I watched GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH for the first time a few weeks ago (I know, I know), and loved the self-referential scenes. From Phoebe Cates’ Lincoln’s-Birthday-related “Why I Hate Christmas Speech” callback, to Leonard Martin’s criticism of the first GREMLINS movie, the numerous fourth-wall-breaking moments transformed what otherwise could have been a throwaway kids’ sequel into a film still worth discovering twenty years after the fact.
But in a film full of meta scenes, perhaps the most meta was the scene where Gremlins interrupt the movie to show clips from a cutie nudie flick, which forces Hulk Hogan to, well… see for yourself:
Shortly after I finished the film, I got online to see if I could find a copy of the novelization, which I vaguely remembered seeing classmates read when I was a kid. I was curious to see how the novelist, David Bischoff, had handled the Hulk Hogan sequence. After laying down $.75 + s/h (thanks Half.com) and waiting a few days, I had my answer. And it was better than I could have imagined:
That’s right, Brain Gremlin waylays the novelist and writes two pages of a Gremlins New Capitalist Democratic Nice Folks manifesto. Click on the two images for a bigger picture, or just check out the text below:
There. The novelizer, Mr. David Bischoff, Esq., has been successfully waylaid and is now tied up in the bathroom of his Los Angeles apartment.
Do not attempt to adjust your book.
We have control of the programming.
Please excuse the rudeness. You have previously known me as the “Gremlin that drank the brain fluid” – or, as Bischoff quaintly called me, Mr. Glasses. Believe it or not, in the screenplay, I am referred to as BRAIN GREMLIN.
I want to take this opportunity to talk to you about our philosophy toward life, so that we will not be misunderstood and branded as “monsters.”
Yes, but faithful novel readers, I do not intend to cheat you. In the movie presentation, Gremlins take over the movie theater (ah, what a delicious conceit – excellent, Joe – was that you?) and Hulk Hogan comes to the rescue.
I do believe that Kenneth Tobey of THE THING is somewhere in there.
However, let us deal with more intellectual matters.
In the great paradigm of anti-intellectualism that is the vast American untermenchen, there needs to be a seismic quake of thought, a veritable avalanche of anarchy, to wake you somnambulent beings from your couch-potato torpor.
May I offer you the services of we Gremlins. You may hereafter refer to us as the New Capitalist Democratic Nice Folks.
Already our numbers are spreading out from the heart of America to aid you in this endeavor and although you may be viewing this physically for the first time now (except for those lucky citizens of Kingston Falls who received a foreshadow some years ago) our intellectual forces have been at work for some time, albeit embodied in human form.
According to my contacts with our crypto-CD’s the Church of SubGenius it is generally not know, for instance, that the entirety of network television is programmed by proto-Capitalist Democrats.
However, the past is merely prologue, introduction, forward, with some long footnotes thrown in.
Our time is now!
So, my dear readers (oh, the few, the chosen literate who have been intelligent enough to purchase this volume) prepare for a New Age of the New Capitalist Demo -
Oh dear. Mr. Bischoff seems to have successfully axed his way out of the bathroom.
Methinks I need to fly and return this temporarily liberated keyboard to his suburb, urbane and witty prose -
Back I fly to the Clamp Cent…
Wow… those few paragraphs – which contain references to the novelization, the GREMLINS 2 screenplay, Kenneth Tobey and THE THING, Joe Dante, and the Church of SubGenius(!), among other things – are even more meta than the cinematic sequence they’re replacing. Kudos to Mr. David Bischoff, Esq. (apparently he’s a lawyer, as well as an author) for putting waaaay more effort into the novelization than he had to.
If you’re ready to join me in the New Capitalist Democratic Nice Folks party, sign up in the comments.