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December 15, 2011

Slash-Mess Day 10: Critters (1986)


Crites, Mother Nature's humble clown or intergalactic space menace? You make the call.

The original Critters, shot in rural Kansas for $2 million dollars in 1985 was written and directed by Mr. Stephen Herek, in his directorial debut. The movie was based on the screenplay by writer Domonic Muir to cash in on Spielberg's Gremlins from 1984.

Critters features my fellow intergalactic beings, although far inferior to the highly evolved Sleaze-A-Saurus, as the buggers hunt and consume the fleshy, unsuspecting inhabitants of a small midwestern town in Northern America. Luckless beings that the poor, hawngry Crites are - they quickly find themselves pursued by their former captors, two merciless space exterminators with identity issues.

Critters is a unique crossroads of talent. Child actor, and mostly whiny annoying kid at the time, Scott Grimes was 15 years old during the shoot. Grimes was still almost 20 years away from his major role in HBO and Stephen Spielberg's Band Of Brothers as TSgt. Malarkey and his current re-occurring role in Seth Macfarlene's American Dad as the frantically uncool "Steve". His character's mother in Critters was played by Dee Wallace who has been in 188 films and television shows to date including Alligator II: The Mutation (1991), Cujo (1983) and as the Mom in Spielberg's E.T. The sister character in the film, Nadine Van der Velde went on to feature in Munchies (1987) (another Gremlins clone) and won two Emmys for her role as a Voice Actor in Rollie Pollie Olie in 1998.

There were a total of 4 Critters movies that, in the tradition of sequels everywhere, became more and more unwatchable as they were comically misfired at the American movie-going public.

References:
IMDB, Critters (1986)
IMDB, Stephen Herek
Wikipedia, Critters (film series)

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