This film is an entertaining sci-fi/horror crossover with comedic elements. Mayhem occurs when a spaceship, containing carniverous furballs that have escaped from an intergalactic maximum security prison, land in sleepy, rural Kansas. Shooting poisonous quills from their bodies and sporting razor sharp teeth, these creatures, called "Crites", are far from cuddly.
Hellbent on eating anyone or anything that stands in their way, these space invaders make their way to the Brown farmhouse. There, they proceed to terrorize the Brown family, and matriarch Helen Brown (Dee Wallace) spends her time shrieking in horrified desperation.
Fortunately for all concerned, two bounty hunters from outerspace arrive, dressed from head to toe in brown leather and armed with what look to be telescopic bazookas. The leader of the two looks like a rock singer. The other bounty hunter cannot quite seem to make up his mind as to whom he wishes to look like. What follows on the heels of their arrival is sure to keep the viewer entertained.
on 17 April 2006
I have given the overal package a 3 star rating, but I will also rate the films individually as follows:
This film is a classic, from the pace, the humour, and the action to the good cast and the story. Terry Mann is awesome as the bounty hunter 'Ug'.
A good sequel which adds more to the story and overal I found it equally as entertaining, although not quite as good as the first film.
Critters 3 was an alright film, the lack of Terry Mann (apart from the end of the film) hurt it a bit, but the character of Charlie was a good one to focus on, this isn't a bad film, but didn't quite have the grip of the first 2.
Unfortunately, this is the only film in the series I found very below average. There's not much screen time for the Critters at all, and destroying an established character for no good reason seemed ridiculous. You can see why this one stalled the series.
The first 2 films are fantastic, the third one is alright for a rainy afternoon, but the 4th is really only worth watching once if at all.
on 1 April 2006
I first watched Critters when I was a kid and thought it was pretty scary. The general plot is that these critters land on Earth and are pursued by a couple of bounty hunters. The second film follows on from this one in the same town. I thought it was a decent sequel anyway. The third film has had a lot of criticism but I thought it was pretty good. It has little to do with the first two films apart from the critters themselves and Charlie. Everything takes place in an apartment complex and people get trapped with no way to escape the critters. The fourth film is a bit of a joke. The idea was that Charlie got trapped in this pod and has been floating around in space for 50 years. He eventually gets picked up by another ship and obviously critters get loose. The problem with this film is that the critters are hardly in the film. Another character, Ug, the bounty hunter was a decent guy in the first two films but in this one, he turns out to be very bad. As I say, this film is bad in every way possible.
Anyway, I'm glad the studio have brought out a DVD boxset containing all four films even if the fourth is rubbish. The set contains no special features apart from an alternate ending on the first disk but I never expected any extras for these films. Picture and sound is good
on 12 July 2004
This is a very entertaining film, well-made, and has a good cast including amongst others, Dee Wallace Stone and Billy Zane.
We start off in space and the 'Krites' have just escaped from their maximum security prison. They steal a space ship and crash land on Earth. Poor Bastards!
The Krites look like a cross between a Porcupine and a Hedgehog, only with big teeth, and an appetite to match. They will eat anything, even humans. And so the fun begins.
The action takes place in a small American town, and mostly on a farm a good stretch away from the main town.
This is a very funny film, and maybe a little scary to youngsters, but they shouldn't be watching this anyway.
I highly recommend this film and it's sequel, which is even better.
on 24 March 2015
Critters comes on the heels of the more successful Gremlins and Ghoulies. In this feature the little creatures are from outer space. They are a race of aliens known as the Crites. They eat anything, but for some reason they must attack humans. On the heels of the Crites are two aliens who transform their looks into humans, one becoming a famous long hair band singer.
The film was a fun knock-off in 1986, but has since become boring and formulaic. It has a decent cast of characters which carried the film. The special alien effects were okay, but the Critters themselves were abysmal, even by 1986 standards. They are not shown a lot. It is an iconic film of the 80's that reads better in the Cliff Notes.
