söndag 18 augusti 2019

Critters Attack!

Growing up as a VHS nerd in the 80´s, i have a lot of good memories about going to our local VHS rental stores. In my hometown we especially had 2 big VHS rental stores, and i used to visit them both a lot. If a film was too violent to rent ( for my young age ), some friends of mine got their parents to rent the titles, so we would watch brutal action and horror films. Unfortunately a lot of titles were censored, because some films were considered to be too violent. But just to see the films, we rented a lot of titles anyway. There are so many films i remember, but let´s bring up 2 titles that made the 80´s a fun time. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is the sequel to the cult classic film from 1974, that both had a lot of violence but also some comedy elements as well. This sequel is actually not bad, and i especially love actor Bill Moseley´s performance as " Chop-Top" Sawyer. Legendary actor Dennis Hopper as Lieutenant " Lefty " Enright is of course one of the highlights as well. This film is directed by legendary director Tobe Hooper and is considered to be one of the best sequel to the original film. I find this film to be very entertaining for many reasons. This film is very crazy, with a lot of odd characters and a lot of funny scenes including a cannibal family ( may not sound funny now, but once you see the film i guarantee you will laugh ). The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a must watch, especially on the fantastic Blu Ray release from Arrow Video. My next pick is also a horror comedy released in 1986 callled Critters. A film that tells the story of flesh eating furry aliens who lands on Earth, attacking ordinary American families. Critters combined sci fi influences with horror and comedy in an effective way. The critters creatures looked great as well, and became a cult phenomena in the horror society. This film is directed by Stephen Herek ( who also directed the 1993 version of The Three Musketeers ). Critters continued to live on through 3 more sequels, and the second one was actually not bad. But when Critters 3 was released in 1991 ( with a very young Leonardo Di Caprio ), you could tell that this franchise was not getting better. Critters 4 was not good, where Critters were fighting in space. As a new TV series was released in the spring of 2019 called Critters: A New Binge, it was clear that Critters were making it back after a long time away. So when i got the news of a new TV film called Critters Attack ! i was of course excited. I ordered a DVD copy, just to make sure i would see this film with a physical copy ( i prefer to see films this way ). Is this the sequel all Critters fans have been waiting for, or should this film have never been allowed to be released ?

Sushi restaurant worker Drea ( Tashiana Washington ) have dreamed about getting in to her favourite college. Her application is a denial letter, so she will have to wait until she can try and apply again. Her little brother Phillip ( Jaeden Noel ) is determined that he knows aliens are Among us, as Drea thinks her brother is crazy. Until one of the Sushi restaurant delivery boys are killed by the alien creatures known as Critters, who crash landed on Earth. The whole town will soon see that these visitors is looking for human flesh, unless they find a way to stop them from invading their beloved town.

Let´s be honest here. It is really hard making a sequel that is as good as the original film. The tricky part is to make a sequel that still works, and pay respect to the original film. In some ways i feel that Critters Attack does hit the right spots. The critters are not CGI effects and look pretty good. The attack scenes is quite fun, where the critters feed on flesh, jus like the good old days of the 80´s. Since both Critters 3 and 4 did not reach the same level of quality as the previous films, Critters Attack is clearly a step forward into something more positive in this franchise. Let´s get into the characters. Tashiana Washington ( who can be seen in the independent drama Skate Kitchen ) plays the character Drea. I think this is a great female character in a film like this, and Tashiana deliver a performance that works well with her character. The best performance in this film comes from legendary actress Dee Wallace ( who was in the original film as a different character ) as Alien hunter Dee. It feels nostalgic to see her return into the Critters franchise. I also enjoy the performance from teenage actress Ava Preston ( who did a really good performance in the horror film I´ll Take Your Dead, a film i recently reviewed ) as the character Trissy Lacy. There are some more characters i could mention, but there are some that i feel does not deliver quite as good as the ones i mentioned earlier. One of the things i feel this sequel does right, is not taking itself too serious. If you remember the first 2 films with Critters, there are some comedy elements in there. You will find it in this film as well, and in a few scenes it actually works. The female critter named Bianca, looks like a cute Gizmo version, another great detail of this film. Perhaps i would have liked some more blood and flesh wounds, we don´t get much of that. Director Bobby Miller ( who directed the sci fi drama The Cleanse, or known as The Master Clense ) have made a sequel that feels like a fun throwback to my childhood. He may not get all the pieces right, but this is a sequel that is clearly made for fans of the old films. Critters Attack is a sci fi comedy that may not win a new audience, but will perhaps please fans that grew up with Critters in the 80´s. Worth getting on DVD and Blu Ray, and maybe we can get a sequel by supporting this film.

Rating: DDD

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