Here it is, after a small delay. I can't remember if I have watched any of these films before. I think I have but it is hard for me to say. I watched Critters (1986) last night and nothing about it, outside of the creatures, brought any memories back. I know I have seen these creatures before but I don't know if it is because of some other show that might have had a clip from one of the movies or if I have just watched one or some of one of the movies. I guess it doesn't really matter in the end. I didn't go out of my way to pick this series. I was just looking through Netflix movies one day and saw it so I added it to my queue. It is very possible I added these movies long before I started throwing reviews up here. I have been with Netflix for longer than I have had my blog and I don't think it has fallen below 200 movies in my queue since I first joined. What can I say? There are a lot of horror movies out there.
Critters starts off in space. There are a bunch of weird looking aliens and we discover that what we are seeing is basicly a jail. As it so happens, we arrive just in time to see a jail break. Some of the aliens escape but we don't get to see what they look like just yet. As they fly away in their space ship, one of the aliens in charge asks for the bounty hunters. From there we go to Earth, actually if you want to pin point it, Kansas. We meet the Brown family. There is Jay (Billy Green Bush) and Helen (Dee Wallace) and their son Brad (Scott Grimes) and their daughter April (Nadine Van der Velde). They seem to be a normal farming family. Brad and April fight like most brothers and sisters do. Jay will be going to a bowling tourney that night and wants his family to be there but April has other plans. She has brought home her boyfriend Steve (Billy Zane) home to meet her parents and they end up sneaking away to the barn to have a little fun of their own. Brad sees this and gets some of his home made firecrackers to scare them with. There is a problem for Brad though, he is in trouble for hitting his sister with his slingshot (even though he didn't do it, he took the rap for it) so he has to sneek out of the house. As he is doing this he spots a space ship flying over head and landing near by.
Father and son head out to find out what it was they saw. After some searching they find a dead cow that was attacked by something. Something that don't want to stick around to find out what it was. As all this is happening, the bounty hunters find their way to earth. At first they look like aliens really but they find people to copy in order to fit it. One of them picks a rock star while the other one keeps changing through the whole movie. Will the family be able to survive this alien attack?
Even though Critters as a series is rated PG13, I was a little surprised at how few the effects were. I think most of the effect money went into the Krites (what the aliens call the critters) which is fine since they are so important to the story. The gore effects are a little hard to find though. The cow was pretty gory but was just a cow and it was at night so wasn't the clearest thing in the world. As far as the attacks on us humans go, I felt they maybe should have shown a little more. These things are supposed to be very mean and they have a lot of teeth. One takes off one guys fingers in a single bite but for some odd reason, no blood. For what the effects are, they do a good job with them. I was just hoping for a little more I guess.
The acting is where Critters really shined for me. Dee Wallace was great as the mother. I also really enjoyed Scott Grimes as the son. For once the kid actors weren't very annoying. In fact, I believed the entire family. The behaved like one and I liked the brother and sister fights. This was one of Billy Zane's earlier movies, his third actually. He didn't have a big role but he was in the movie a good while. Actually there were a lot of people in this movie that I remembered from other movies. M. Emmet Walsh, Don Keith Opper, Ethan Phillips and Terrence Mann to name a few.
I was reading a lot of reviews that were comparing or out right saying that Critters is a copy or out right rip off of Grimlens. Maybe Critters was trying to cash in on this. I don't know but I don't see the two films as the same at all. The only thing I can see the same is these weird looking creatures attacking people. If there was one thing, outside of the effects, that I didn't like it was how many times Jay is attacked and lives every time. No one else gets so lucky. One attack and they are found dead later. Jay gets attack three times, if I remember right, and keeps on going. Sure he is hurt pretty bad but always seems to keep on living.
The Krites were fun though. They speak to each other and we get to see subtitles of what they are saying at times. I'm not sure what the modeled the Krites from but to me they are somewhat related to the porcupine. They have some needles they can shoot from their bodies that can cause us to go to sleep. You will find some comedy in this film. It just shows that they weren't taking the film to seriously but at the same time there probably are some jump moments for some people. One other thing I didn't really understand. As the Krites eat they get bigger. At least that was the impression they were trying to give. Only one of them ever gets bigger though and that was never explained. All in all, I enjoyed it Critters but it didn't really stand out to me outside of the acting. Still a fun movie though.
3 out of 5 Hope I have Jay's luck
4 days ago