Film: Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Gremlins 2: The New Batch is the 1990 sequel to Gremlins, again directed by Joe Dante.

Gizmo is still living in Mr. Wing's old shop in Chinatown, New York when his keeper dies. The place is soon demolished by the local Clamp corporation and Gizmo captured by a pair of scientists. Billy and Kate, having recently started working in the Clamp building, rescue Gizmo but not before an unfortunate accident creates a new strain of Gremlins who soon occupy the entire building.

This film provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The Brain Gremlin is an erudite, genetically-altered gremlin who merely wants what everyone wants, and what you tropers have: Civilization! The Geneva Convention, chamber music, Susan Sontag...
    The Brain: We want to be civilized. I mean, you take a look at this fellow here...
    (Shoots a nearby, annoying Gremlin in the face)
    The Brain: Now, was that civilized? No, clearly not. Fun, but in no sense civilized!
  • All There in the Script: Official merchandise for the film has revealed that the other mogwai/gremlins are named Daffy (the hyperactive one), George (the grumpy big-lipped one), Lenny (the bucktoothed dopey one), and Mohawk (the one that becomes the Spider Gremlin).
  • Anything But That!: Electric Gremlin gets trapped in the phone system and is put on hold. Cue a Muzak version of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"... its reaction is priceless.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Murray gets attacked by a winged Gremlin in broad daylight (thanks to an injection that helped it overcome that weakness) on a crowded New York sidewalk. In all superimposed footage at least, no one seems to notice.
  • Benevolent Boss: Daniel Clamp. He likes mingling with his employees, calls most people by their first name, has a bouncy personality and is utterly in love with technology in a manner suggestive of a wide-eyed kid, treating all manner of gizmos and gadgets like toys. He's also one of the few people in the company who actually listens to Billy.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Big Budget Beef-Up: $50,000,000 compared to the first's $11 million. This, obviously, meant more gremlins.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Gizmo saves Marla and Kate from the spider-gremlin after Taking A Level In Badass.
    • Clamp tries this and falls on his face.
    • Murray saves Billy from Daffy's Marathon Man scheme.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: Billy and Kate comment on how rude New Yorkers are. Brain also says that is looking forward to the street crime, which he is sure he’ll be able to see for free. Both Billy and Clamp’s idolization of Kingston Falls comes off as a slam on New York.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Forster, although he strangely decides to give in at the end.
  • Born in the Theatre, No Fourth Wall, and Painting the Medium all at once!
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Daniel Clamp
  • Butt Monkey: Gizmo for much of the movie, until he Took a Level in Badass.
  • Canada, Eh?: Billy and Marla went to a Canadian themed restaurant that has just about every stereotype (including an overly friendly waiter dressed as a Mountie and Gordon Lightfoot playing in the background). The chocolate mousse? You guessed it - a molded chocolate moose.
    Waiter: How about some horn?
  • Captain Ersatz:
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Clamp and the police storming building at the end.
  • Chained to a Railway: Parodied
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The electric Gremlin.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander/Laughing Mad: Even for a gremlin, Daffy is weird.
  • Clueless Boss: Daniel Clamp is presented as almost a childlike idealist entranced by his futuristic visions for his enterprise, seemingly unaware of the less scrupulous antics of his chief of security or Mad Scientist in his research clinic.
  • Cobweb Jungle
  • Continuity Nod: George causes an explosion using a microwave, a Shout-Out to the infamous "Exploding Gremlin" scene in the first movie. He even glares and growls "Mi...cro....wave!" after noticing it.
    • Kate starts to go into detail about a traumatic event that happened to her on the occurring holiday (here, Lincoln's birthday), but this time Billy tries to shut her up before she can finish (she does anyway while dragged away).
    • In the first film, Kate was flashed by a Gremlin in a trenchcoat while at the bar. In this film, the same thing happens... but she doesn't just take it.
    • Mohawk is a Shout-Out to Stripe, who was the head Mogwai/Gremlin in the first movie (see Reincarnation below).
  • Contrived Coincidence: Gizmo is captured by a couple of scientists who just happened to be lurking around the alley at that moment, they take him back to the laboratory which is in the same building Billy happens to now be working in and Billy happens to overhear a guy whistling Gizmo's song, cluing him in that Gizmo is there.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Subverted. Early in the film Clamp Enterprises had been suggested to be the typical evil (or at least amoral) corporation but when we finally meet Daniel Clamp he turns out to be a loveable Man Child who actually wants to use his massive resources to make the world a nicer place.
    • Clamp's oily assistant comes as close to being corrupt as you can without actually going over the line.
