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Critters 2: The Main Course (1988)

DVD Cover (New Line Studios)
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5.4
 / 10
6 votes
Movie Connections:
Critters
> Critters (1986)
> Critters 2: The Main Course (1988)
> Critters 3 (1991)
> Critters 4 (1992)
Genres / Traits:
Alien Film, Creature Film, Horror Comedy, Sci-Fi Horror, Science Fiction, Holiday: Easter
Director:
Mick Garris Mick Garris
Starring:
Terrence Mann Terrence Mann
Don Keith Opper Don Keith Opper
Cynthia Garris Cynthia Garris
Scott Grimes Scott Grimes
Al Stevenson Al Stevenson
Avatar
Review by 385
Added: November 10, 2007
And in true '80s horror movie fashion, two years after Critters was released, the sequel comes rolling around. While Critters 2 ups the Crite action quite a bit, it's lost a lot of the subtle realism and horror aspects that made the first movie so great. In addition, they've also added a lot of campy humor to the mix. While it still manages to be a fun sequel, like most part 2's it just doesn't measure up to the original.

In the two years since the original attack, a lot has happened. The Browns have since moved to the city, and back in Grover's Bend they're only talked about in hushed whispers amongst the gossip circles. Harv was quickly voted out of the sheriff's position after the wild stories and has since adopted a bitter, reclusive life outside of town. The entire incident is something the town wants hushed up and forgotten. Meanwhile, Charlie has sobered up and has spent the last two years with the bounty hunters; he is now an equal partner and friend among them and finally feels a sense of belonging he never had on Earth. After completing a hunt on some distant planet, the trio receive a call learning that there are some Crites left from last time. Unbeknownst to them, the original aliens had laid a couple score of eggs before they were taken care of. They hightail it back to Earth, but they may have been just a bit too late, because the eggs have been discovered and are currently painted all sorts of pretty colors in preparation for the upcoming Easter celebration. Suddenly being handled after two years of lying dormant has apparently awakened the young Crites inside, and Grover's Bend is about to find itself on the menu once again. Ironically, young Brad Brown has chosen this very weekend to make his triumphant return to spend the holiday with his grandmother, just in time for the shit to hit the fan.

This is one of those cases where a movie's biggest strength is in a way also it's biggest weakness. The biggest complaint I had last time was the low kill count, and wow, has this been remedied. Now with a good four or five times the headcount, all free to rampage through the entire town, the little furballs have quite the feast. Of course, this means we lose the claustrophobia from being trapped in the house, so it's a bit of a trade-off. This shift was not lost on our filmmakers and the meat of our story here is based more on the action of Crite vs. Bounty Hunter instead of the horror approach of the previous movie. While watching guys with huge fucking guns blow away killer hedgehogs is admittedly fun, it's not quite an equal effort from where we came from. Further hurting this attempt is the high camp level, which completely undershoots the realism that made the first so solid. Now we have things like cops with a revolver in each hand who misses not one shot before spitting out a one-liner. We have things like Crites all joining together into one giant ball of death, then rolling over a farmer leaving behind a bloody skeleton. And of course, we have Lee. The bounty hunters are now a bigger part of the story this go around, finally been given names. Ug has grown quite fond of the Johnny Steele body and keeps it even when not on Earth. His partner Lee has stayed in his faceless form, not finding a body that suits his tastes. When he returns, he continues his frequent sampling and this time the results are pretty funny, as they include an incredibly dorky cashier and a model straight out of Playboy, leaving him as a smoking hot blonde walking around town completely naked. After taking the staple out of her stomach, of course.

While so far it would seem that all the extra camp has ruined this movie, that's really not the case. While I admit that it was bothering me at the beginning, towards the end it didn't seem nearly as out of place. You see, for what it is, this is a successful sequel. People coming to see Critters 2 are coming to see more Crite action, and it delivers in spades. In fact, I would imagine this is the film many people actually wanted to see when they saw the first Critters and to be honest, had they tried to recreate the tone from the first it wouldn't have worked. Given the circumstances, it's probably the best they could have done.

We have all the familiar faces returning from last time. Scott Grimes, Terrence Mann, Barry Corbin and Don Keith Opper are all back and they're all at the same par they were last time. Granted, Corbin went a little too far over the top a few times, but I blame that more on the lines handed him than his actual performance. Same thing for Mann, who would have been a lot better in the bigger role if his lines weren't reduced to cavemen syntax. Again, I blame the script more than the actor. New to the fold is Liane Curtis as Megan, one of Brad's friends from back in high school, and Herta Ware who plays Brad's borderline senile grandmother. Neither newcomer drew any complaints from me and they both seemed very comfortable alongside the returning cast. And of course, we have Roxanne Kernohan, who walked around topless and yelled "KILL CRITES!" a few times. Naturally, I have nothing bad to say about her contribution either.

Basically, we have Critters brought to a bigger scale. We get more Crites, more attacks, and more things getting blown to Hell. While it would have been nice if they turned the cheese down a notch or so, Critters 2 is still pretty damn fun, and I think most fans of the original will get a kick out of this one. 6.5/10
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Griffinheart #1: Griffinheart - added 11/10/2007, 10:10 PM
I haven't seen this for awhile (good memories, though, need to pick it up), but I remember it being better than the first. Guess I'll have to buy this and see if my memories just bad.
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