Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Critters 3



Critters 3 is a film I was watching back around the same time as Boneyard, Spaced Invaders, and Killer Klowns from Outer Space…how’s that for a line-up?!?! Yeah, my taste is up for debate. In all seriousness, I had picked up the Critters four-movie set at Walmart and have worked my way to this third film which was foggy to me, considering I hadn’t watched it since the early-to-mid 90s. It’s been a while. I kind of like approaching a film such as this with no lasting memories of it besides some guy getting his stomach eaten out by one of the Crites in an apartment basement. 

Rated PG-13 like the previous sequel, and once again released by New Line, the budget was cut even shorter and located the Crites to the Big City. Of course, this will be noticeable for Leonardo DiCaprio’s presence in the movie (you knew I would mention this so I thought I’d go ahead and get it over with) more than anything else, probably, and it actually has a screenplay written by David Schow . Tomboyish Aimee Brooks in overalls is the daughter of a still-grieving widower, with a brother as well. DiCaprio is a wiseass kid traveling with his sister and parents in a Winnebago, encountering Brooks and her bro, introduced to each other through a overthrown Frisbee. DiCaprio has a prick for a stepfather and a mom who loves him. The stepdad is a sorry landlord with an equally loathsome handiman (the one who gets his guts munched on by a Crite) who calls DiCaprio “sport”. Stepdaddy wants to evict the folks in his apartment complex so some sort of mall or something could be built in its spot, is trapped in a room with the Crites, becomes lunch for the hairballs with teeth and redder-than-usual eyes, and left for dead by an angered DiCaprio, not happy with him for his devious scheme. 

This sequel is really claustrophobic as most of the action is confined with the characters in the apartment as the Crites try to get the tenants for a little feeding time, so Brooks must coordinate an escape with phone company worker, Katherine Cortez, as her father (played by John Calvin) and the hefty neighbor (Diana Bellamy) have been somewhat subdued by poisoned needles shot from critters. Don Opper returns once again as Charlie, befriending Brooks and company (particularly Aimee’s little blond brother), mainly at the end (saving the day; he is dressed similarly to the copter guy from The Road Warrior) and the very beginning (where we once again get the exhaustive flashback montage showing clips from both previous Critters movies, saving a little cash and padding out the running time). Bellamy takes a shine to Opper which I must admit I found rather amusing. I’m just writing this review as it spills from my brain; Critters 3 doesn’t exactly spark much enthusiasm from me.

I would say its 80 minutes of rather low-quality sci-fi monster siege horror where the kids are the heroes while the adults need them to take control due to the situation. You know, the adults either are under the poison of the needles and needing assistance just walking (Bellamy’s leg’s a nasty mess after a Crite takes a bite out of her) or trying to find a way out as Brooks and DiCaprio are (an old couple follow suit, played by consummate scene-stealer Frances Bey (in one of her typical eccentric old lady parts; she even gets to chop a Crite in half with this monster meat cleaver) and her aliens-obsessed hubby, Bill Zuckert) using the attic and the always-reliable air ducts as passages to the roof. Well, as you might expect with a Critters movie, the Crites get wild and crazy in the kitchen, drinking Joy liquid dish washer fluid or eating baked beans. One Crite gets an acid face which also spikes some of its fur white, while another eats a flare, rolling down a laundry chute where it lands on a newspaper, soon setting a fire clothes and such with the building soon engulfed in flames. And, oh yes, a Crite is popped by a missile from Charlie’s alien gun (he also lands on one of the Crites, its body splat on his back for quite the visual gag, he having to peel the little bastard off). 

The ending is one of those “to be continued…” cliffhangers tying to the fourth and final film of the New Line franchise; it really does kind of reduce the importance of the film we just watched as Charlie is about to exterminate the final eggs of the Crite species with Ug, communicating from another galaxy through a signal emitted, telling him to place the eggs in a pod that crashes from behind him. In regards to Aimee Brooks, I was surprised when I realized she was the scantily clad babe in Monster Man (a movie I plan to watch really soon) and a victim of the man-eating Laundry Press Machine in The Mangler Reborn (a really, really rotten piece of excrement, also featuring a cameo with the wasted Reggie Bannister). She's the cute kid who wants her father to be a more instrumental part of the family unit instead of spending so much time away on the railroad and must assert herself when he's pushed her nerves too far. DiCaprio and her have that puppy-love dynamic. This would be a family monster movie but Critters 3 is fairly violent even as a PG-13 made for video product. For those of us who had a steady diet of this crap, Critters 3 was part of the standard VHS rotation. I remember when we rented it as kids and enjoyed it. It's just a way to dispose time now after putting the kids to bed. Been a while, and time has done it no favors. This sequel really is quite a step down in the franchise even as the second film was hardly a masterpiece. Maybe going to the well two movies too many hurt the franchise, but I guess I could find worse ways to pass the time than sitting through Critters 3. Well, on second thought..


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Enl

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Wsha

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Mouth3

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Sh fr

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Vlov

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Kife

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Meg

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The h gang

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Nlc

Nlc
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Smoke

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Strek

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Mlove

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Alone/dark

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Bmate

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Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
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Lsho

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Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

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Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

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