Scream Factory Shines a Loving Light on this Fascinating Film Series
In the wake of Joe Dante and Steven Spielberg’s cheeky 1984 monster kid romp GREMLINS, all sorts of savvy producers plotted their own little mean beastie flick, from Charles Band’s GHOULIES to Roger Corman’s MUNCHIE to Stephen Herek’s CRITTERS, And while many of the others have merits (and GHOULIES spun off into an amusing franchise of its own), only CRITTERS seemed to really hit with both critics and audiences, becoming a minor hit and launching three more films that actually carried over narrative arcs and characters. Collected here on this sturdy Blu-ray set from Scream Factory you’ll find all four of the official CRITTERS epics and while some are better than others, all of them serve as lively showcases for their central baddies, the quill-shooting, toothy furballs known galactically as “The Krites”.
Herek’s original 1986 flick is a major dose of country bumpkin fun, as the critters invade the small farming community of Grover’s Bend (a nod to WAR OF THE WORLD’s Grover’s Mill) and set forth to eat everything and everyone they can. Only scrappy kid Brad Brown (Scott Grimes) and his charming, slow-witted pal Charlie (Don Opper) are wise to what’s happening, that is until it’s too late and the lethal tumbleweeds overtake their house. First they eat poor old Billy Zane and then force the house’s matriarch (a somewhat wasted Dee Wallace) to wield a shotgun and protect her brood. Meanwhile, a pair of alien bounty hunters (one played by Terrence Mann, the other – who cannot settle on a human face – occasionally played by Opper) have come to do what they do best: kill Krites.