The fine folks at Warner Bros. want you to know that Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch are finally out on Blu-ray today. In fact, the Gremlins disc is a 25th Anniversary Edition and both pretty loaded with extras.
I’ve been waiting for these to be released for a while now. The first Gremlins movie holds a really special place in my heart. I remember my father taking my brother Paul and I to see it while my older brother Daniel went to see The Karate Kid with my mom. It drove me nuts. I wanted a Gizmo of my own. At the same time, I was haunted by the horrible things that would happen if I ever messed up and I was pretty scarred by the final image of Stripe’s skeleton falling apart in the last scene in the garden center. At the same time, we laughed like crazy when the old woman in the motorized lift went sailing out the window. Really, what person who grew up in the 80s and 90s doesn’t know the rules for raising a Mogwai?
The movie really has so many scenes that have become classic. I almost feel sorry for kids today because there’s really no modern equivalent. Can you think of a kids movie released in the last 20 years that is just as dark, funny and well done as the original Gremlins (and remember that Jurassic Park is now over 20 years old!)? Joe Dante really doesn’t get enough credit for what he and Stephen Spielberg accomplished with this film (and my wife considers it a holiday staple).
Now, Gremlins 2: The New Batch is a mixed bag, but one that I’ve come to love almost as much over the years. It really took a lot of risks with some of the jokes (a sexualized hooker Gremlin anybody?) and is kind of a more interesting movie in some respects. The first time that I saw it was in Guadalajara with my cousins and besides being the first time I’d seen Christopher Lee on film, it led to one of the big mysteries of my childhood. It concerns the scene midway through the movie in which the fourth wall is broken and Hulk Hogan shows up to address the audience and get rid of the Gremlins that are interrupting the film. Now, thanks to Wikipedia, I know that The Hulkster is in the theatrical version of the film. But on home video, the scene was altered to have a voice acted John Wayne kick the Gremlins out of your VCR. I got in so many middle school arguments while insisting that Hulk Hogan was in a version of that scene… and I was right! I just couldn’t prove it until the advent of Youtube or this Blu-ray was finally released! It has the alternate home video sequence as one of the extras!
Here’s the box art for each, their synopsis (in case you’re living in a cave and know nothing about Gremlins) and the extras for each disc. And I look forward to having you over this holiday for a Gremlins 2 part marathon… but it has to be over by midnight.
Gremlins (it’s $7.99 from the WB store? Ridiculous!)
Gremlins is a wildly original roller-coaster ride of hilarious mischief. One minute your hair will stand on end, the next you’ll hold your sides with laughter at the havoc these supposedly gentle furballs create when the rules surrounding their care and feeding are inadvertently broken one fateful Christmas. Written by Chris Columbus and directed by Joe Dante, Gremlins unleashes special effects that dazzle and enchant and merriment that lingers in the memory. And isn’t that “what superior popular moviemaking is all about” (Richard Corliss, Time).
Features: Over 10 Minutes of Additional Scenes
Director Joe Dante, Phoebe Cates, Zach Galligan, Dick Miller and Howie Mandel
Director Joe Dante, Producer Michael Finnell and Special Effects Artist Chris Walas
Billy Peltzer and Kate Beringer move to New York City and meet up with their Mogwai friend, Gizmo, when a series of accidents creates a new generation of diverse gremlins. Billy, Kate, and Gizmo must once again use all their experience to prevent another catastrophe.
Features: Audio Commentary: with director Joe Dante and producer Michael Finnell
Deleted Scenes: Over 20 minutes of never-before-seen footage
Filmographies: Cast/Crew Film Highlights