Parental Guide: 1 Critter F-bomb subscript, no sex or nudity. Young couple making out in the barn.
on 6 June 2014
What an excellent deal. Loved the critters movies back in the day, I'd only actually ever seen 1 and 2 so getting the whole box set brilliant :O) Excellent quality copies, packaged well and received on time. Couldn't be happier, thank you too all concerned.
I used to watch ‘Critters’ a lot in the eighties and loved it, so I thought I’d invest in the DVD box set containing all four films and take myself on a trip down memory lane. At first, the film started off well... despite the slightly outdated special effects showing the outer space penal colony where the titular aliens escape from, it’s actually quite enjoyable. The alien prison guard is fun and the bounty hunters he send to capture the critters (or ‘Crites’ as they’re technically known) are dry and menacing at the same time (for heroes anyway!).
Anyway, the Critters land on – guess where – Earth and start terrorising the occupants of a farm in America. For a start I’d forgotten how little the actual Critters are in it. We don’t really see them until about half way through and I know that people will claim that the lack of actually seeing them builds tension, I just wanted to get them on screen, as they’re clearly the stars.
Oh, yeah, the stars – it’s unlikely you’ll have heard of most of the actors, but you’re probably not expecting to when comes to eighties horror B-movies (unless you’ve watched Star Trek: Voyager and know the alien crewmate ‘Neelix’ or seen – a normally older – Lin Shaye in other horror works). The Bounty Hunters are fun in a silly over-the-top kind of way, but their silence doesn’t really open them up to carry the film when the monsters aren’t stealing the show.
The second half picks up, simply because we get to see the beasties more. Every scene the Critters are in is pretty good. Yes, it’s a comedy horror and – in my opinion – the emphasis is truly on comedy. Critters isn’t that horrific – I won’t go into details as to how many people are killed, but it isn’t that many. The Critters don’t really get going as a murderous death squad, but they are still cool.
The ending feels a little like an anti-climax, as if the writers didn’t really have any idea of a fitting climax. The – very – end then feels like an afterthought of cheesy niceness which doesn’t really go with the rest of the film’s tone.
Overall, Critters is still fun. I still liked it, but I think it was more suited to the ‘boy-me’ as opposed to the ‘adult-me.’ I’ll probably watch it again at some stage, but now I’m left with a box set with three other Critters films to watch – all of which I loved growing up. Now I’m scared they won’t live up to what I remember!
The Krites are the critters. They are nasty little hedgehog-type creatures and while they may look cute you wouldn't dare pet one as they'd rip your hand of and share the rest of you with their pals.
The Krites are prisoners on an asteroid jailhouse floating through the far side of the galaxy. Chaos inevitably breaks out and the Krites escape in a stolen ship, heading for the nearest solar system and it's only inhabitable planet...earth! Not to worry though, a couple of intergalactic bounty hunters are soon on their tail and track them all the way to the quiet farming town of Grover's Bend, Kansas. The worst thing ever to happen in Grover's Bend is the local drunk (the ever lovable Charlie) getting chucked out of a bar. But now the Krites are here and they lay siege to the Brown farm, eating their cows, Billy Zane, chickens etc. Anyone or anything getting in their way is promptly poisoned by their anaesthetic spikes and feasted on.
Once the bounty hunters arrive the almost do more harm than good. The bulk of the laughs come from this, including a running joke on how one of them has shape-shifted into the form of an '80s heavy metal rocker. The other can't make up his mind and constantly changes into various townsfolk.
The Critters (8 small ones and a big shaggy one) may be Gremlins clones but there's no denying their cuteness. Though while I would love a pet Mogwai, I think I'll pass on a pet Krite.
Critters is a mad comedy-horror with loads of imagination and the nerve to tell a truly offbeat story. Much like Stephen Herek's next movie (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure) Critters succeeds on pure energy alone.
The DVD has a murky-looking 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer (which is quite problematic considering how dark much of the film is) with remastered Dolby 5.1 sound. Extras are limited to 4 trailers and a (hidden) alternate ending, which I've yet to find. But for the price, you can't argue, and you gotta buy.
