"We're here for the Krites" - Critters - 30 years later.
PLOT - Two bounty hunters from space are sent to Earth after a batch of flesh eating creatures called Krites escape their prison planet, and begin a blood thirsty rampage across the peaceful countryside, trapping a framer and his family one night. The bounty hunters, wanting to fit in on this planet in hunting this dangerous species transform as the first things they see. One a famous rock star, the other jumping from identity to identify as the furry little creatures continue to feed.
LOWDOWN - My memories of Critters are very near and dear to me. One a vague one of renting this movie when I was little while having a sleepover. All I remember is watching the opening scene where it shows shots of the farm before falling asleep on my living room floor. The next was several years later, in the last few stages of the privately owned mom and pop video store down the street from my house. Here like so many others, I hurried over to the horror section and happened to pick up Critters. The first thing being the eye catching artwork on the cover of the giant critter looking ugly as hell, the second seeing Mr. Terrence Mann aka Johnny Steel the lead bounty hunter with that feathered beautiful hair. Instantly, I was hooked and just needed to discover this movie. I'll never forget watching this film and absolutely loving everything about it. First off, it was made in the mid 1980's. It's soundtrack (the theme, the songs, even Mann's killer catchy performance of Power Of The Night. A song I somehow still know all the lyrics to.), the farm setting, the adorable likable ginger kid played by Scott Grimes, Dee Wallace Stone, the two attractive bounty hunters, and of course the practical puppet effects of the critters. Some may say this is a Gremlins rip off. Maybe it is, but besides Ghoulies II, it's one of the better ones and even spawned three sequels. The awesome Critters 2 (which had even better effects, with Grimes returning. I mean how doesn't remember the giant critter ball?), the third film with Leo himself, and the lackluster final film that takes place in space. The original, will forever and always be my favorite. I remember becoming obsessed with this movie. Around this time I had my very first video camera where I would tape the TV playing this movie which I rented several times before buying on VHS. In fact, in whatever grade I was in, I remember signing everyone's yearbook "Go rent Critters." Was I an ass or what?
This movie I loved because I watched it with my mother, and saw as a guilty pleasure. It's a fun little 80's movie with cool scenes, a great cast, and scary practical puppets. In fact, this movie was one of the main reasons why I love practical effects, puppets, and those fuzzy cute little bastards. Years passed and my expressed my love for this film even more at school. I can't tell you how many times I watched this movie drunk, or even made critters myself (one came out good, the rest...well they looked like critters that should have been on a diet.) I couldn't get enough of this movie and bonded with my friend Amanda over this movie. The inside jokes I had for this movie is endless and anytime I see it on TV or hear about it I just NEED to watch or talk about it. in fact I would say it's in my top 20 favorite movies of all time. It's cheesy, fun, and one of the perfect movies to show someone younger who wants to get into horror movies. It isn't over the top gory, it has plenty of scares, but not that extreme. My goal is to one day meet more cast members from this film, and find it on vinyl.
30 years later and this movie leaves a great legacy, not only for it's fun sequels, but the fact it still has a huge cult following. Critter figures/dolls are still being released, as is awesome art work based off these films. In fact, my good friend Chad up in New York for The Horror BBQ is going to see it on the big screen. I was lucky enough to go with a few friends and see an original print of this in Boston a few years back. One day I would kill for a critter tattoo just to prove how much I love this film.
So happy 30 Critters. Thank you for all of the wonderful memories, and the fact it still holds up today. I can't urge anyone who hasn't see it to go check out this cult classic right away.
Party like it's 1986!