    • According to the DVD commentary Clamp was originally intended to be a more evil character, but John Glover's kind-hearted portrayal resulted in the character being adjusted accordingly.
  • Covered in Kisses: The female gremlin does this to Forster. Twice.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Daniel Clamp has a video for his cable network to play in the unlikely event Clamp has to shut down due to the end of the world.
    • According to Joe Dante, he once toured the CNN main headquarters, where they have just such a video waiting to be played when the final hour comes.
  • Credits Gag - Daffy Duck appears during and after the end credits commenting on them ("You're THTILL lurking about? Don't you people have HOMETH?!?").
  • Cute Monster Girl: Greta the female gremlin. "Cute" being a relative term.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Forster and Brain.
  • Die Hard with Gremlins: Inverse of how this trope usually goes. Normally, it is taking the premise of Die Hard and recycling it into a new setting. Here, it is taking the premise of the original Gremlins and transplanting it into a setting reminiscent of the original Die Hard.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Mohawk, who's been pretty non-interested in leading the other gremlins throughout much of the film, gets killed while the greater part of the gremlins are still creating mayhem. The Brain gremlin effectively assumed his place beforehand.
  • The Ditz: Lenny.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: As a result of the handily placed genetics chemicals, a lot of the Gremlins in this film gain unique personalities and attributes. Even besides that, the initial batch born as Mogwai all look and act radically different from each other compared to those in the first film.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Gizmo personally takes out Mohawk, who had been sadistically tormenting him throughout the first half of the movie.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After another gremlin invasion,Gizmo is ultimately able to reunite with Billy.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In a deleted scene on the DVD, the Gremlins were clearly seen releasing the lab animals from their cages in the Splice of Life Laboratory, even one of them shouts, "GO! GO!" when he lets a dog out. The Vegetable Gremlin doesn't seem to mind when a released squirrel was munching on his head. In the final version, the gremlins don't attack Fred the whole time he's on the building, implying they do not harm those who are not afraid of them.
  • Evil Elevator: The Gremlins commandeer one of the Clamp building's elevators with Kate inside it.
  • Evil Redhead: A scheming female boss who tries to seduce Billy and is a Jerk Ass to Kate. She ends up being trapped in Spider Gremlin's web! Guess who saves her bacon...
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Before the Brain gremlin drank the brain serum, he was just a cannon fodder.
  • Genetic Memory: The Gremlins have an instinctive hatred of Gizmo. This seems to be passed down from George, Lenny, and Daffy (who were born from Gizmo and helped Mohawk push him into an air vent) to the numerous gremlins that spawn from the aforementioned trio. How they know Gizmo by name is pretty much Rule of Funny.
  • Got the Whole World in My Hand: The Clamp corporate logo.
  • Groin Attack: Kate delivers a very hard and swift kick to a gremlin's crotch after he flashes her, sending him flying.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Except for Fred, none of the humans make any attempt to reason with the Gremlins, not that it would have done any good. Instead, the humans simply work out how to kill them all, and none of them—even Fred—feel any sense of sadness in seeing them all fried and melted.
  • Hammerspace: Where the Brain Gremlin gets his glasses from.
  • High Voltage Death: Billy kills off the Gremlin hoard by getting them wet (normally a bad idea) but then unleashing the gremlin that had Shock and Awe Elemental Powers on them.'s not clear what happened to the electric Gremlin after that. Maybe being grounded absorbed him into the ground?
    • The novelization says he "short-circuited," but not before spreading enough amperage around the Gremlins to kill them all.
  • Hollywood Acid: Complete with the sadly ignored warning label "Do Not Throw In Face".
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Daniel Clamp.
  • Hybrid Monster: Several of the Gremlins become these during the course of the film. One even turns into a bolt of electricity by drinking one of the potions in the lab.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: How Forster treats Wing's homilies.
  • Idiot Ball: Gizmo just had to get out of the drawer Billy left him in and wander around an unfamiliar building (especially after the residents of said building had already tried to dissect him), instead of just waiting for his owner and friend to come and take him home.
  • I'm Melting: The Gremlins’ ultimate fate. Bonus points for explicit Wizard of Oz reference, with the witch’s hat and directly quoting the phrase itself!
  • Impact Silhouette: Parodied; when the Bat Gremlin flies through a wall, the hole he leaves behind is shaped like the Batman logo.
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: During the theater takeover, one of the gremlins manages to create Abraham Lincoln with shadow puppets.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Gizmo's owner, Mr. Wing. Justified and lampshaded in-story by the fact that he is particularly old (think 90-plus), having reached the type of age where even a seemingly innocuous cold could be life-threatening. Invoked by Forster after meeting with him.
