Jan 10th, 2019
Let's take a bite out of listeners submission month with our Critters (1986) VHS Movie Review.
Critters is a 1986 monster/comedy horror film made on a budget of $2,000,000 by New Line Cinema. Critters grossed $13.6 million during its release in the United States and spawned a Critters franchise with three sequels.
Director: Stephen Herek (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Mighty Ducks)
Writers: Domonic Muir (Gingerdead Man, Evil Bong as August White), Stephen Herek and Don Keith Opper (Has writing credits in all four Critter films)
Dee Wallace (E.T. and Cujo) as Helen Brown
Scott Grimes (Band of Brothers and The Orville) as Brad Brown
Billy "Green" Bush (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday) as Jay Brown
Nadine van der Velde (Munchies and is now a TV Producer) as April Brown
M. Emmet Walsh (Blood Simple and Missing in Action) as Sherriff Harv
Don Keith Opper (Critters Franchise and born in Chicago) as Charlie McFadden
Billy Zane (Titanic, Demon Knight and born in Chicago) as Steve Elliot
Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager) as Jeff Barnes
Terrence Mann (Stage actor) as Ug/Johnny Steele
Jeremy Lawrence (Stage actor) as Reverend Miller/Preacher
Lin Shaye (Insidious, There's Something About Mary and is Bob Shaye's sister) as Sally
Corey Burton (Voice actor and plays Dale from Chip n Dales: Rescue Rangers) as the voices of the Crites/Critters
Critters Back of the Box Summary
"Both thumbs up!" said Ebert and Siskel about CRITTERS, a horrific story of carnivorous aliens who come to Earth in a feeding frenzy for human flesh. It's no picnic for the Brown family when a lethal litter of Krites arrives unannounced at their Kansas farm. Trapped in a deadly nightmare, the terrified Browns fight for their lives against the attacking bloodthirsty monsters. But, it's a losing battle until two intergalactic bounty hunters arrive determined to blow the hellish creatures off the planet! It's an alien adventure, full of action and just crawling with CRITTERS!
-The Krites voices were a combination of French and Japanese elements and voiced by Corey Burton (Dale from Chip and Dale.
-Although Critters was released two years after Gremlins, director Stephen Herek states that the script for Critters was initially written by Dominic Muir far before Gremlin's entered production; Gremlins did, however, serve as an incentive to greenlight Critters. Herek unsuccessfully attempted to sell his project to several studios, but it was only after the release and success of Gremlins that New Line Cinema was willing to produce it. Herek thus had to heavily adjust Muir’s script to reduce the similarities between the two films significantly.
-The Chiodo brothers — Charlie, Steve, and Ed — got the job of creating the Krites. The design and construction of the Krites cost $100,000 of Critters $2,000,000 budget.
-The main puppets were full-sized 13″ models, with radio-controlled eyes and blinking eyelids, cable-controlled faces, arms, and claws, as well as bladders in the throat and chest to mimic breathing. For the Critters’ eyes, clear plexiglass spheres were coated with reflective Scotchlite material in the back.
-The giant Krite at the end was a 4-foot tall suit to be worn by a little person. The Chiodo brothers didn't have much time or money to build the suit. “They didn’t give us the time or money to do it,” Charlie said. “The costume was just a quick, throwaway thing; they wanted to show something big. It looked alright, but there were no mechanics budgeted for the face; it didn’t move.”
-Sugar Apples inspired Krite eggs.
-Jordan Downey made a 6-minute fan film for a Critters web series that never got off the ground, but his short is rad.
Come back next week for another listener submitted movie!
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