The 'Gremlins 2' Novelization Is Even More Off The Rails
A lot of beloved ‘80s movies received fairly disappointing sequels; Ghostbusters II wasn’t amazing, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was a huge bummer, and Field of Dreams 2 was just a real-life major league baseball game played 30 years later without a single goddamn ghost in sight. But Joe Dante’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch is an impressively bonkers movie that stands apart from the original -- so much so that its unrelenting insanity was famously immortalized in a Key & Peele sketch.
One of the movie’s biggest swings is a meta gag in which the film breaks down after Gremlins attack the projectionist -- and only noted cinema lover Hulk Hogan can get the movie back on track.
Since the original Gremlins received a tie-in novelization (which, oddly, revealed that the Gremlins were some random alien’s genetically engineered experiments gone wrong), the sequel did too. So how did it handle this meta interlude? In lieu of the movie theatre scene, it includes a lengthy passage in which the hyper-intelligent “Brain Gremlin” takes over the story after the Gremlins attacked the book’s author, David Bischoff, and locked him in the bathroom.
The creature goes on to describe the Hulk Hogan scene in the movie and further explains that the Gremlins are really a political movement called the “New Capitalist Democratic Nice Folks” because “there needs to be a seismic quake of thought, a veritable avalanche of anarchy, to wake you somnambulant beings from your couch-potato torpor.”
The Brain Gremlin also briefly mentions the “Church of Subgenius,” the real-life 1980s scam/parody religion, which is a pretty wild reference to shoehorn into a family movie novelization. Sadly, most of the other pieces of merchandise weren’t quite so adventurous; there’s no page in the Gremlins 2 coloring book depicting Leonard Maltin’s murder, for example.
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Top Image: Warner Bros.