The director named Gremlins 2 in a list he posted on Twitter over the weekend of 36 sequels that he thinks are better than their predecessors. Other choices included Evil Dead 2, The Dark Knight, and Blade II, with the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker also throwing in some more recent MCU movies to the mix.
Preferring Gremlins 2 to Gremlins may arguably be down to the former’s scrapping of a rulebook that was already pretty loose in the original picture. Director Joe Dante agreed to return to the franchise after Warner Bros. gave him rare creative control, allowing him to experiment with what usually goes into a major studio sequel. As a result, the film’s plot of gremlins taking over a New York high-rise building presided over by magnate Daniel Clamp is mostly an excuse for many self-referential moments.
Among the more memorable scenes in Gremlins 2 are the gremlins appearing to take over the film itself, forcing Hulk Hogan to step in and demand that they continue with the action. Throw in a lot of playful takes on the mythology set up in the original Gremlins, and it’s clear that Dante was indulging in his anarchic spirit, including references to the Looney Tunes, Batman, and the whole idea of sequels and merchandising in general.
We’re also fans of Gremlins 2 for how there really isn’t much else like it in terms of a big budget sequel, and for the many targets Dante hits, including John Glover’s Daniel Clamp as a Donald Trump/Ted Turner hybrid. Although Gremlins 2 was the last on-screen outing for the gremlins, we’re looking forward to the confirmed animated prequel series, which will hopefully spark new interest in a feature return for Gizmo and co.