|Gremlins 2: The New Batch|
June 15 1990
Gremlins 2: The New Batch is the second film in the gremlins series. It was released on June 15th 1990 under the same company banner, Warner Bros. Pictures, as is predecessor Gremlins. There were also three video games for the NES, Game Boy, and ZX Spectrum based on the movie.
The film takes place a few years after the original, in New York City, where Randall Peltzer (protagonist Billy Peltzer's father) had acquired Gizmo from a small shop in New York's Chinatown. Gizmo is a mysterious, cute, good-natured furry creature called an mogwai. In the first film, Billy was informed of the "rules" regarding mogwai; namely that one must keep mogwai away from any bright light and water, and must never feed them after midnight. Nevertheless, Gizmo was later exposed to water and therefore multiplied. When the new mogwai ate after midnight, they morphed into dark green, reptilian-skinned, ferocious monsters having sharp teeth and claws. These monsters, called gremlins, caused much destruction and mayhem in Billy's small hometown of Kingston Falls. Gizmo's original owner Mr. Wing (Keye Luke) later took the mogwai back after all the gremlins had all been eradicated.
Billy and his girlfriend Kate Beringer now live in New York, where they are having difficulty adapting to their newfound powers. Both work for Clamp Enterprises, which is based in a large, automated skyscraper called Clamp Center which is located in Manhattan: Billy in the design department, Kate as a tour guide. The head of Clamp Enterprises, Daniel Clamp (John Glover), is an eccentric but mostly well-meaning billionaire.
As part of the new development in the area, Gizmo and his siblings's owner Mr. Wing is approached by the head manager of Clamp Enterprises, Forster, and is offered money to sell his store to Clamp. Mr. Wing refuses, but not long afterwards dies of old age. His store is then demolished, whereupon Gizmo is captured and taken to a laboratory in the Clamp office building run by Doctor Catheter, a sinister mad scientist who threatens to dissect Gizmo.
Billy eventually learns that Gizmo is in the building and rescues him. When one of Billy's bosses, Marla Bloodstone takes Billy away to a restaurant, however, Gizmo is left in the office and accidentally gets ink spilled on him. The resulting mogwai, Mohawk (the leader), Daffy (the craziest one), George (the toughest one), and Lenny (the dumbest one), stuff Gizmo into an open sewer. Kate, who had been told by Billy to get Gizmo, arrives and takes Daffy instead, believing him to be Gizmo. The other three, meanwhile, sneak into the restaurant and eat after midnight. Billy arrives home to find Daffy making a mess and instantly realizes he is not Gizmo. He brings Daffy with him and enters the building, but is caught by a security guard. Daffy quickly attacks the guard and runs off. The guard then has Billy locked up, but he is bailed out by Kate. However, the new batch have eaten after midnight.
Mohawk soon captures Gizmo, who had escaped from the air vent, and tortures him. Billy tries to tell Forster and the others about the gremlins, but they don't believe him and make up jokes about the gremlins until Mohawk, who had briefly left Gizmo, attacks them, but Billy scares him away with a fleshlight. The other gremlins, meanwhile, start a fire by blowing up a microwave, triggering the sprinkler system and causing them to multiply even further. The new gremlins cannot leave the building because it is still daytime, given sunlight is lethal to them. While confined to the building, the gremlins thoroughly invade the structure, including a genetics laboratory, where they discover various chemical mixtures (presumably created by Dr. Catheter) that cause them to transform into various alterations of themselves. One gremlin drinks a mixture which turns it into Vegetable Gremlin as a result of the formula it drinks and another one consumes a hormone that makes him especially intelligent, whereinafter he speaks with a refined voice (provided by actor Tony Randall); this "Brain Gremlin" acquires a pair of spectacles from some undisclosed source to denote his new-found intellect. Another gremlin sprouts bat-like wings and is later made immune to sunlight by the Brain Gremlin. This Bat Gremlin then breaks out through the lab's wall and flies through the city. It soon attacks the Futtermans, Billy's neighbors from Kingston Falls; Murray Futterman pours cement on it, after which it lands on the church of Saint Eva Marie (a play on Eva Marie Saint) and becomes a gargoyle. Another gremlin is changed into animate electricity and after this one kills Dr. Catheter, Billy captures him in the telephone system. Mohawk ceases him attack on Gizmo and drinks a potion which enables him to change into a centauroid spider-Gremlin hybrid.
