Monday, October 21, 2013

CRITTERS III (1991)

Because CRITTERS is such a rich concept, we now have the third chapter in the epic saga of the Crites' time on Earth.

SYNOPSIS: Those dang old Crite eggs show up everywhere, even in the chassis of a truck that's bound for the city.  Once they arrive, they stick to easy-to-film apartment interiors, causing assorted chaos to the complex's assorted residents and generally doing their late-era GREMLINS tribute act.  Crites aside, Charlie the bounty hunter is the sole returnee from the earlier CRITTERS film.  Not even the spaceship would agree to be in this.  Don't worry about star power, though, they presciently cast a pre-TITANIC Leonardo DiCaprio.


WHAT WORKED:
I got my hopes up when I saw the credits claim that David Schow wrote this.  Schow wrote THE CROW!  And some not-bad horror novels!  Sadly, there's good reason you haven't heard CRITTERS III championed as an important piece of modern American writing.  But there are sometimes flashes of inspiration, like the sign the goomba complex handyman sticks on the elevator door.  


The Crites still look fine. They seem bigger in this entry and also sometimes meaner, which sits right with me.  CRITTERS III doesn't really stay consistent with its Crite portrayal, of which more in a moment, but I sure dug the vicious artery and belly attacks in those early scenes.


WHAT DIDN'T WORK:
Again, this mostly looks professional in terms of what you minimally need to make a professional film (actors hit their marks, unchoppy editing, all that), but CRITTERS III has no more heart or energy than its lazy sister sequel.  It only gives us the minimum RDA of audience-involving elements and expects us to hand over our money and care.  


Plus, at this point, they are just shamelessly stealing from GREMLINS, even to the point of HAVING A CRITTER THAT HAS A WHITE STRIPE!!!  What is this fuckery, director Kristine Peterson? 


It was a big miscalculation to think you could just steal the goofy monster antics from GREMLINS and shoehorn them into CRITTERS III, film sitcom-style apartment comedy around them, and somehow make a delicious movie cake out of it.  


Again, dull and unengaging.  And I still have to watch one more of these!  So tired now...

RATING: 3

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