We are constantly looking for new and different films when it comes to bringing you the best in genre entertainment. Short films are often where you find the most exciting new filmmakers taking chances, yet most audiences don’t seek them out. With that in mind, we will be showcasing a short film each week in an effort to give a signal boost to shorts we enjoy.
Fan films are tricky beasts. Most are sloppily made retreads of the original, a few—like Joseph Kahn’s satirical POWER/RANGERS short film—are so expensive and lavish, they attract the wrong kind of attention and get hit with a not-so-pleasant cease and desist letter. The rarest fan films are those that retain the spirit of the original property they are paying homage to while expanding that same universe.
GREMLINS: RECALL seems to be intended as a sequel to the first film, but in spirit, it feels more akin to Joe Dante’s superior sequel with its satirical jabs at corporations (in this case, a company that claims to have made the Mogwai species harmless but in reality are selling dangerous animals to the public) and less warm and fuzzy Mogwai sentiment as opposed to unrestrained Gremlin anarchy.
Writer/director Ryan Patrick clearly did not have a ton of money to spend on the film, but he has access to some decent Mogwai and Gremlin puppets and gets good performances from Katherine Rodriguez and Randy Irwin. He also finds the same delicate balance between comedy and mean-spirited violence that made both GREMLINS films so much fun.