HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Critters Making A Meal Of ItBuy this film here.
Year: 1986
Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush, Scott Grimes, Nadine Van der Velde, Billy Zane, Don Keith Opper, Terrence Mann, Ethan Philips, Jeremy Lawrence, Lin Shaye
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: There is a breakout from a prison asteroid in deep space and the Krites, small furry creatures with voracious appetites, escape in a spaceship with enough fuel to take them across the galaxy. Two bounty hunters are sent after them, and they all end up headed for planet Earth, specifically Kansas, where a small town carries on with their lives oblivious to the approaching threat. In a farmhouse, the Brown family start the day much as any other, with mother Helen (Dee Wallace) preparing breakfast, father Jay (Billy Green Bush) tinkering and kids Brad (Scott Grimes) and April (Nadine Van der Velde) arguing. However, by nightfall they will be forced to band together as the Krites arrive looking for something to eat...

Written by Domonic Muir and director Stephen Herek, Critters proved that Gremlins had a lot to answer for in the small, hungry monsters stakes. Where the Joe Dante film had opted for a quasi-mystical explanation for its villains, this film takes the easy way out and has them hail from outer space, which means they're intelligent enough to fly a spacecraft but still led by their most basic instincts. The script is pretty coy about revealing its creatures for the first half hour, despite the fact that anyone who had seen any of the advertising would know immediately what they looked like, which in this case was a wolverine crossed with the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil.

They sound a bit like the Tasmanian Devil as well, and are helpfully subtitled for their limited dialogue, including a four letter outburst from one of them at a tense moment. The human story we see, meanwhile, concentrates on making the family as smalltown typical as possible, with Brad (the film's unofficial hero) setting off firecrackers and taking the blame for hitting his sister with a slingshot, and April proudly bringing her new boyfriend home to show off - this boyfriend is played by a pre-fame Billy Zane with a ponytail. All very ordinary, and if you've ever seen an American science fiction film from the fifties onwards, you'll know they're easy pickings for a casual alien to stop by for a little light mayhem.

This relentless ordinariness does the story no favours, but the bounty hunters are even worse. One takes the human form of a poodle rock singer he watches on an Earth broadcast, supposedly to make him cool but probably even then coming across as ridiculous, while the other adopts the appearance of various humans he encounters around the town. By the time they land, the Krites have started their campaign of terror around the farmhouse, chewing the wires so that the power goes out, eating a nearby cow (cattle mutilations, anyone?) and attacking Jay when he ventures down to the basement to find out what is going on.

The Critters are realised through the simple medium of puppetry, but the Muppets they ain't, even if they do resemble the drummer Animal. A puppet show is what the film grows into, with its baddies demonstrating such tricks as rolling along the ground at high speeds and firing off darts from the spines in their backs. All the while, the bounty hunters demolish certain buildings around the town for no good reason other than to pad out the running time - the film would have been even shorter without them, but the humans' resourcefulness would have been better tested. That's not to say there aren't amusing bits, there are: see the Critter who swallows a firecracker or the way a policeman being eaten is compared with Helen shoving scraps down the waste disposal. It's just that Critters displays about as much wit as blowing raspberries; but I'll admit sometimes that's all you need. Music by David Newman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7033 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: