In 1990, the fearsome offspring of Gizmo sow havoc in a gigantic New York building in the crazy “Gremlins 2: The Next Generation”. A sequel that Joe Dante has partly agreed to make so that a third part cannot see the light of day.
Gremlins 2 : a totally unleashed sequel
six years later GremlinsBilly Peltzer (Zach Galligan), Kate Beringer (Phoebe Cats) and the adorable Gizmo return to 1990 in Gremlins 2: The Next Generation. In this second crazy part, the action no longer takes place in the small town of Kingston Falls in Pennsylvania but in the New York building of the cretin magnate Daniel Clamp (John Glover), inspired by Donald Trump and Ted Turner.
It is in this context where Billy and Kate work that the little mogwai is held prisoner by a disturbing scientist (Christopher Lee). Inevitably, the rules for dealing with the creature are not respected and quickly, its unmanageable and repulsive offspring begin to terrorize the entire building. The Clamp Tower becomes a gigantic playground for gremlins. The latter even go so far as to take control of the feature film by breaking the Fourth Wall.
Robert Picardo, Dick Miller and Robert Prosky complete the cast of this film on which Joe Dante gets carte blanche, a rarity in the career of the director of Howls and The inner adventure. Frustrated to have seen the horrific turn of Chris Columbus’ script for the first opus being erased by Warner to offer family entertainment to the public, the filmmaker takes his revenge with this masterpiece of irreverence. He fires red bullets at the consumer society as well as at the cynicism and incompetence of certain executives, going so far as to ridicule the concept of a sequel in case the studio is considering continuing the franchise.
The art of sabotage according to Joe Dante
Joe Dante’s desire for the feature film is clear: to sabotage the saga he initiated to prevent it from being distorted in the future. Gremlins 2 therefore imposes itself as a 50 million dollar strain relief, nearly 5 times more than the budget of its predecessor. The director explores his universe as much as possible, calls on Chuck Jones (co-creator of many Looney Tunes characters) for the animated sequences and allows his favorite composer Jerry Goldsmith to sign one of his most frenzied scores. A filling full of creativity with which the filmmaker hopes to be able to cut off Warner’s desire to floor on Gremlins 3, project which has stagnated for many years.
Asked by the Chicago Reader in 2012 and quoted by theIndependentJoe Dante explains:
After several years of trying to figure out how to make a sequel that didn’t need it, my producer Mike Finnell and I were convinced to come back. We set out to make a movie that not only pokes fun at the prime and horror movie tropes, but is social satire as well.
Which obviously causes him problems with the executives. As the director tells the site Den of Geek, for example, they don’t want him to “make fun of merchandising”. What he does despite everything, not arranging his relations with the Hollywood studios.
A complicated third part
The brilliant potpourri that is Gremlins 2 does not achieve satisfactory results at the box office and the third installment has still not seen the light of day. On this subject, the filmmaker declared in 2015 to the site Bloody Disgusting :
It is a complicated project surrounded by expectations. How similar will it be to the original? And the technology has completely changed. Technology entirely dictated the first two films. These movies are what they are because of what we may or may not have done. Today they can do whatever they want.
The real question is: why? Why would you want to do another one? And if we do, how will it be different from the first? If it’s really different, people who liked the first two won’t accept it, that’s not what they want. But on the other hand, the technology of the first two is really outdated today. Will the new gremlins look like the old ones? Are they going to be different? (…) There are a lot of things attached to this franchise, and I think juggling it all again is going to be a challenge.