100 MOVIES IN A YEAR: #6 Critters & #7 Critters 2
They don’t make movies like Critters anymore. I’m not necessarily complaining, though I do miss them; these kinds of low budget creature “horror” (they’re pretty much universally not even slightly scary) films were never big business, and people no longer have a taste for barely-competently made movies. If a movie is going to be made by someone who barely knows how to do it, audiences want it to have cost two hundred million dollars with big names in it, not whatever pocket change was lying around at the studio with some actors who will most likely never work again largely managing to stick to the script. It’s fun because it is silly, but everyone is still doing their sincere best, so none of it feels patronizing or insulting.
Critters 2 is a different beast; it’s not a movie made by someone who was just doing the best they could with what they had (though director Mick Garris certainly had less; M Emmet Walsh did not return for the sequel.) Critters 2 is made by someone who clearly loves these kinds of movies, and understands why they’re fun. I mean, the first movie has the stones to open with space bounty hunters, and this one ratchets up the crazy to a perfect level. It’s more fun than the first one, but it’s very dependent on the groundwork the first movie laid down.
Were they worth it? Oh yeah, baby, surprisingly so. It had been so long since I’d seen one of these kind of movies, I totally forgot how much I used to love them, and how when they’re done correctly, they’re genuinely good films.