Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

PG-13 | 106 mins | Comedy, Horror, Satire | 15 June 1990

Director:

Joe Dante

Writer:

Charlie Haas

Producer:

Michael Finnell

Cinematographer:

John Hora

Editor:

Kent Beyda

Production Designer:

James Spencer

Production Companies:

Warner Bros., Inc., Amblin Entertainment , Renfield Productions
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HISTORY

The DVD version of Gremlins II: The Next Batch viewed for this Summary contained several variations from the 1990 theatrical version, including the absence of actors Hulk Hogan, Paul Bartel, and Kenneth Tobey, despite their appearance in the final credits. However, the main story was the same.
       A card that reads “Six weeks later” separates the film’s prologue with the rest of the story. Stunt coordinator Mike McGaughy’s last name is misspelled “McGauhgy” in credits. End credits contain the following information: “Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck animation, stories, backgrounds, layouts and artwork by Members of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839.” Also, “Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck & Porky Pig are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc.” These cartoon characters were used to introduce the film.
       Gremlins II: The New Batch is a sequel to the popular Gremlins (1984, see entry). Producer Steven Spielberg hinted in the 4 Aug 1985 Philadelphia Inquirer that the sequel would be titled Gremlins: The Forgotten Rule. Four years later, the 23 Apr 1989 LAT listed the title as Monoliths, or Gremlins II: Monoliths. An earlier attempt at a sequel, titled Gremlins Go to Las Vegas, never went into production, the 24 Jan 1988 LAT reported, even though Warner Bros. spent over $1 million developing a script and director Joe Dante and starring actor Hoyt Axton agreed to return from the original. Axton’s character was written out of the final sequel, and the only principal actors who returned were Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Keye Luke, and Dick Miller.
       According to studio production notes in ... More Less

