30 years ago today New Line Cinema released one of my favorite childhood movies that’s sure to give any kid, and some super sensitive adult I'm sure, many nightmares. I’m talking about the 80’s cult classic: Critters.
Critters is the tale of a bunch of maximum security prison escapees beings (they look like if Sonic the Hedgehog had babies with a rabid ferret) from outer space landing on Earth and eating everything they set eyes on, a couple of Bounty Hunters trying to destroy them (and everything they set eyes on) and obviously a family who’s life is about to get royally fudged - I'm trying to keep my reviews child friendly.
SPOILER ALERT - for those of you who haven’t unbelievably seen this classic that is.
Right after the Critters (or Crites, like the people in the movie refer to them) arrive, in the middle of butt fudge nowhere, they start to feed off anything that they encounter and they end up in the farm of Helen and Jay Brown who’s offsprings are Brad (Scott Grimes you might know from ER and being the voice of Steve from American Dad) and April ( I swear if I didn't know this movie was 30 year old I would have thought she was the same actress that plays Tara in The Walking Dead). Also one of the main characters in the movie is Charlie, the town drunk, who works as a mechanic with Mr Brown and can hear messages from the aliens through his teeth. Yup, I bet you are jealous as much as me of his superpower.
First human fatality, after a cop we really don't care much about is April’s boo AKA the dork from New York AKA Rose’s duchebag fiance from Titanic, Steve. We can guess he’s doomed when April takes him to the barn to fornicate, and after only a few minutes of ardor, a Crite start chewing on his intestine... Good ol’ horrors where sex always equals death!
After Steve has become one of the Crites’ tasty dinner, April get rescued by her brother Brad who takes her back to the house where the poor honest American family can get terrorized by the Critters. In the meantime the Bounty Hunters assume human forms and do an ‘outstanding job' not to draw attention on themselves while destroying a church, shapeshifting in front of the residents and blasting sh...ugar up with their intergalactic cannons allover the small town. Eventually and luckily, they find Brad on the street while he left the house looking for help.
At this point, in between more biting, chewing and the mother trying to kill some Critters with a shotgun, the big ass Crite (plot twist: they get bigger as they eat) kidnap April and take her to the spaceship - the reason why she didn’t get eaten like a slice of watermelon on hot summer day is obvious: papa Crite wants to watch some Netflix and chill with her and spawn a super race of hairy human with enormous mouths and endless appetite... Wait a second, we already have those, they are called Italians! - Calm your tits, I can say it. I am one of those.
Anywho, enter our hero, Charlie, who throws a Molotov bomb inside the Crites’ vessel and blast it right off just after Brad manages to get his sister out of there in the nick of time.
Happy ending then, family is alive and well, body count is relatively low: 2 humans, 1 cow and a few chickens plus there are some amazing dragons eggs... in the shed ...left by the Crites... oh mother fudgers!
And now the answer to the million dollar question you've all been thinking about: of course Critters holds up. Yes the story is silly and the acting is full blown 80s cheese, but it's a truly fun ride and the special effect alone make up for it.
I would even go as far as saying almost the whole original late 80s/ early 90s franchise stood the test of time... well, apart for the final and awful one in space - not even Brad Dourif made that one bearable.