Jarv’s Schlock Vault- Critters 2: The Main Course
“I gotta go where the cosmic winds blow me. I gotta go… where no man has gone before.”
Jarv’s rating: 2 Changs out of 4 although it probably doesn’t deserve them.
Before we begin: here’s my review of the original
I really, really want to write a glowing review for this film, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s chock full of things I should like, but there’s a nasty stench that hovers over it, and I know just the man to blame. At the end of the day, this is a cash in and the fact that it’s one of the more entertaining cash ins out there doesn’t change the fact that it’s a bit, well, soulless.
I don’t mean to be a dick about this, and I’m really trying not to, but when you watch as much stuff that lurks at the bottom of the food chain as I do then cash ins really, really grate. And most films that have pointless sequels (paging Full Moon) can get away with it, as the original would only have been mildly successful and they tend to be done either with real panache (Sleepaway Camp 2) or have a sense of real fun (any of the Toxie sequels). Critters 2 is neither.
Christ, I’m coming off curmudgeonly here. Let me clarify- Critters 2 isn’t a bad film, per se. It does however feel like a complete retread of the first film. And that’s because it is almost a total retread of the first film, just without the homages to 1950’s sci-fi or the home invasion theme. Let me just summarise the plot, and you’ll see exactly what I mean:
Several years after his family was terrorised by intergalactic space bastard hedgehogs the Krites, Brad returns to his hometown of Grover’s Bend to visit his grandma- he’s not welcome because everyone thinks he’s a lying little douchebag and it never happened to begin with. Which is a bit harsh, because although he clearly is a douchebag, he was telling the truth and a good few people did die in the first film after all. Unfortunately, the eggs that were left behind are now hatching and the Krites return to wreak more fuzzy havoc on the town. The Bounty Hunters (with Charlie in tow) are also back, Ug is still resembles that lame 80’s power balladeer and the other one still hasn’t decided on a look. Cue shenanigans, before massive fucking explosion eliminates almost all of the Krites and fucks the town good and proper.
I haven’t done this in ages, but I’m going to do a “good, bad and awesome for this film” else I can’t properly explain both my dislike for it, and why I think it is worth a look.
Firstly, the good: And I’m sorry to say that almost all the good from this film you’ve already seen in the first film. The script is as polished as it was first time round, the Krites are as well drawn as they were first time round, Brad as a teenager is just as much of a douche as he was first time round, the sly humour is as evident as it was first time round, Charlie is as appealingly bugnuts as he was first time round (see where I’m going with this). Critters 2 is a polished, competent, successful little film- in that it achieves exactly what it set out to do: mimic the first film. However, in one respect it does piss all over the first film: the special effects are a vast improvement- especially the shredded guy at the end. Yuck.
Now for the bad, and I bet you can’t guess what I’m going to say. It’s a soulless, whorish, depressing cash in of a film, and worse than that, it’s one that drags half way through. Everything about it is so completely competent and simultaneously completely fucking pointless. It’s the movie equivalent of one of those expensive painting reproductions that you can get on canvas- it looks good, and you can’t criticise it, but at the end of the day you kind of wish you had the original. So, who is to blame: step forward one Mick Garris- uber-cocksucker and purveyor of such cash in garbage as The Fly 2. This cunt has form for this sort of behaviour, and I’m ecstatic to see that he hasn’t made a film in a hell of a long time (good). He has however, had a go at The Shining on TV (bad). Has this cocksmoker ever had anything resembling an original thought? Seriously, he’s the American Idol of directors (inferior cover versions only need apply). Fuck him.
Having said that, is there anything AWESOME in this film to redeem it? Well, yes, actually. 3 things. Firstly, this is the only film I can think of that was deliberately marketed as a kiddy film that shows boob. And nipple and everything. This is clearly awesome behaviour. Well done, marketing types. Secondly, the “climax” of the film involves one of the most hilariously stupid concepts ever: the Krite Ball. (see above)The idiot townsfolk trap the Krites in a big shed and blow it up. Huzzah! Victory! Until a 20 foot ball composed entirely of Critters rolls out and chomps them. This is fucking hilariously dumb, and is probably on youtube, so I’d look there rather than the actual film. Finally, this is the film where they kill a man dressed as the Easter Bunny. In Church. Let me reiterate: this is a film, marketed for the family, that has gratuitous boob, a very bloody death sequence, and they kill the fucking Easter Bunny in a church. That is clearly awesome.
Overall, would I recommend it. No, not really. I’ve given it 2 changs, and that’s for the competence, Krite Ball, and fucking up the Easter Bunny, but I have to say that if you want to watch Gremlins, then watch Gremlins. If you want to see a superior rip off of Gremlins with a good few chuckles, then watch the first Critters. I honestly cannot think of any reason to sit through 2 hours of this film, when there are vastly superior and less whorish versions of it out there. So, to conclude: it’s alright, but you’re far better off if you watch the original.
Until next time,