Happy hump day, everybody! For your Wednesday entry of the Ultimate 80s Blogathon, Darren from Movie Reviews 101 returns to the Ultimate 80s fold with a review of the creature feature, Critters. This weekend, he will be reviewing the entire Critters franchise so this is just a preview of what’s to come on his site. Darren reviews all genres of movies and hosts the Opinion Battles, which both Kim and I participate in. He recently created a podcast called the Fantasy Film Casting Podcast. Be sure to go check his sites out. But in the mean time, here is is review of Critters.
Director: Stephen Herek
Writer: Domonic Muir, Stephen Herek (Screenplay) Domonic Muir (Story)
Starring: Dee Wallace, M Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush, Scott Grimes, Nadine Van Der Velde, Don Keith Opper, Billy Zane, Terrence Mann, Lin Shaye
Plot: A race of small, furry aliens make lunch out of the locals in a farming town.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Creature Feature Comedy
Story: Critters starts when the Crits escape from their intergalactic prison, bounty hunters are set to follow them across the galaxy. The planet they are heading for is Earth as we meet a family Helen (Wallace), Jay (Bush), Brad (Grimes) and April (Velde) along with their worker Charlie (Opper) all in a small town.
When the Critters crash land near the small farm it is up to the family to fend them off because their apatite just never stops as they will eat anything and everything. The bounty hunters including Ug (Mann) arrive to help but can they stop them in time?
Critters is a classic 80s creature feature taking advantage of what Gremlins created a few years before. It has all the fun needed and creatures that come off harmless but are in fact deadly. We don’t have the biggest body count which helps because with a body count we end up setting up pointless characters just to create a kill. This isn’t going to be a true classic but a fun film with a very simple story.
Dee Wallace: Helen is the mother of the house who has to look after her kids when the Critters are attacking their family farm. She is very patient with her children being the soft one compared to the stricter father. Dee does a good job without doing too much in a spell where she shone in horror.
M Emmet Walsh: Harv is the sheriff of the small town who has to deal with the Critter invasion, he has to step up when his deputy fails to solve the problem. M Emmet makes for a fun character through the film.
Billy Green Bush: Jay is husband and father in the household who has to do the most part of the investigation of the creatures, he gets attacked the most but will do anything to protect his family. Billy is good in this role without doing too much.
Scott Grimes: Brad is the youngest member of the family who likes using fireworks and a slingshot, he uses his skills to fight off the Critters to protect his family. Scott does a good job in this role as the kid with extra fight in him.
Don Keith Opper: Charlie is the town drunk and believer in something coming from out of space using him to communicate, he works for the family but could be the answer to all the problems. Don is good in what turns into two roles through this film.
Support Cast: Critters has your typical supporting cast, dumb deputy, damsel in distress sister, flashy boyfriend etc they all work for the film.
Director Review: Stephen Herek – Stephen gives us a fun creature feature that isn’t the strongest but an easy watch.
Comedy: Critters has good comedy moments mostly from the Critters themselves.
Horror: Critters isn’t the scariest film because the comical look for the creatures doesn’t help.
Sci-Fi: Critters has creatures from out of space, bounty hunters from out of space coming to our world which ticks all the sci-fi angles.
Thriller: Critters does keep you wondering where the creatures will attack next.
Settings: Critters uses the farm as the setting giving the character’s isolation as they wait for help.
Special Effects: Critters has the right level of effects needed for the comic side of the film.
Suggestion: Critters is one for the all the creature features fans to enjoy. (Creature Feature Fans)
Best Part: Creatures are fun.
Worst Part: Slightly short.
Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown.
Funniest Scene: Crit meets ET.
Kill Of The Film: Firework eating Crit.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: Part one of 4
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: Gremlins
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $13 Million
Budget: $2 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes
Tagline: The original tasty entree!
Overall: Fun creature feature that will make you laughing throughout.