Critters 1986 Movie Scene Nadine Van der Velde as April Brown screaming in the barn as she sees the little monsters

Critters [1986]

With a simple but effective tagline “They eat so fast, you don’t have time to scream”, Critters made their way into the hearts of many. This is a classic eighties monster flick, and after all this time it’s still very watchable. It’s like a time capsule, capturing the spirit of the decade with ease. Everything is here, from the fashion and music over cheesy dialogue and finally cheeky premise. Released a couple of years after Gremlins, they took this cute furry monster thing to a whole other level. These little things are nasty and willing to eat anything, including humans.

We don’t learn much about their origin or how they ended up in an intergalactic (supergalactic?) prison. The important thing is that they’re here and they’re hungry. Critters is also one of those movies that doesn’t take itself seriously. I mean and how could with a plot like that. The dialogue is funny and snappy with a couple of hilarious gags. And while there are not many familiar names in the cast, they did a really good job of getting the tone of their delivery right. Plus, we will have the opportunity to see Billy Zane with a mullet.

On a planet far from Earth, eight little furry monster escape from prison. They commandeer a spaceship and set course for our home planet, landing near the Brown family farm. Unlike Dorothy, they are in Kansas now. And they’re hungry for human flesh…

With a running time of just over eighty minutes, Critters is a short and fun affair. Despite all that’s said about them, the creatures are quite dangerous and evoke a strange sense of unease probably tapping into some primordial shit. I grew up watching them terrorize the poor Browns all the while thinking how this is a much edgier version of Gremlins. And thus I’m a more edgier connoisseur of horror movies. Of course, I was the young kid Brad, using my slingshots and cherry bombs to save the day. After watching this movie as an adult, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. You remember things you wouldn’t normally do in this crazy life we lead.

As you become older all that stuff from your childhood seems insignificant compared to the current issues. Ahh, to be young again. And if you grew up in a rural environment, this will take you right back to whatever bumfuck town you’re from. Or where you spent your summers, as I did. And that was a bumfuck village to be accurate and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Critters check out The Blob, Troll, Tremors, and Hobgoblins. Plus, this movie spawned three sequels of declining quality. You would be much better off with the Feast trilogy.

Director: Stephen Herek

Writers: Domonic Muir, Stephen Herek, Don Keith Opper

Cast: Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Zane, Lin Shaye, Scott Grimes, Art Frankel

Fun Fact: There are only 2 deaths on-screen, all other characters are simply just ‘harmed’.


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