The DVD version of Gremlins II: The Next Batch viewed for this Summary contained several variations from the 1990 theatrical version, including the absence of actors Hulk Hogan, Paul Bartel, and Kenneth Tobey, despite their appearance in the final credits. However, the main story was the same.
       A card that reads “Six weeks later” separates the film’s prologue with the rest of the story. Stunt coordinator Mike McGaughy’s last name is misspelled “McGauhgy” in credits. End credits contain the following information: “Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck animation, stories, backgrounds, layouts and artwork by Members of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839.” Also, “Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck & Porky Pig are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc.” These cartoon characters were used to introduce the film.
       Gremlins II: The New Batch is a sequel to the popular Gremlins (1984, see entry). Producer Steven Spielberg hinted in the 4 Aug 1985 Philadelphia Inquirer that the sequel would be titled Gremlins: The Forgotten Rule. Four years later, the 23 Apr 1989 LAT listed the title as Monoliths, or Gremlins II: Monoliths. An earlier attempt at a sequel, titled Gremlins Go to Las Vegas, never went into production, the 24 Jan 1988 LAT reported, even though Warner Bros. spent over $1 million developing a script and director Joe Dante and starring actor Hoyt Axton agreed to return from the original. Axton’s character was written out of the final sequel, and the only principal actors who returned were Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Keye Luke, and Dick Miller.
       According to studio production notes in AMPAS library files, New York City locations in Times Square and on Park Avenue were filmed during the first week of production, which began 26 May 1989, the 6 Jun 1989 HR reported. Remaining footage was shot on a giant soundstage at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, CA, where designer James Spencer built an elaborate, 10,000-square-feet set for the “Clamp Centre” office tower. Following sixteen weeks of principal photography with human actors, the production continued for another three months, filming special effects scenes with “gremlin” characters.
       Filming in New York City required a “standby director of photography,” in accordance with union rules, the 16 May 1990 DV reported. He did not do anything during two days of preparation and four days of filming, but was paid $6,720.
       Film clips from several films were used in Gremlins II, including The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953, see entry), Chisum (1970, see entry), Octaman (1971, see entry), and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985, see entry).
       Television-based film critic Leonard Maltin, who gave the original Gremlins a bad review, was asked by Dante to do a cameo in the sequel, playing himself. As Maltin repeats his unfavorable review for the “Clamp Cable Network,” several gremlins attack him.
       The film’s final negative cost was $50 million, roughly double that of the original Gremlins, the 4 Jun 1990 DV noted. However, Gremlins II fell far short of the first film’s $154 million domestic gross. The sequel earned only $29.4 million in the first seventeen days of release, the Aug 1990 Box reported. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Aug 1990.
---
Daily Variety
16 May 1990.
p. 1, 15
Daily Variety
4 Jun 1990.
p. 2, 12
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1990
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 1990.
p. 6, 24
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 1990
p. 4, 6
LAHExam
4 Nov 1987.
---
Los Angeles Magazine
Aug 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Jan 1988
Calendar, p. 20
Los Angeles Times
23 Apr 1989
Calendar, p. 35, 37
Los Angeles Times
15 Jun 1990
Calendar, p. 1
Los Angeles Times
30 Dec 1990
Calendar, p. 30
New York Times
15 Jun 1990
p. 15
Philadelphia Inquirer
4 Aug 1985
Section J, p. 2
Screen International
17 Jun 1989.
---
Variety
6 Jun 1990
pp. 23-24
Wall Street Journal
21 Jun 1990.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
as the voice of Gizmo
as the voice of the "Brain" Gremlin
Special appearances by:
Voice-overs:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. A Time Warner Company Presents
An Amblin Entertainment Picture
A Michael Finnell Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
2d unit dir
Unit prod mgr, New York unit
2d asst dir, New York unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on characters created by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Video assist op
Video assist op
Film/Video supv
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Architectural lighting consultant
Cam op, New York unit
Gaffer, New York unit
Key grip, New York unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Prod illustrator
Art dept researcher
Art dir, New York unit
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Costumer
Men's ward, New York unit
Women's ward, New York unit
MUSIC
Mus ed
Source mus comp and orch by
Orig cartoon mus comp and cond by
SOUND
Sd eff
Sd eff
Prod sd
Prod sd
Cable man
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Foley by
Boom man, New York unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
Gremlin and Mogwai eff supv by
Spec eff supv
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Process coord
Display and broadcast graphics des and prod by