  • Interspecies Romance: The very last scene.
  • It Amused Me: As Brain points out, shooting one of his less mature brethren in the face with a pistol is fun, "but in no sense civilized".
  • Japanese Tourist: Mr. Kazuchi.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Used in-universe with this exchange:
    Clamp: That thing that was in here a minute ago, that's dangerous! This guy's from the art department.
    Forster: Well, ask him how he knows so much about these "green things".
    Clamp: That's a good question Bill – how do you know so much about them?
  • Karmic Death: Dr. Catheter and Mohawk
  • Kill It with Fire combined with You Have to Burn the Web.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Some of Clamp's incredulous minions snarkily question Billy about the vagueness of the Gremlin rules.
  • Large Ham: Both of these were probably intentional, considering the enforced campy nature of the film.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At the very beginning of the movie, Kate is showing up for work at Clamp enterprises. An unnamed Jerkass shoves her down and runs into the revolving door. The revolving door malfunctions, spins like a top, and hurls him back through the line at a very high rate of speed. He is taken away on a stretcher, in a neck brace moaning in extreme pain while Kate watches him, smiling.
  • LEGO Genetics: How a number of the gremlins managed to turn into hybrids after raiding the genetics lab for Applied Phlebotinums. This is briefly handwaved by their unstable genetics.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Gizmo has one of these moments.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the first film was (somewhat) more serious in tone, the sequel is played more for laughs. The Gremlins don’t actually kill anyone—at least, on-screen—except for Dr. Catheter, who is electrocuted by the Gremlin who becomes electric because of Catheter’s experimentation.
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Catheter, played to the hilt by Christopher Lee. Interestingly he subverts it later on when he rejects his experiments as immoral, and vows that he will not commit cruel genetic experiments on animals again.
  • Mook Promotion: A random Gremlin drinks a brain-enhancing formula and becomes the swarm's leader/spokesgremlin. (While the original leader becomes a skulking half-spider monstrosity.)
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Brain Gremlin's intelligence doesn't stop him from having the same sociopathic tendencies as the other gremlins.
    *the Brain Gremlin is being interviewed about culture and civilization when another gremlin with a beanie pops in from the side and starts making a racket*
    Brain Gremlin: You take a look at this fellow here.
    *the Brain Gremlin takes out a gun and casually shoots the other gremlin in the head*
    Brain Gremlin: Now, was that civilized? No, clearly not. Fun, but in no sense civilized.
  • Nightmare Face: When the gremlin in the receptionist's chair smiles evilly at Donald Clamp, it's enough to make you wish you had Brain Bleach. But the winner of the scariest face of all goes to Mohawk. He's even more frightful when he was Stripe.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Clamp is obviously Donald Trump, but it wasn't til near the end that people didn't put two and two together in that Billy's supervisor's name as Marla.
    • There's a good amount of Ted Turner in there as well, what with the cable networks, the 'End of the World' tape on-deck, and his colorizing old black and white films (shown in a deleted scene where he colorizes a scene from It's A Wonderful Life).
  • Non-Standard Character Design: In both their mogwai and gremlin forms,the 4 main gremlins,Mohawk,George,Lenny and Daffy, look remarkably different from the other ones.
  • Obviously Evil: Even as a Mogwai, Mohawk looks outright terrifying compared to his goofy brethren.
  • Oedipus Complex: It is the Mogwais/Gremlins who came directly from Gizmo who are most dedicated to torturing and tormenting him.
  • Only in It for the Money: Clamp earnestly notes that there are “real lives” at stake, and then follows up by worriedly stating, “Do you have any idea what kind of lawsuits we’re looking at here?”
  • Planimal: A gremlin drinks a potion from the science lab and becomes a gremlin/vegetable hybrid. Later we see another gremlin picking a bit of him off to snack on. He's also handy for garnishing mixed drinks.
  • Post Modernism
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: A weird quasi-case. When the movie was put on video, Dante realized the sequence of the Gremlins Breaking the Fourth Wall and taking over the projection room wouldn't fit the new format, so he made a completely different version of the scene where they cause the VCR to eat the tape.
    • And in the novelization, the Brain Gremlin locks the author into a closet and takes over the typewriter for a bit.
  • Punny Name: Doctor Catheter? Really?
  • Redemption Equals Death: Not long after Dr. Catheter decides to dedicate his life to good, he gets killed by the Electric Gremlin.