As the newly transformed Gremlins continue to wreak havoc throughout the building, the Brain Gremlin begins speaking amiably with children's host (and impromptus newscaster) Grandpa Fred, stating in apparent contradiction to the facts that the Gremlins in general desire to become "civilized". Meanwhile, and almost separately from the general impression of mayhem, Kate and Billy's boss Marla are trapped in Mohawk's spider web while Mohawk advances on them; Billy is tied up in a dentist's chair with Daffy about to experiment on him with a dentist drill and Gizmo is tied up after being tortured by Mohawk. Gizmo, fed up with the other gremlins pushing him around manages to free himself and makes a bow and a flaming arrow to use as a weapon. Mr. Futterman enters the building and rescues Billy by driving off Daffy with a dentist's light, whereinafter they seek and find Kate and Marla, while Gizmo kills Mohawk the spider gremlin.
Later, the Brain Gremlin leads all gremlins into the lobby when they are ready to leave the building, though they are unaware that the humans have set up a trap by tricking them into gathering in the lobby before the sun had set to expose them to the sunlight. However, the plan falls apart when storm clouds block out the sun, meaning that instead of being destroyed, the gremlins would be able to exit the building and multiple into thousands more. Knowing he has to act fast Billy has Mr. Futterman turn a water hose on the gremlins; as the monsters start to multiply, Billy releases the Electric Gremlin out over the lobby and the majority of gremlins are electrocuted and consequently perish, while the Electric Gremlin explodes into nothingness. Upon resolution of the crisis, Billy, Gizmo, and Grandpa Fred are promoted by a thankful Clamp, who uses Billy's hometown as the basis upon which he decides to make his own town (which he calls "Clamp Corners"). Billy and Kate take Gizmo to live with them. The sole survivor of the new batch of gremlins is Greta, who at the very end approaches Forster while being dressed in a wedding gown, attempting to marry him. A post-credits scene features the Looney Tunes rings. This time, Porky Pig comes out of the rings and says his usual "Th-th-th-that's all, folks!" However, Daffy Duck interrupts again and takes over. After Daffy says the slogan, the back of the Warner Brothers shield smashes him. He peeks his head out to the left side and says, "Fade out," and the segment ends.
- Zach Galligan as Billy Peltzer
- Phoebe Cates as Kate Beringer-Peltzer
- John Glover as Daniel Clamp
- Robert Prosky as Grandpa Fred
- Robert Picardo as Forster, chief of security
- Christopher Lee as Doctor Catheter
- Haviland Morris as Marla Bloodstone
- Dick Miller as Murray Futterman
- Jackie Joseph as Sheila Futterman
- Gedde Watanabe as Mr. Katsuji, a Japanese tourist
- Keye Luke as Mr. Wing, Gizmo's elderly owner
- Kathleen Freeman as Microwave Marge, hostess of a cooking program
- Twin actors Don Stanton and Dan Stanton as Martin and Lewis, Dr. Catheter's assistants
- Shawn Nelson as Wally
- Jason Presson (star of Dante's Explorers) as Alex, the Yogurt Jerk
- Heather Haase (star of Dante's The 'Burbs) as Female Yogurt Jerk
- Rick Ducommun as a Security Guard (Clamp Center)
- Belinda Balaski as the Movie Theatre Mom
- Paul Bartel as the Movie Theatre Manager
- Kenneth Tobey as the Movie Theatre Projectionist
- Hulk Hogan as himself
- Julia Sweeney as Peggy, the lab receptionist
- Charles S. Haas as Casper, Dr. Catheter's assistant
- John Astin as the Clamp Center Janitor
- Henry Gibson as an employee fired for smoking
- Page Hannah as Doreen, the tour guide
- Leonard Maltin as himself
- Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith as themselves, attacked at the salad bar
- Howie Mandel as the voice of Gizmo
- Tony Randall as the voice of the Brain Gremlin
- Frank Welker as the voice of the Mohawk/Stripe Mogwai/Gremlin
- Jeff Bergman as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig (Looney Tunes segments)
- Kirk R. Thatcher (who worked on the original as a designer/puppeteer for Chris Walas) as the voice of many of the gremlins, including the Mutant Gremlins
- Mark Dodson as the voice of the Daffy, George & Lenny Mogwais/Gremlins
- Joe Dante himself (uncredited) as the director of Grandpa Fred's show and the Beanie and Witch Gremlins
The film was rated PG-13 in the USA and was rated 12 in the United Kingdom however it was rated 15 in the Country of Ireland.
