spawned many a mediocre rip-off. Some were awful, such as Hobgoblins
. But there were one or two that were actually pretty good. Critters
is one of these. Critters
opens with a jail break in outer space, with the escapees being hairy, vicious little monsters called Krites. They head for the nearest source of fresh meat: Earth. Soon enough they touch down in a small town in Kansas and begin wrecking havoc. Lucky for us Earthlings, a pair of shape-shifting aliens bounty hunters are right on the Krites' tails.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I've actually lost count of how many times I've seen it! Was it five? No, I think four... Or was it six? Whatever, I've watch this film more than any sane human being ever should. I love this movie for a reason, however; It's actually dang good.
The Chiodo Bros (Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Darkman) did the special effects, and they look fantastic for a film that came out in 1986. The transformations and spaceship effects were the best. The Krites themselves are kind of over the map: Sometimes they look good, such as in a shot where they are climbing a staircase, whereas other times they look rather fake, such as when one is chewing up a pitchfork. They are always fun to watch, however, and even kind of freaky earlier in, when they are mostly kept in the shadows.
A bit more about the Krites. They eat just about anything except, strangely, cats, and grow larger with every meal. They kind of look like porcupines on crack, only with lots of really big teeth. They curl up into balls when chasing prey and shoot their quills like tranquilizer darts. They do a lot of neat stuff, such as go bobbing for pet goldfish, attack ET dolls, and in one particularly creepy scene, even attempt to come down the chimney like a deranged alien Santa Claus.
The acting is excellent for this kind of film, as it should with a cast like Dee Wallace Stone, Scott Grimes, Billy Green Bush, Terrance Mann, and Nadine Vander Velde. I was a little dismayed by the low body count, but it made up for the lack of kills with some genuine suspense and memorably entertaining moments. And I can't explain enough how much I love the score!
So even though it has a few flaws here and there, and does skimp out on a few other things a flick like this should have a little more of, Critters
is still darn good retro entertainment. Definitely worth a look!
(out of five)