Saturday, 11 April 2015

Gremlins 2 (4 Stars)

To survive a war, you gotta become war.

This is the first time I've ever seen the sequel to "Gremlins". I had heard nothing about it, except that it's "not as good as the first film". After watching it I have to disagree with this statement. It's much better. It was made six years after the first film, a long delay for a sequel, which might explain the lack of success at the box office.

The creatures are actually called mogwais, not gremlins as in the film title. The film shows the original mogwai, Gizmo, running away after the death of his owner. He's trapped in a laboratory in the Clamp Building, a fully automated building in Manhattan. The scientists studying him don't know the (rather ridiculous) rules that we heard in the first film, so he gets wet and has lots of offspring. As in the first film, the new mogwais turn against their father and torture him. In the sequel the mogwais use scientific compounds they find in the laboratory to mutate themselves into all sorts of variations, such as a spider mogwai, a bat mogwai and a hooker mogwai.

The film makes no attempt to remain within the realms of credibility. The action and the comedy relies on slapstick. The boundary between film and reality is frequently breeched. For instance, a television show being broadcast from the Clamp Building shows a film critic reviewing the video release of "Gremlins" and giving it a bad review. Later in the film the footage breaks, and the viewers are told that the mogwais have invaded the projection booth and wrecked the film reel. I like humour like this.

"Gremlins 2" is the earliest film that I know that used after-credits footage. Was it the first? I don't know. It's become very popular now, especially in Marvel films. I wonder how many cinema visitors remained in their seats during the credits in 1990.

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