Varese Sarabande remembered the rules when announcing their latest Soundtrack Club release–a surprise expansion of Jerry Goldsmith’s madcap horror-comedy score to Gremlins 2: The New Batch–informing customers Monday morning instead of after midnight, sparing buyers from a horde of anarchic green beasts.
Released 25 years ago in 1990, Gremlins 2 may be one of the most brazen sequels ever put forth by a major Hollywood studio. Joe Dante’s delicious original film, written by Chris Columbus and produced by Steven Spielberg, was one of the biggest hits of 1984, but the director resisted pressure to sign onto a follow-up until he was promised absolute creative control.
Dante would turn in a wild MAD magazine issue of a movie, with Gizmo and his hellraising brethren stuck in a New York skyscraper, doling out more pop culture-savvy jokes than legitimate scares. (When returning lead Zach Galligan attempts to explain how the Gremlins came to be in an early scene, he’s greeted with nitpicks to the original film’s concept that wouldn’t be out of place on an Internet message board; elsewhere, the titular beasts literally stop the film from continuing, relenting only after an impassioned cameo by wrestler Hulk Hogan.)
With an expanded filmic palette (including newly-redesigned Gremlins by Rick Baker), Dante once again joined forces with composer Jerry Goldsmith on the Gremlins sequel score. (Goldsmith even has a memorable cameo as a concerned yogurt shop patron early in the film.) The original Gremlins was a chance for Goldsmith to do several of the things he did best, namely lush melodic themes and wild, synth-heavy arrangements; here, he reprises the original film’s themes with an expanded orchestra but loses none of the original score’s left-field sensibility. Wild, madcap horns and even cartoonish sound effects are the order of the day throughout (the distinctive motif for the Gremlin known as “Daffy” features quacks, train whistles and old-time honking horns).
Gremlins 2: The New Batch would go on to become a cult classic on video, and Goldsmith’s score would be heard as an underrated treasure when Varese briefly released it after the film was released. A perfect companion to Film Score Monthly’s long-gestating Gremlins 2CD reissue in 2011, Varese’s 25th anniversary edition of Gremlins 2 features a significantly expanded presentation of the original soundtrack CD, with 20 of the new disc’s 32 tracks featuring unreleased material! Key among them are Goldsmith’s delightful score for the Chuck Jones-directed Looney Tunes cartoon that kicks off the film, as well as the climactic musical number featuring Tony Randall’s “Brain” Gremlin leading a rousing rendition of “New York, New York”!
Pre-order this set here…but make sure not to expose it to sunlight or water, please.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch–The Deluxe Edition (originally released as Varese Sarabande VS-5269, 1990 – reissued Varese Sarabande VCL 0615 1156, 2015)
- Merrily We Roll Along/Prologue/Just You Wait † (5:09)
- Future Thoughts * (:34)
- Gizmo’s Capture/A Disaster/Fatal Prognosis * (2:32)
- Cute… * (2:04)
- Gizmo Escapes (3:53)
- Instructions * (1:50)
- Leaky Faucet (3:49)
- The Impostor * (1:14)
- The Visitors (3:34)
- No Rats (2:28)
- The Long Fall/Hot Wire/The Time Zone * (2:36)
- Pot Luck (3:08)
- Pacing/Fast Rise * (1:18)
- A Better Mouse Trap * (1:47)
- Gremlins At Work / The Brain Hormones / Gremlins Wings* (4:59)
- Gremlin Mayhem * (3:59)
- Teenage Mutant Gremlins (3:31)
- On The Track/Workout/Something New/The Bag * (1:04)
- No Cavities/Climate Control * (2:09)
- Keep It Quiet (3:18)
- New York, New York/Rhapsody In Blue * (2:05)
- Congo Corta/Gremlinition * (:41)
- Broadway To Bowery/New York, New York/A Big Chance * (1:48)
- Gremlin Pudding (2:22)
- New Trends (3:51)
- Bridal Chorus * (1:11)
- Gremlin Credits (5:01)
- Cute… (Album Version) (2:04)
- Movie Police * (:48)
- Nearer My God To Thee * (1:23)
- Clamp Logos * (:22)
- Postlude * (:25)
(*) denotes previously unreleased track
(†) contains previously unreleased material