Critters are small, fury aliens with a veracious appetite who come to earth in order to feed. The films are something of a horror comedy in a similar vain to the Gremlins films. The first film sees the Critters terrorising an isolated farmstead until two shape shifting bounty hunters come to track them down. This film is probably the best of the four being funny and gruesome in equal measure.
The second Critters film is almost a direct sequel to the first and takes place roughly two years later when Critter eggs start to hatch and terrorise the town. Although good this second film is not as the first and is slightly more comedic. Anyone who enjoyed the first should also enjoy the second.
Critters 3 is a significant down-step in quality from the first two and sees the Critters relocate from a rural town to a rundown tenement building in a city. This film has had many of the horror elements removed in favour of some low brow comedy in the same vain as the second Gremlins film. For all this the film is still reasonably enjoyable and has an interesting performance by Leonardo DiCaprio in his first film role.
The fourth and final film in the box set is something of a departure from the first three films and appears to be an attempt at a film in the same vain as Alien. Although not a particularly bad film, Critters 4 is monumentally dull and does have little continuity with the other films. All in all the Critters films are no-nonsense fun and, with the unfortunate exception of the last film, well worth watching.
on 24 October 2005
It seems hard to believe now, as a hardened, desensitised fanatic of all things gruesome and depraved (on film, that is), that there was once a time when I was young, innocent, and had not yet been exposed to the wonderful world of horror. Then, when I was around nine or ten, a number of delightfully disgusting movies came into my life. The Amazon review of 'The Gate' mentions that film in the same breath as 'The Lost Boys' and 'The Monster Squad' as evidence that 1987 was the year of the 'kiddie-horror' film. I would not dispute that; I loved all the aforementioned films as a kid, and I retain a fondness for them now ('The Monster Squad' in particular: I sincerely hope a DVD of that is on the way, I don't know how much more wear and tear my ex-rental VHS copy can take!). However, I feel one further title needs to be added to that list, a movie that came a year earlier; in case you haven't already guessed, I'm referring to 'Critters.'
Often dismissed, not entirely unfairly, as a clone of 'Gremlins,' this little monster movie is an altogether nastier affair with an appeal all of its own. The Krites, essentially carnivorous hedgehogs from outer space, escape from their galactic prison and head for the nearest convienient eatery: Hicksville, USA. And where should they land but the home of ET's mom herself, Dee Wallace Stone, and her classic hillybilly family: hay-chewing bowlerama Dad, trampy big sister, and our hero, slingshot weilding, firecracker loving little brat Brad. The ensuing mayhem is perfect family entertainment, so long as the parents don't object to their kids seeing the occasional sap get a chunk bitten out of them, and small aliens using the dreaded 'f'-word. (Oh, how daring it seemed at that age!)
Put simply, this is good old-fashioned dumb monster movie fun. Not the best monster movie of its era - that honour goes, of course, to the mighty 'Tremors' - but great fun nevertheless. For me as a kid it was a great introduction to horror; along with the aforementioned 'The Monster Squad,' I watched this movie repeatedly between the ages of about nine and fifteen. It's not too scary or gory, but it was just enough to show me the appeal of being scared, preparing me for such later favourites as Freddy, Jason and Romero's zombies. Sure, it's largely pretty basic, disposable entertainment, but there are at least three things that make 'Critters' noteworthy: firstly, an early appearance by Mister Dead Calm/Titanic/Phantom himself, Billy Zane; secondly, director Stephen Herek, who went on to give us the legendary Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure; and thirdly, one truly awesome special effects sequence, in which the green-headed faceless alien bounty hunter transforms into Terence Mann, without the benefit of CG. A genuine masterpiece of make-up effects, the film is worth seeing for that alone, assuming flesh eating furballs are not enough to sell it to you.
If you're a nostalgic child of the eighties, buy it and revisit those halcyon days. If you're a child of today, just getting into horror - buy it and stay well away from such godawful tripe as 'Van Helsing' or whatever else they're passing off as horror these days.