Sunday, March 31, 2013

Critters 2 (1988)

Almost didn't make it in time for Easter, but luckily I found the perfect horror-ble movie to bring in this special holiday. Based some time after the first "Critters" film, "Critters 2" takes place with a now older "Brad" (the pasty ginger boy from the first film) returning to town because... actually, they never explain why he's back. Anyway, he's just in time for Easter and the annual Easter egg hunt, which apparently is a big deal in this small town. However, these Easter eggs are unlike any others. In fact, they are (silent dramatic pause) CRITTER EGGS!

And I bet you thought I'd have no material for Easter...

1. First and foremost I have to acknowledge the scene where the Easter Bunny dies. Yes, that's right. The sheriff reluctantly volunteers to dress as the Easter Bunny for the town church (the irony of an Easter egg hunt being held at a church needs no further scrutiny, for the oxymoron speaks for itself). Anyway, the sheriff stumbles outside, fully equipped in a white bunny outfit, but appears to be having zipper trouble, saying "Oh, great. The Easter Bunny with his dilly-whacker hanging out. That'll give the kids a real education." Well, the Critters waste no time as four of them leap into the opening in his outfit, sending him into a mad mixed dance of convulsions and break-dancing. Meanwhile, the church service continues inside. when suddenly the Easter Bunny crashes through the window and drops to the floor, bleeding from his mouth. The congregation screams, but soon after, calms down and says, "Oh, it must have been a farming accident." Oh, yeah. That's right. This incredibly awful scene sets the stage for one hell of a horror-ble Easter movie.

2. Breaking away from the hilarious side of what makes this movie suck, I need to point out that the scene changes are abrupt and without lead-ins. There was one scene where Brad was defending a young woman from a town thug in a fast food restaurant that I remember specifically. One minute, Brad is face-to-face with the thug, while the young woman was cowering behind him, when Brad gets punched through the door and into the street. As soon as he hits the ground, the young woman pulls up in her truck. How did she get to her truck from the restaurant so fast? This incapability to tie one scene to another really detracts from the story and the audience's attempts to keep up with what's going on.

3. All right. If you're going to make the main character also be the "bad boy" character, at least have him resemble the part. The actor that plays Brad might as well be on "The Brady Bunch", this kid is adorable. The director possibly noticed this as well, so they had him wear a silver earring stud in his left ear. Listen, taking a cute little teenage ginger and sticking an earring on him doesn't make him fit the role as the "bad ass". That little earring only made me hate looking at the kid and his bubbly personality. Imagine Mr. Rogers with an earring. Creepy, right? Yeah, don't expect this character to be anything else.

4. What is going on with the black actors' roles in this movie?! Are we watching something from the sixties? The first black actor we see is the bus driver as he makes small talk with Brad. The dude spoke over-enthusiastically and wide-eyed with every bullshit line they gave him. You can tell the actor was pissed about it, also, because he doesn't hide his sarcasm well. You know what? I'd be pissed, too. What were they thinking? Did they think the audience wouldn't notice blatant racism in the movie? Or was racism a lot more socially acceptable in 1988? I don't know. Either way, they did manage to give the only other black guy in the movie one line: "Mind your business, boy." Unbelievable.

5. After the success of "Gremlins" I expected to see attempted rip-offs, but nothing as obvious as this movie. The first "Critters" had the little, vicious animals just rolling around and eating. They had no purpose. They had no goal. They just fed. That formula worked for the first movie - it was great. This one, however, has the Critters going crazy on the buffet of food in a restaurant, laughing maniacally and cursing in raspy gibberish, sound familiar? Sound a little like "Gremlins" to you, too? Well, it fits the theme with the rest of the film. By far, this would have to be considered a comedy in comparison to the first movie. What happens when a horror movie becomes an accidental comedy? It hits the horror-ble list.

In closing, if you watch all four "Critters" movies then you realize they aren't meant to be taken seriously after the first one, so don't let this review deter you from enjoying it. Actually, I found after all these years, that I still laughed out loud several times during the film. It's full of blood, gore, unexplainable violence and random boobies. What more could you want in an Easter film?

1 out of 4

Only watch if you're bored and can't find the first Critters movie.

Cheers and goodnight.

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