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The unforgettable satire: How Gremlins 2 made a mockery of Hollywood sequels (The Independent)

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Director Joe Dante wasn’t just selling out when he agreed to make a follow-up to his hit 1984 film, writes Ed Power. Released 30 years ago, ‘Gremlins 2: The New Batch’ remains a coruscating criticism of franchise greed


There are sequels and then there are movies which argue that sequels are ridiculous and that we’re all fools for playing Hollywood’s game. Or, at least, there is one such movie. Gremlins 2: The New Batch, which marks its 30th anniversary on 15 June, is a subversive farce that jams its finger in the eye of cinema convention and blows its nose in the face of Tinseltown avarice.


Gremlins 2 is a sequel that understands that it exists for no reason other than to line the pockets of the studio. And it wants you to know that it knows. Moreover, as with all truly great films, it can be appreciated at several levels. It succeeds as meta commentary on Hollywood greed. But it also features a scene in which one of the titular green goblins with chihuahua ears and googly eyes is noisily mulched in an office shredder. It’s got the power and the gory.


“After several years of trying to figure out how to make a sequel to this movie that really didn’t need a sequel, my producer, Mike Finnell, and I were convinced to come back,” is how director Joe Dante described the process of making Gremlins 2 to the Chicago Reader in 2012. “We decided to do a movie that not only made fun of the first movie and all those horror movie tropes, but got away with some social satire as well.”



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