Critters 3 (1991)

Posted: September 3, 2012 in Movie Review
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Critters 3

Directed By: Kristine Peterson

Starring: Aimee Brooks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Don Keith Opper, Christian Cousins, Joseph Cousins, John Calvin, Terrance Mann, William Dennis Hunt

Subgenre: Creature Feature, Science Fiction

Synopsis: The Crites are back, this time hitching a ride into the city and terrorizing a ramshackle apartment building.

Thoughts: The Critters have torn up Grover’s Bend and it’s time to hit the bright lights of the big city.  One of the surviving Crites lays some eggs on a rust bucket of a pick-up belonging to our main protagonists, a single father and his children.  Like some other well-known horror franchises, it’s time for the Crites to leave rural America and head to the big city.

The cast is pretty bland, with the lone highlight being the return of Don Keith Opper as Charlie, the former town drunk turned intergalactic bounty hunter.  His “aw shucks” demeanor works for the role and you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.  Too many of the roles were overacted, especially those of the other tenants in the building (I’m looking at you Rosalie, Mario and Briggs).  Oh, I guess it’s kind of a big deal that Leonardo DiCaprio made his film debut here as well.  You’d never have guessed this guy would go on to become a heavy hitter in Hollywood based on his work here, but hey, we all have to start somewhere.

Director Kristine Peterson hasn’t directed a lot of movies you’ve probably heard of (other than Critters 3 and Kickboxer 5 of course), but she did serve as a second unit director on a few genre gems like Chopping Mall, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 and Tremors.  I’ve said before that I thought Tremors and Critters had a similar vibe to them, so the connection makes sense.  Anyways, Peterson hasn’t been behind the camera since 1997.

Critters 3 is a decent way to spend an afternoon.  I thought the characters were a bit over the top, especially the slimy landlord and his hired muscle building superintendent, so that grated on me during the movie.  Every movie, the Crites have gotten a little bigger and “better” designed.  Personally, I like the Critters from the first movie the best.  I imagine that as the series progressed, the Crites got more screen time, which demanded a little more attention to the puppets.   

The ending of part three sets up the obvious sequel, which was actually filmed back-to-back with Part 3.  Once again, the Crites follow a well-worn path in the horror genre as they head to outer space, but the difference here, is that is where the Crites as from.


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