Friday, August 3, 2012

Throw-Back Movie Review: "Critters 3" by Ben Foutch

Release: 1991
Director: Kristine Peterson
Writers: David J. Schow, Rupert Harvey and Barry Opper
Stars: John Calvin, Aimee Brooks and Christian Cousins
Rated: PG- 13
Run Time: 86 min

Well, as fate would have it, I decided to subject myself to another installment in the Critters franchise. Part 3 has the benefit of a young Leonardo DiCaprio on the bill, but is still more of the same when it comes the quality you'd expect from a low budget genre film. I would even be comfortable in saying that overall, it's easily below the standard set from the first two movies. Lame humor, scares and effects make this one completely unnecessary, unless you are a die hard Critters fan or are just determined to hate your life for the next hour and a half.

The gremlins critters are back again, this time out of the country and into a city apartment complex. The residents must work together in order to survive this extraterrestrial infestation and stop those annoying little bastards from taking over their homes.

CHUD.com
As you can see, there really isn't anything new here to bite into. That is, at least for us. The hungry fur balls get to expand their palate with the likes of city dwellers, canned beans and dish soap. You can really tell that this keeps shifting into humor that only children can enjoy and really suffers for it. The blood is slightly toned down and apparently the director wasn't even marginally concerned with building any sort of suspense when one of the characters was in danger. You know that the film has problems when the best scene in the movie is a slightly funny take on a human pendulum. And that is only because it was awkwardly drawn out and just plain ludicrous.

To me, this kind of behavior and lack of care is what kills a franchise. I'm not saying that Critters is a well respected offering in the horror genre, but it at least has fun with the material. This stale morsel shows little respect and knowledge on what made the previous two fun. Trying to force some cohesion, they bring back Charlie, but only on a very limited note, which is detrimental to the tone of the movie. For me, the best aspect of Critters 1 and 2 was the science-fiction coloring when the bounty hunters were on screen. It was weird and hokey, but added that whimsically bizarre flavor needed to keep it entertaining. His presence here only reminds you of the good old times.

This was clearly made for the sole sake of squeezing more dollars out of the franchise. I don't recommend this for anyone. In fact, I wouldn't even subject it to my worst enemies. Only watch this if you are a DiCaprio purest and need to see the worst film in his career. Critters 3 is lazy, boring, uninspired and doesn't even fulfill the role of a "good" bad movie. Heed my warning; beware of Critters 3. The Crites have lost their bite.