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Creature crew
Vis eff supv, Visual eff unit
Visual eff dir of photog, Visual eff unit
Matte painting eff prod by, Visual eff unit
Titles, opticals and blue screen composites by, Vi
Miniatures provided by, Visual eff unit
BlueMax technology and photog by, Visual eff unit
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Hairstylist
Make-up artist, New York unit
Hairstylist, New York unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod assoc
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Prod clerk
Prod clerk
Prod clerk
Prod clerk
Casting asst
Unit pub
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Craft service
Loc mgr, New York unit
STAND INS
Stunt coord
ANIMATION
Anim supv, Visual eff unit
Stop motion anim by, Visual eff unit
Visual eff anim prod by, Visual eff unit
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Chris Columbus.
SONGS
"I'm Ready," written by Al Lewis, Sylvester Bradford and Antoine Domino, performed by Fats Domino, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
"Sling Shot," written by Jeff Beck and Tony Hymas, performed by Jeff Beck, courtesy of CBS Records Music Licensing Department
"Angel Of Death," written by Jeffrey Hanneman, performed by Slayer, courtesy of Def American Recordings, Inc.
+
SONGS
"I'm Ready," written by Al Lewis, Sylvester Bradford and Antoine Domino, performed by Fats Domino, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc., by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
"Sling Shot," written by Jeff Beck and Tony Hymas, performed by Jeff Beck, courtesy of CBS Records Music Licensing Department
"Angel Of Death," written by Jeffrey Hanneman, performed by Slayer, courtesy of Def American Recordings, Inc.
"Situation," written by Jeff Beck, performed by The Jeff Beck Group, courtesy of CBS Records Music Licensing Department
"Toccata & Fugue In D Minor," written by J.S. Bach, performed by E. Power Biggs, under license from CBS Special Products
"New York, New York," written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, [sung by Tony Randall]
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach
"Rhapsody In Blue," written by George Gershwin
"The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," written by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin
"Merrily We Roll Along," written by Charlie Tobias, Murray Mencher and Eddie Cantor. The following six recordings were provided by arrangement with Warner Special Products: "Bombers In The Sky," written by Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie, performed by The Thompson Twins, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
"Damn Yankees," written by Tommy Shaw, Jack Blades and Ted Nugent, performed by Damn Yankees, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
"Tuff Boy," written by Oliver Leiber, performed by Jasmine Guy, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
"Touch Me," written by Jennifer Blakeman, Kelly Breznik and Danny Johnson, performed by Private Life, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
"If You Could Read My Mind," written by Gordon Lightfoot, performed by Gordon Lightfoot, courtesy of Reprise Records
"Surprise! You're Dead!" written by Faith No More, performed by Faith No More, courtesy of Slash/Reprise Records.
+
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Monoliths
Gremlins: The Forgotten Rule
Release Date:
15 June 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 15 June 1990
New York opening: week of 15 June 1990
Production Date:
began 26 May 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 August 1990
Copyright Number:
PA476965
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo® in Selected Theatres
Color
gauge
70 mm
Duration(in mins):
106
Length(in feet):
11,872
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Forster, security chief for real estate developer Daniel Clamp, visits Mr. Wing’s curiosity shop in New York City’s Chinatown and reminds the owner that by refusing to sell his property, he is holding up the new Clamp Chinatown Centre. Mr. Wing insists that he is staying put. However, when Mr. Wing dies six weeks later, Clamp grabs the property and tears down the shop, forcing Mr. Wing’s pet mogwai, a furry little creature named “Gizmo,” to flee the building. The moment Gizmo reaches the sidewalk, he is captured by Lewis, a technician at Slices of Life, Inc., a genetic research laboratory in the Clamp Premiere Regency Trade Centre and Retail Concourse, better known as Clamp Centre, in mid-town Manhattan. Meanwhile, Billy Peltzer and Kate Beringer, formerly of Kingston Falls, arrive at Clamp Centre, where he is a graphic artist and she is a building tour guide. Security chief Forster, accompanied by Billy’s supervisor, Marla Bloodstone, admonishes Billy for having an unauthorized potted plant on his desk. Billy visits his friend, “Grandpa Fred,” who wears Dracula makeup and hosts horror films for the Clamp Cable Network, housed in the Centre. Fred mentions to Billy that a genetics lab is located on the 51st floor. At that moment, Bob, an employee of the City Delivery Service, brings a package to the Splice of Life laboratory’s receptionist. He hears a strange, melodious trill nearby as she signs for the package. Inside the lab, Lewis and his twin brother, Martin, show Gizmo to their boss, Dr. Catheter. Intrigued with the mogwai’s genetic possibilities, Dr. Catheter suggests that Gizmo be used in experiments. Many stories below, as Bob delivers a package to Billy’s office, ... +


