Comparison between the VHS tape and the DVD version.
VHS: 97:23 mins. w/o end credits (101:50 w/ end credits) PAL
DVD: 97:32 mins. w/o end credits (102:00 w/ end credits) PAL
Six years after the first part, director Joe Dante 1990 once again released his Gremlins (those little monsters allergic to water) on the audience. Probably a bit too late, because not only did the movie fail the critics, but also the box office results were not at all satisfactory. The movie may be a bit worse than the first part and not all punchlines hit the target, it still delivers nice entertainment, some funny bashes against technology-fixated society, and countless movie hommages and other funny ideas.
The different versions
One of those funny ideas was that the Gremlins gain control over the movie for a short time. In the theatrical release, it looks like a broken reel, followed by Gremlins messing around and inserting an own movie. Luckily, Wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan (at the peak of his career at the time) is sitting in the audience and convinces the Gremlins to continue with the actual movie.
Some of the audience at the time report that often especially the younger people were looking for either Gremlins or the Hulkster in the auditorium.
Nevertheless it was clear that this joke would lose much impact on tape or on TV. So it was decided to insert an alternative scene for the VHS version which would have a similar effect on the home audience that had often been annoyed by messed up tapes. In this version, it looks like the tape is messed up and the Gremlins have taped over it. They switch through several channels and it ends up in a John Wayne movie where the Duke 'convinces' the Gremlins to return to their own movie immediately.
On the DVD-release, you again have the theatrical version with Hulk Hogan, but the alternative scene of the VHS version is included as easter egg.
However, some fans who didn't know the theatrical version did complain about the missing John-Wayne-gag (which already had happened vice versa at the release of the VHS-version)...
Note: The subtitles in some pictures of this report originate from the German VHS they have been taken from.
64:43-66:33 (DVD) / 64:35-66:24 (VHS)
A Gremlin appears on the screen and starts laughing while another one is appearing on the right hand side. After having had some fun, they disappear and start creating silhouettes with their hands (a bird, a bunny rabbit, and even Abraham Lincoln). Afterwards, one of the Gremlins reappears with a film reel in his hands and starts laughing ('Nudie, nudie, nudie!').
An old movie is now running, titled "Volleyball Holiday". It seems to be an erotic movie, as you can see three women running around naked, but only for about 1 sec. (however, you can even very briefly make out a nipple).
The movie immediately switches to the 'real' situation. A woman drags her child out of the auditorium, angrily throwing another person's popcorn on the floor. She turns to an employee (Paul Bartel) saying: 'Sir, I can't believe this. This is worse than the first one.'
He replies: 'We just show these movies, we don't make them.'
The woman tries to reply to that when the projectionist comes down the stairs, having been wrapped in celluloid by the Gremlins, saying: 'I quit. Call the union, the National Guard. Those things took over the projector. All they wanna see is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.'
The employee lift his hands and says: 'Enough! I'll take care of this.' He steps through the auditorium, stops by Hogan, and informs him about the situation. Hulk immediately gets up and asks: 'Gremlins? In this theater? Now?'
He yells at the Gremlins in the projection booth: "Ok, guys, listen up! People paid money to see this movie. When they go out, they want cold sodas, popcorn... and no monsters in the projection booth.' He angrily crushes his popcorn bag and makes some wild gestures.
After a short cut to the employee, Hulk rips his shirt off his chest like in old times and says: 'Can the Gremsters stand up
to the Hulkster? If I were you, I'd run the rest of Gremlins right now!'
The movie in the background stops immediately and the Hulkster turns to the audience/the viewer: 'Sorry, folks. It won't happen again.'
He gets back into his seat and you hear the audience putting their hands together for him.
In the distorted picture, a Gremlin appears laughing heartily while another one is appearing on the right hand side. After having had some fun, they disappear and start creating silhouettes with their hands (a bird, a bunny rabbit, and even Abraham Lincoln).
Now, the Gremlins' switching through the channels starts. First, you see the title of 'Channel 11 Action News', but the Gremlins switch the channel, laughing naughtily. You shortly see a battle scene from an old movie, but the Gremlins switch the channel again, still laughing.
A cow gets branded with the Gremlins sign, a switch to another angle shows the Gremlins in cowboy outfits standing behind it and having fun. Suddenly you hear a voice from the background: 'Hold it!'. The Gremlins startle and one of them says: 'Duke!'.
You see John Wayne, saying 'Get the hell off my spread! Now!' The Gremlins just shake their heads, followed by the Duke from the background: 'Go on back to your own movie!'
Distortion followed by an appearance of Bugs Bunny: 'Hey, I bet that was...say...do you think that...could that have been a...GREMLIN?'
You see the distorted picture once again, followed by scenes of a shootout between John Wayne and the Gremlins. After a short while, the Duke has shot all Gremlins except one, but he is out of ammo. The Gremlin starts laughing and aims at the Duke, but Wayne somehow still has one round left and gets rid of the last troublemaker. He comments from the background, as you see said Gremlin: 'Well, I warned them. I don't need foreigners on my ranch and you folks don't need them in your TV sets. Start that movie up again.'
You hear the audience applauding while you see a test screen with a Gremlin, which is on every screen eventually, then both versions run along in the same way with the scenes in the surveillance room of the Clamp building.
The DVD runs 9 secs. longer