Looney Tunes segments
In addition to the main plot, there is animation by Chuck Jones in the film featuring the Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig. Jones had actually quit animation before returning to work on Gremlins 2. Dante explained the animation at the beginning of the film was meant to "set the anarchic tone." In his scenes, Daffy breaks the fourth wall when he forcefully tries to insert himself into the title and ending sequences, following the same formula that the Pink Panther films followed with the panther character created by DePatie and Freleng (friends of Chuck's). At the beginning of the film, he stops the music and tries to overthrow Bugs Bunny to ride the Warner Bros. shield, only for it to malfunction horrendously, and push the shield in the iris circle, only for the thing to close on him. Daffy, wearing the iris circle for a tutu, got spun around by Bugs bunny who told the directors to start the film after Daffy decided the needs to start. Daffy also interrupts the end credits with sardonic humor. He calls the credits really long and wonders aloud why anyone would still be in the theatre during the credits. The ending has Daffy trying to usurp Porky Pig to say the closing line, only to be hit by another shield, and creakily told The Editors to make the movie fade to black. The DVD includes a longer version of the cartoon short. In it, Daffy is informed by Bugs that he has been promoted to executive and is subsequently put in charge writing the title of the movie. When Daffy mistakenly writes the title Gremlins 2 as "Gremlin Stew", Bugs corrects the error. Daffy then attempts to rename the film The Return of Super-Daffy Meets Gremlins 2 Part 6: The Movie, but Bugs rejects this for being too long, changing it back to Gremlins 2 (rendered in the font of the official logo). Daffy then quits (and resigns) his new job and Bugs decides to add in the subtitle, saying it looks "a little skimpy". This material was removed from the film because early audiences expected a live-action film and were bewildered by the lengthy animated sequence.
The original Gremlins was a financial success, and Warner Bros. asked its director Joe Dante to make a sequel straight away. Dante declined because he saw Gremlins as having a proper ending, and thus a sequel would only be meant to be profitable. Moreover, the original film was a taxing experience for Dante, and he wanted to move on. Work on Gremlins 2 proceeded without him, as the studio approached various directors and writers. Storylines considered included sending the gremlins to cities like Las Vegas or even the planet Mars. After these ideas fell through, the studio returned to Dante, who agreed to make the sequel after receiving the rare promise of having complete creative control over the movie; he also received a budget triple that of the original film. Dante later acknowledged that by this point too much time had passed between the films, thus possibly reducing Gremlins 2's appeal. The film was released in 1990, and as the filmmakers later noted, this was a time when cable television, genetics, and frozen yogurt were becoming more common and influential. This left a mark on Gremlins 2. Gremlins 2 actually exaggerated what could be seen on cable television at the time, although as the filmmakers noted in 2002, that humor might be lost on present-day audiences. Cable television later grew to provide the same variety. Genetics in 1990 is reflected in the laboratory seen in Gremlins 2, and frozen yogurt is what the mogwai eat after midnight.
- Vegetable Gremlin - One drinks a greenish blue vegetable serum and becomes a living vegetation creature with peppers (red, orange and yellow) on the green skin, lettuce ears, carrot lips, etc.
- Brain Gremlin - A gremlin drinks a brown brain serum and develops high intelligence with a human voice while wearing glasses.
- Bat Gremlin - A gremlin drinks a brown bat serum and turns into a bat-like creature with wings and bat ears, then Brain Gremlin injects genetic sunblock in him, allowing the mutant gremlin to fly free in the sun while attacking people and seeing if the sun will go down.
- Electric Gremlin - One gremlin drinks a red electric serum and becomes a blue electric creature made of raw energy.
- Greta - One gremlin drinks an unknown colored female serum and becomes a female gremlin.