Forster, security chief for real estate developer Daniel Clamp, visits Mr. Wing’s curiosity shop in New York City’s Chinatown and reminds the owner that by refusing to sell his property, he is holding up the new Clamp Chinatown Centre. Mr. Wing insists that he is staying put. However, when Mr. Wing dies six weeks later, Clamp grabs the property and tears down the shop, forcing Mr. Wing’s pet mogwai, a furry little creature named “Gizmo,” to flee the building. The moment Gizmo reaches the sidewalk, he is captured by Lewis, a technician at Slices of Life, Inc., a genetic research laboratory in the Clamp Premiere Regency Trade Centre and Retail Concourse, better known as Clamp Centre, in mid-town Manhattan. Meanwhile, Billy Peltzer and Kate Beringer, formerly of Kingston Falls, arrive at Clamp Centre, where he is a graphic artist and she is a building tour guide. Security chief Forster, accompanied by Billy’s supervisor, Marla Bloodstone, admonishes Billy for having an unauthorized potted plant on his desk. Billy visits his friend, “Grandpa Fred,” who wears Dracula makeup and hosts horror films for the Clamp Cable Network, housed in the Centre. Fred mentions to Billy that a genetics lab is located on the 51st floor. At that moment, Bob, an employee of the City Delivery Service, brings a package to the Splice of Life laboratory’s receptionist. He hears a strange, melodious trill nearby as she signs for the package. Inside the lab, Lewis and his twin brother, Martin, show Gizmo to their boss, Dr. Catheter. Intrigued with the mogwai’s genetic possibilities, Dr. Catheter suggests that Gizmo be used in experiments. Many stories below, as Bob delivers a package to Billy’s office, he unconsciously whistles the tune he heard at Slices of Life. Recognizing Gizmo’s song, Billy asks Bob where he heard it, and Bob identifies the laboratory on the 51st floor. Billy goes up to Slices of Life with a repair kit under the guise he was called to fix the copy machine. In the lab, Billy sees Gizmo, his boyhood pet in Kingston Falls, and spirits the mogwai past the receptionist. Hiding Gizmo in an office file, Billy promises to take him home at quitting time. Suddenly, Daniel Clamp tours the office, sees Billy’s illustration for the Clamp Chinese Centre, and makes a couple of changes. Witnessing Clamp’s friendliness toward Billy, Marla Bloodstone suddenly believes her employee is her career ticket to a relationship with the reclusive real estate magnate. She demands that Billy accompany her to dinner. Billy tells Gizmo to remain hidden, then visits Kate in the tour guide office to explain that Gizmo is in his office and needs to be spirited out of the building at quitting time. Billy reiterates the rules they learned about mogwais back home in Kingston Falls: Keep Gizmo out of the sun (bright light is fatal to mogwais), do not let him get wet (water spawns fur balls that turn into new mogwais), and do not let him eat after midnight (which spawns dangerous gremlins). Meanwhile, Gizmo leaves the file cabinet and accidentally gets wet when a janitor repairs a drinking fountain. Balls of fur leap from Gizmo’s back and turn into destructive mogwais. Laughing and giggling, these creatures toss Gizmo into an air duct. When Kate arrives, she sees a daffy mogwai, thinks he is Gizmo, and takes him to the apartment she shares with Billy. Meanwhile, at dinner, Marla cozies up to Billy, but he leaves as soon as possible. Rejoining Kate at home, Billy realizes the out-of-control mogwai is not Gizmo, stuffs it into a bag, and prepares to return to the office. However, his Kingston Falls neighbors, Murray and Sheila Futterman, show up with suitcases and announce their arrival in New York City to attend a reunion. Billy tells them they cannot stay because the apartment is being fumigated. As soon as the Futtermans leave, Billy and Kate return to Clamp Centre, arrive just after midnight, and discover that mogwais have taken over a yogurt shop on the first floor. By eating after midnight, they metamorphose into gremlins. Security personnel telephone police when cameras show Billy trying to break into his locked office, and he is taken to jail. Kate bails him out in the morning. At Clamp Centre, Gizmo wanders the air ducts until he drops through an opening into the basement, where he sees cocoons producing new gremlins. One of them captures Gizmo and dreams up various ways of torturing him. Meanwhile, Michael arms himself with a powerful flashlight and goes to the Security office, where Forster’s employees laugh at his warnings about gremlins until, suddenly, a gremlin attacks. Billy chases it away with his flashlight. Thanks to a gremlin tinkering with the elevator system, Kate is trapped in an elevator car and then sent crashing to the basement, but since so many gremlins are hanging onto the car’s underside, they cushion the landing. Another gremlin attacks Clamp in his penthouse, but the owner manages to stuff it into a paper shredder. Billy and Forster arrive to warn him to shut down the building before sunset, or else the gremlins will destroy the city. Elsewhere in the building, gremlins capture the cable network and genetics lab. One of them drinks an experimental brain hormone and becomes a genius. Another drinks a spider fluid and turns into a gremlin black widow. Another ingests a bat formula and grows wings. The brainy gremlin injects the bat gremlin with a “sunblock” formula, to allow it to fly out of the building without being killed by sunlight. Yet another gremlin drinks a special sex hormone that turns it into a “she” that looks like a street-corner floozie. When yet another gremlin drinks an electrified formula and transforms into a lightning bolt of pure energy, it enters the building’s electrical system. Kate pulls a fire alarm to alert everyone to leave Clamp Centre. The bat gremlin attacks the Futtermans on the street outside the building, and Murray, who recognizes what it is from his own experience fighting gremlins in Kingston Falls, knocks the bat into freshly poured concrete. The bat flies to the top of a cathedral, but is frozen into a gargoyle as the concrete hardens. Seeing that the cable network studio is abandoned, Uncle Fred takes over a television channel and reports on what is happening inside the locked-down building. Elsewhere, the floozie gremlin, wearing a green wig and red lipstick, takes a liking to Forster. Meanwhile, Gizmo escapes his captor and, inspired by one of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo movies he saw in Mr. Wing’s shop, angrily wraps a bandana around his head, lifts weights, and makes a bow and arrow out of a large paper clip, a rubber band, and a pencil. When Billy goes upstairs to talk with Clamp, he sees the electrified gremlin emerge from a electrical outlet and guides it into the videoscreen telephone system, where he puts it on “hold” and traps it. Billy explains that they must get all the gremlins onto the first floor, with its huge glass windows, by fooling them into thinking the sun has already set. Clamp sets all the building’s clocks ahead, then takes a secret exit out to the street to prepare to have a large curtain dropped over the ground floor windows. When Murray Futterman sees Clamp emerge from the secret exit, he uses it to sneak into the building to help Billy. Meanwhile, Marla and Kate are trapped by the spider gremlin, but Gizmo emerges from an air duct in time to burn it to death with a flaming pencil arrow. After Murray saves Billy from a gremlin, the two hurry downstairs and watch the gremlins gather for a party on the first floor. The brainy gremlin leads the mob in a “New York, New York” musical production number. Outside, as Clamp prepares to drop the curtain and kill the gremlins with sunlight, storm clouds block the sun. Billy realizes that rain will only increase the gremlin population. Devising a quick plan, he tells Murray to get the fire hose and spray the partying gremlins. As the water swamps the ground floor, Kate transfers the telephone call containing the electrical gremlin to the telephone in Billy’s hand. As the lightning-bolt-like gremlin shoots out of the telephone and hits the other gremlins, a mass electrocution melts them all into miasma. By the time Clamp leads a police SWAT team inside in the Centre, the gremlins are dead. He makes Grandpa Fred the new Clamp Cable Network news anchor, appoints Marla his new publicity director, and declares that he is happy to see Clamp Centre destroyed, because it was not a people-friendly place. Seeing Billy’s sketch of little Kingston Falls, Clamp decides to build a “sensational small town” development, with Billy as his right-hand man. Billy and Kate walk home, hand in hand, with Gizmo, planning their wedding. Meanwhile, Forster is trapped on an upper floor with the love-besotted floozie gremlin, which now wears a wedding gown. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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