Following on from their screening of an alternative Christmas classic in December with Batman Returns, Hollywood Babylon are returning this January to kick off 2017. On January 14th at the Light House Cinema, they’ll be showing another well-remembered sequel and paying their tribute to the great Joe Dante in the process, bringing the cult classic Gremlins 2: The New Batch back to the big screen in 35mm.
Gremlins 2 was not what audiences were expecting on its initial release in 1990, as it amped up the cartoonish slapstick and threw all sorts of movie parodies into the mix, even featuring then new animation from cartoon legend Chuck Jones to kick the film off. The New Batch is essentially Dante mooning the very concept of sequels, pushing his own creation incredibly over the top after the studio initially wanted to make a sequel (which he felt Gremlins didn’t need) without him before coming back cap of creative control in hand. Dante decided to go even more cartoonish with his horror comedy as a result.
The film features a thinly-veiled parody of Donald Trump as well as an appearance from the self-parody that is Hulk Hogan, the other prominently oafish, orange racist of our times. As a madcap satire of consumerism that sneers at its own existence it’s perhaps easy to understand why it failed to catch on as family entertainment. And equally easy to understand why it succeeded in becoming a cult hit and exactly the kind of film best seen in a late night ‘midnight movie’ slot like this one.
The screening begins at 10.45pm with a Trailer-Trash pre-show that’s promised to be packed with shout-outs to Joe Dante. Tickets to Hollywood Babylon’s event are still available from the Light House.