30 years later, Gremlins 2 prompts some fun fan discussion about the bizarre, highly-funded sequel. Director Joe Dante reflected on the film and Yahoo detailed those highlights.
“It was much more comprehensive, many more gremlins than there were in the first movie,” Dante told Yahoo Entertainment during a 2015 Director’s Reel interview. “[We had] more money for special effects.”
Dante credits make-up and effects expect Rick Baker for some the strange creations.
“We had a flying gremlin. And we had all sorts of stuff that we couldn’t possibly have afforded to do in the other movie. And it’s a pretty crazy, manic movie. And one of my favorites.
“Rick Baker didn’t want to come on if he had to redo [original creator] Chris Walas’s gremlins because what’s in it for him? And so to induce him, we changed the story so that there was a genetics lab run by Christopher Lee,” Dante says of the plot, which centered around Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel) once again spawning dangerous creatures in Manhattan.
“They turned the gremlins into different kinds of gremlins. So all the designs and ideas that Rick had, we could come up with and we could make different kinds of gremlins out of them. And plus he changed the designs of Gizmo and the regular gremlins a little bit.”
Regarding the late Christopher Lee as the mad scientist Dr. Catheter: ““When Chris came in, he had an idea that he wanted to play it wacky. And he wanted to have long hair, and he wanted to look like his character in The Gorgon, with the big mustache.
“And I took him down to the set and I said, you know this is pretty austere. I need the formidable, forbidding Christopher Lee in order to be able to make fun of that. And then he got it right away, and then he played it that way.”
Gremlins 2: A New Batch starred Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, and Keye Luke,all returning to reprise their roles from the first film. New cast members included John Glover, Robert Prosky, Haviland Morris, Robert Picardo, and Lee.