  • Reincarnation: Word of God states that Mohawk, the new leader of the gremlins, was Stripe, the primary antagonist from the first film reborn. Fortunately, Gizmo sends him back to the grave for good. Whether this is a literal reincarnation or figurative (as in, they fulfill similar archetypes) is unclear, though it is implied to be the former as Mohawk goes out of his way to torment Gizmo for much of the movie, and in the first movie Gizmo was the character who killed Stripe.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The sequel underplays the genuine horror tones of the original and focuses a lot more on the Gremlins' mischief, with a lot of it portrayed as more slapstick than in the first film (complete with added cartoon sound effects). Even the human cast is a lot more comedic.
  • Rich Boredom: Mr. Clamp
  • Running Gag: Malfunctioning revolving doors
  • Sealed Evil in a Can
  • Self-Parody: This film often parodies itself, the previous film and audience (and critics') reactions to the film.
  • Sexual Karma: A newly girlified gremlin "attacks" a hapless human male!
  • Shout-Out: This is a Joe Dante film, after all, so you will be getting Looney Tunes and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) references (including the pod from the original film!), and all of the referential gags to Batman, The Phantom of the Opera (1925), and other Warner Bros. properties. Look fast for a pair of DC Comics (another Warners company) on the cabinet behind Billy's desk.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Definitely further over into comedy.
  • Smart People Speak The Queen's English: The Brain Gremlin.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There's only one girl gremlin, and that's entirely due to gene splicing.
  • So Last Season: They try to get every Gremlin into the lobby by fooling them into thinking it's nighttime, then fry them with sunlight. Then come the thunderclouds. Cue Oh Crap! moment.
  • Special Effects Evolution: The puppetry as a whole is improved upon from the first film.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Mohawk.
  • Stealth Pun: George and Lenny are named after the main characters from Of Mice and Men.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Strongly hinted at the end, with Forster towards the female Gremlin.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: The Marathon Man version is spoofed.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Mohawk is one for Stripe
  • Taken for Granite: The bat Gremlin ends up covered in quick-drying cement as a gargoyle atop a cathedral.
  • Take That, Audience!: The control room security team who pose mocking questions about the Three Rules are Audience Surrogates for the many fans who have posed similar skeptical questions. Billy’s eye roll and Mohawk’s attack illustrate the movie’s feelings about such endless hole-punching.
    • Bonus points: Archie Hahn plays the hapless skeptic who Mohawk punches. Hahn is considered a scrappy amongst fans of the UK "Whose Line?', and this scene is somewhat popular amongst those fans.
  • Take That, Critics!: Surprisingly, one of the least bitter Take Thats. Leonard Maltin, who gave the original Gremlins a negative review, appears as himself and is promptly mocked and attacked by the rampaging army.
    Maltin: I was just kidding! Ow! A ten! It's a ten!
  • That's All, Folks!
    Daffy Duck: Oh no you don't!
  • Token Good Teammate: Girl Gremlin is the only "after midnight" Gremlin who isn't evil. She just wanna be loved.
    • According to an early script, Lenny is also this. In the final film he's more dopey and mischievous than actively malicious and in the original story he would have underwent an outright Heel-Face Turn.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gizmo, at the same time doing a Rambo spoof.
  • Training Montage: parodied by Gizmo
  • Unexplained Recovery: The Futtermans sure seem to have recovered well from that whole snow plow thing in the first movie (it is mentioned in the first movie that they survived, but you have to listen carefully to hear it).
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Billy fully explains his first plan to kill all the Gremlins, which is to have them all go into the lobby and then get killed by the sunlight. This plan of course fails. For his second plan, Billy only tells a horrified Mr. Futterman to fire water into the Gremlins, but does not explain the part about releasing the electric Gremlin. This plan of course succeeds.
  • Villain Song: Frank Sinatra's New York, New York no less. And amazingly well-coordinated!
    Grandpa Fred: Incredible as it seems, ladies and gentlemen, after their bizarre, bloodcurdling rampage of destruction, these strange creatures now appear to be mounting what seems to be... a musical number.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: "Daffy", "George" and "Lenny" disappear during the latter half of the movie (though deleted scenes depict them "helping" with Grandpa Fred's show and their Family-Unfriendly Death with the rest of the Gremlins).
    • One of the melting skeletons at the end clearly has George's cigar in its mouth.
    • What happened to Clamp's secretary? Did she die?
    • The electric Gremlin's ultimate fate remains unclear.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: "Marla... smoke."
  • You Have to Burn the Web: when Gizmo shoots the spider gremlin with flaming arrows.