Copia de Critters_3

Review: CRITTERS 3 (1991)

by Meredith Grau — http://lalalandhistory.blogspot.com

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Best Bad Quote:  

“What’s eatin’ him?”

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I’m not going to lie to you, (I respect the collective “You” far too much). I was not excited to continue my Critters quest. I figured all that was left of the series was more shame and disintegration. I preferred to remember Critters by the original: pure, untainted… pleasantly prickly. Still, I pressed on and hoped for better things. “Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of dullness, I will not fear The Reaper.” Or so some guy said once in the long, long ago. Heart in hand, I pressed play on the DVDizzle. I was uproariously rewarded for my bravery.

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Critters 3 has a few things working in its favor to make it exponentially better than its sorry predecessor, Critters 2: #Ummmm…. It seems that the third time around actually is the charm.

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Item 1: Critters 3 possesses a woman’s touch– that sensual touch all men seek– with director Kristine Peterson at the helm of what turns out to be Critters in the City. This time, the band of furry heroes take on an entire building of schlubby tenants and make merry while making mincemeat of them. In Peterson’s delicate hands, the film finally decides upon a tone, which is mercifully one of pure comedy. This is the smart route, as the Critter franchise was no longer representative of anything scary. As such, every character in the film is allowed to ridiculously overdo it in terms of performance and, Crite or otherwise, chew the scenery.

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Item 2: Everyone’s favorite “Bad Movie” brother team ups the ante with the special effects and Critter presentation. No, I am not referring to the Polonia brothers (this is Critters not Feeders, damn you). It just so happens that the Chiodo Bros of Killer Klowns fame were aboard this intergalactic starship from the get go, having supervised and designed the SpFx on the two preceding Critters films (as they would do in the 4th offering). These two guys clearly have an unhealthy, yet satisfying, obsession with very hungry, human-eating aliens. In any case, what little tinkering they did with the Critter brand in Part Dos is taken to the extreme. The Crites are friggin’ huge this time with bulbous, yet soulfully deep, crimson eyes blazing like the sun. They also are given more screen time, in which they exhibit their personalities. This whole movie is an interpretation, I feel, of Critters with the munchies– if you know what I mean. They eat bubbles, then blow them. They gorge on beans and quell their tummy unrest with some much needed flatulence. They answer phones. They are much more interactive, including their new Sonic the Hedgehog-like abilities which allow them not only to bounce up the stairs but shoot themselves upward at rapid speeds. They even have a leader, Blackie, who has the kind of attitude and ambition that makes the greatest of world leaders.

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Item 3: Mini Leonardo DiCaprio (as the wild card Josh Briggs) lends the film his usual artistic integrity by bringing along his ever-woeful forehead wrinkle, his pre-pubescent sex appeal, and a patriotic cause to kill capitalism– represented in this case, by Josh’s step-father (William Dennis Hunt), whose greedy ass “bites it,” pretty much at the rebellious Josh’s command. To Hell with the Mona Lisa. Leonardo: the man who saved Critters from extinction. Write that down.

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The rest of the cast ain’t bad either. Leading the pack in this female-driven sci-fi classic, is Aimee Brooks as Annie. The story’s heroine, Annie is just trying to keep her rag-tag family together after her mother’s death. Her dad is a lazy asshole, which puts her in charge of her bashful, mourning little brother Johnny, who has not yet had his big break in Kindergarten Cop. That’s right, ANOTHER brother tag team is on hand: the adorable Cousins brothers. (Cousin-brothers? They must be from my hometown in good ol’ KY). In any case, after this little family pulls into a rest stop, where they naturally run into the only returning cast member, Charlie (Don Opper)– who makes the greatest character entrance in the history of film– they depart with Critter eggs under their car, driving them all the way back home. (Just eliminate reason for a moment and go with it). The Critters inevitably hatch and cut loose, coincidentally on a night when all the tenants in the accursed apartment building are about to be evicted by Mr. Briggs (the cash-minded A-hole step dad). Along with colorful character actors like Geoffrey Blake as the hotel manager– an effeminate combo of John Wayne and Curly from the Stooges), Diana Bellamy as the fat but friendly neighbor, and everyone’s favorite movie grandma, Frances Bay, there is enough sheer talent to bury the retarded “eviction” MacGuffin and carry the film to the intense heights of finely tuned, redonkulous pleasure.

Leo and his grand master initiative arrives in just enough time to get rid of Bad Daddy Briggs, everyone bands together, Charlie swoops in to save the day, and one of the Cousin boys gives us a little prequel to of the great plot clincher of yet another Schwarzenegger “classic,” Last Action Hero, by dangling from the edge of the building rooftop from Annie’s arm. (Sadly, neither cousin-brother) was cast in that film. It probs would have been so much better). The film goes out big with bold Back to the Future style cliffhanger, featuring the one missing ingredient, Bounty Hunter Ug (Terence Mann), and the film is so damn entertaining it genuinely makes you want to come back for more. But should you? The answer to that question will be saved for next time…

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Due to the pure level of fun this film produces, Critters makes a huge comeback. Reunited, and it feels so good…

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Rating:

4 out of 5 Phone Blasts

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