these movies, as they both work so well together. The original is regarded as a classic (and rightly so), and The New Batch is the perfect accompaniment.
Both movies continue to stand the test of time which makes me now question whether we need the oft-rumoured sequel/reboot. There has been talk of a sequel or a possible remake for years, but in my opinion at the moment neither are needed.
Hmm… we shall what happens in the fullness of time. For now, the Gremlins films continue to provide entertainment and a lot of laughs.
Oh and in addition to this Gremlins discussion, I recently revisited the Police Academy movies to see how well they have stood the test of time. If you’re a fan of Mahoney, Hooks and the rest of the gang, you should check out my post.