- Stripe/Mohawk - He stole a spider serum and drinks it and becomes a large hybrid creature called the Spider-Gremlin
Unused mutant gremlins
With more control over the film, Dante engineered a project that he later referred to as "one of the more unconventional studio pictures, ever". Dante included some material that he believed Warner Bros. would not have allowed had they not wanted a sequel to Gremlins. Allowed to break a number of rules in filmmaking, he also later claimed it was the film into which he had put the most of his personal influence. Dante imagined Gremlins 2 as a satire of Gremlins and sequels in general. Another basic description of Gremlins 2 was that, as Dante said, an hour into the film it becomes "extremely cartoony". The recommended screenwriter, Charlie Haas, brought to the project the basic storyline of moving the gremlins to New York City, and he also imagined a corporate head (the character Clamp) being Billy's boss and at the center of the new disaster. When the Warner Bros. executives grew concerned about the expense of portraying the gremlins attacking an entire city, Haas came up with the idea of confining the action within Daniel Clamp's "smart building". Haas also included a great deal of material in his screenplay that proved too elaborate to produce, including having a cow–hamster hybrid running on a treadmill in the laboratory. In keeping with Dante's desires to satirize the original film, the sequel has some meta-references and self-referential humor. These include a cameo appearance by film critic Leonard Maltin. He holds up a copy of the original Gremlins video and denounces it, just as he had in reality; however, his rant is cut short when gremlins pounce on him. Partly for this scene, one academic called Dante "one of contemporary cinema's great pranksters". Additionally, when Billy is trying to explain the safety precautions regarding the Mogwai to staff in the building, the staff find them quite absurd and interrogate Billy on the application of the rules. This scene originates from the fact that the filmmakers themselves saw the rules as irrational, and some questions in the scene were based upon queries raised by fans of the original film. At one point in the film, Dante attempted to involve his audience in the story by making it seem as if the gremlins had taken control of whatever theatre wherein Gremlins 2 would feature. The film seems to be broken by the gremlins, who then engage in shadow puppetry over a white screen. Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan then appears in a cameo appearance and intimidates the gremlins into running the rest of Gremlins 2; this joke was inspired by a similar stunt in William Castle's film The Tingler (1959). The studio feared that people might leave the theater in fact if they thought the film had broken; Dante, therefore, secured the inclusion of the sequence by assembling some people for a preview of the film. When the scene was shown, the real-life audience found it enjoyable and stayed in the theatre. Dante later described this scene as one of the most widely enjoyed jokes in Gremlins 2. When Gremlins 2 made its debut on home video, the filmmakers altered the scene, to make it seem as if VCRs had been broken by the gremlins. This time actor John Wayne forces the gremlins into continuing the film, although voice impersonation was needed since Wayne had been dead since 1979. Notably, a clip from Falling Hare, a film released in 1943 featuring Bugs Bunny and a gremlin, appears in this version. The original version of the film was longer, but executive producer Steven Spielberg claimed that there were too many gremlins, and several scenes were cut as a result. One deleted scene portrayed three of the main gremlins, Daffy, Lenny, and George, sneaking into television host Grandpa Fred's studio and "helping" him host, acting on the premise that Grandpa Fred's show was intended to be scary.
Several actors from the original film returned to make Gremlins 2, including Galligan, Cates, and Dick Miller. Miller reprised his role as Billy's neighbor Mr. Futterman, who the gremlins severely injured in the first film. In the second, he plays a part in wiping out the creatures by turning the hose on them. Character actress Jackie Joseph returned to play Mr. Futterman's wife. Keye Luke also returned to play Mr. Wing, Gizmo's original owner. When Luke heard his character would die in Gremlins 2, he quipped, "Remember, when you make Gremlins 3, I'm a flashback!". Hoyt Axton was meant to return as Billy's father, the inventor. He would have appeared at the end of the film, having designed special clothing for Gizmo that would ensure Gizmo would never come into contact with water again. At the last moment, the filmmakers decided not to shoot the scene in order to reduce time. New performers included Robert Picardo, who had previously worked with Dante and producer Michael Finnell in films such as The Howling (1981). He plays Forster, one of Billy's crueler bosses. Robert Prosky played Grandpa Fred, a television host, and his character was based on Al Lewis's character Grandpa Munster. Joe Dante has a brief cameo as the director of Grandpa Fred's show. John Glover played Clamp and brought to the role an enthusiastic innocence that overrode the fact that his character had been written as a villain, which Dante thought lightened the film in general. Christopher Lee (who previously worked with Spielberg in 1941) played the mad scientist Dr. Catheter. Lee imagined his role as light-hearted, but Dante encouraged him to portray the scientist as evil to better match the atmosphere of the laboratory setting. Lee was revered on the set for his experience. In a deleted scene, Dr. Catheter examines a bat injected with "genetic sun-block". He then says to his colleague, "I'm told they sometimes feed on blood"; this is a reference to Lee's performances as Count Dracula in the Hammer Horror films.
For special effects, the original film relied on Chris Walas, who moved on to pursue a directing career. Dante turned to Rick Baker to create the effects for Gremlins 2. Baker was not interested, as he saw Gremlins 2 as too much work for a project in which he would not be the creator but rather a successor to Walas. He was eventually persuaded to accept the job when it was suggested he could make the gremlins and Mogwai more diverse. In the first film, when Gizmo multiplied, his off-spring closely resembled himself, with the exception of the leader, Stripe. Here, the four mogwai Gizmo produces each possesses their own distinct personalities and physical features. Additionally, each Mogwai has a name, although the names were used in the script and never actually spoken aloud in the film. Two of the mogwais were George, black without a stripe and a caricature of Edward G. Robinson, and Lenny, buck-toothed, named for the principal characters in Of Mice and Men, whom they resemble in both appearance and demeanor. Daffy displays manic behavior and the leader, Mohawk, named for his mohawk hairstyle. Based on the original film's character, Stripe, Frank Welker also voices Mohawk. While both the Mogwai and gremlin versions of Stripe had fur stripes, Baker hit upon the idea of giving the Mohawk mogwai a fur stripe and giving the Mohawk gremlin something scalier. Gizmo was also redesigned; the puppet was generally larger and its design was simplified. Dante commented Gizmo may actually look less real in Gremlins 2, but the result was that Gizmo could convey more emotion. Later on, when the mogwai evolve into gremlins and multiply, they further diversify by running amok in the bio-lab and ingesting various drugs. One turns into a sunlight-resistant hybrid with a bat, thus becoming the Bat Gremlin. Mohawk becomes part-spider. One becomes part-vegetable (Vegetable Gremlin, as Dante named it), and another consumes a drug and turns into a female, Greta, with shiny red lips and mascara. Yet another has acid thrown onto his face, quickly presenting a mask of the Phantom of the Opera. As with the first, puppetry was involved, and some of the puppets were mechanical. An actor holding a puppet would actually have to have wires strapped to him. Gremlins 2 also includes more stop-motion animation than the first film; the Bat Gremlin was portrayed through some stop motion animation. Film technology since the original had improved, and as a result, the creatures can be seen walking more. In fact, Gizmo is able to dance, although this scene took the longest to make. While there are more gremlins in Gremlins 2 than the original, this still took a long time to make possible, with the filming lasting five months. Many of the effects had to be completed after the actors had finished their work.
MusicAs with the first film, the music in Gremlins 2 was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, who also has a cameo in the film. Goldsmith dropped out of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in favor of this Gremlins sequel. In the latter half of the film, Gizmo, inspired by the Rambo films and tired of the abuse he has suffered at the hands of the gremlins, takes revenge on Mohawk. Gizmo shoots the Mohawk spider-gremlin with a makeshift bow and flaming arrow. For the scene in which Gizmo prepares for this move, Goldsmith – who had also authored the music in the Rambo films – employed a variant of Gizmo's theme in the style of the Rambo theme.
The scene featuring Mohawk transforming into a spider-like monster features a portion of the song "Angel of Death" by thrash metal band Slayer. In another scene, the Brain Gremlin leads hundreds of gremlins to sing Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York". Dante claimed that "The musical number is a shameless steal" from the film Dames (1934).
When the Bat Gremlin flies out of the Clamp building after being injected with sunblock solution, a sample of the action music from the film The 'Burbs (1989) plays, also directed by Joe Dante and composed by Jerry Goldsmith. Gremlins 2 also prominently features "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin. Another rock music appearance with the song "Sling Shot" by Jeff Beck occurs midway through the movie when the Gremlins are drinking various chemical mixtures altering their structure.
- Jeff beck-A day in a life"
- Jeff Beck - "Sling Shot"
- I'm ready-Fatz domino"
- Slayer - "Angel of Death"
- The band-"Up on cripple creek"
- Tony Randall - "New York, New York"
- Thompson Twins - "Bombers in the Sky"
- David bowie-Scary monsters"
- Jasmine Guy - "Tuff Boy"
- Ella Fitzgerald-Kiss my bride"
- Gremlins 2-Jerry Goldsmith"
Film critics varied in their reviews of Gremlins 2. Roger Ebert, who had approved of the first film, observed that Gremlins 2 was meant to satirize sequels. Nevertheless, he felt it did not manage to differentiate itself from the original enough and was not as good. He went on to claim that the film lacks a well-constructed plot, and once the gremlins arrived the film simply becomes a "series of gags." He thus gave the film two and a half stars, out of a possible four. Hal Hinson of The Washington Post caught on to how the Looney Tunes animation is meant to imply "anarchic wit," but nevertheless felt both the cartoon short and the film itself are failures. He saw the beginning as too slow and, like Ebert, thought the film is too similar to the first. Hinson did, however, approve of the characterization of the gremlins and their version of "New York, New York." He also noted that turning the gremlins against Clamp resembles anti-corporate "poetic justice." In contrast, while one reviewer for Films in Review, like Ebert, argued the film resembles the original and abandons its plot when the gremlins arrive, he also felt the film's appeal could be found partly in its self-consciousness of these facts and its in-jokes and satire. He also complimented Cates as "wholesomely bewitching," and Galligan as "a suitably naive foil for the scaly fiends." Desson Howe of The Washington Post also approved of the film, including its special effects and the parodies of Trump, Turner, genetics labs, cable television, and the film Marathon Man. (Marathon Man is parodied when the gremlin Daffy abducts Billy and tries to torture him with dental tools.) Some critics thought the film has qualities the original lacked, such as wit. A critic for National Review called the film "much freer and wittier than the first one," though he felt the sequel shies away from becoming an important piece of satire. The cover of an issue of Entertainment Weekly in July 1990 also exclaimed that "actor John Glover... and director Joe Dante made Gremlins 2 wittier, better, and more subversive than the original." Some critics who found the first film too dark also gave Gremlins 2 more positive reviews. Leonard Maltin, who appears in the film, gave it three out of four stars for its references to other films, Glover's imitation of Turner and Trump, and Lee's performance. An AllMovie critic complimented the sequel by saying the "original's violence and mean-spiritedness are gone, making this follow-up somewhat more kid-friendly." The film was nominated for several Saturn Awards, namely for Best Director, Best Fantasy Film, Best Music, and Best Special Effects. Glover and Picardo were both nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award. Still, the film did not perform as well at the box office. The trailer introduced the film to audiences by displaying a surface of water intercut with scenes from the original. A narrator goes over the rules regarding how to safely handle mogwai. After the narrator says, "You didn't listen [to the rules]," scenes from the sequel are shown, revealing the gremlins morphing into strange new creatures and then ending with the Brain Gremlin speaking. Gremlins 2 was released on June 15, 1990. In its first weekend it made $9,702,804, and it ultimately made $41,482,207 in the United States. It was thus only the thirty-first highest grossing film of the year, behind a few other films in the comedy, horror or fantasy genre, such as Back to the Future Part III ($87,727,583), Edward Scissorhands ($56,362,352), and Arachnophobia ($53,208,180). It did, however, outperform Predator 2 ($30,669,413), Child's Play 2 ($28,501,605) and The Exorcist III ($26,098,824). Gremlins 2 also played in other countries. Canadian audiences reportedly enjoyed one scene in which Billy and his boss meet at a Canadian-themed restaurant, where the waiters are dressed like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The film was released in Norway on July 5, Finland on July 6, Colombia on July 12, and much of the rest of Europe in the rest of July, including in the United Kingdom and Spain on July 27. It opened in France and Argentina in August and reached Australia on September 20. It earned £7,400,000 in the United Kingdom. Later, the film made an additional $20,800,000 in rental stores. Unlike the PG-rated predecessor, the MPAA rated Gremlins 2 PG-13, but it should be noted that the sequel is often considered lighter than the former, and that the first Gremlins is one of the movies that helped to create the PG-13 rating. In the DVD commentaries for both the original film and the sequel, director Joe Dante stated that he felt that Gremlins 2 was a case of waiting too long to capitalize on the success of the original, which hurt the sequel's chances of success.
References to the original Gremlins
- The most notable riff on the sequel is the presentation of Gremlins by a movie critic, who pans it until being overrun by the gremlins on-screen, whereupon he swiftly announces the contrary.
- Kate, at one point in the film, talks about a family tragedy that happened at a previous time in history for her, parodying the reason for which she hated Christmas in the original film. *Kate told about her father's accidental death in the previous film; in Gremlins 2, she told about her encounter with a flasher resembling president Abraham Lincoln.
- Billy has in his cubicle at work a picture of Kingston Falls, the location of the first film.
- A gremlin flashes Kate in this film as in the first (she responds by punting the creature across the room).
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the Gremlins' favorite film, as in the original movie.
- In the film Mr. Futterman tells Billy that his father, Rand Peltzer, who worked on "The Bathroom Buddy", is working on "reversible toilet-paper or something, I'm not sure".
- The gremlin George notices a microwave and lets his fellow gremlin Lenny throw some pots into it before he closes it and turns it on, making it explode within a few seconds; this could be interpreted as revenge of what happened in the first film where a gremlin was killed in a microwave.