Monday, 6 August 2012

Critters 4

"Critters 4" (1992, Rupert Harvey, New Line Cinema) is the final movie in the "Critters" franchise and is based in space (as where else would you end a franchise about aliens?!)

Our hero Charlie (Don Keith Opper) has awoken from hypersleep in the capsule where he was meant to leave the Critter eggs at the end of "Critters 3", to find himself in deep space in the year 2045 on a "Firefly"-esque ship, crewed by a bunch of thieves, salvagers, raggamuffins and space drug addicts who have unwittingly brought him and the menaces aboard thinking the pod to be valuable.

The whole set-up is very familiar if you've seen "Firefly" or "Serenity". The country and western-ish background music is also very reminiscent of the show and movie. I can't help but wonder if Mr. Whedon is a "Critters" fan!

Even the crew includes a balshy, but dick-headed (definitely not a Cap'n Mal character) captain aptly named Rick (with a silent 'p', I think!) played by Anders Hove.

You also have your tough chick, female crew member, Fran (Angela Bassett), young keen teenager Ethan (Paul Whitthorne), super geek Al Bert (Brad Dourif) and drug addict tough guy, Bernie (Eric DaRe).

The crew have called the pod in to the Terracorp Council to try and receive a reward, and have boarded the space station head quarters to find them deserted and run by a worn down and malfunctioning supercomputer named Angela (voiced by Martine Beswick). Angela will only carry out orders if told not to (the crew don't have access, see, so if they say not to do something, she clearly has access to do that.... logical!?!).

It's all very interesting taking the last surviving Critters back into space. The crew aren't well developed characters, but are surprisingly rounded for B-movie horror characters. The setting is very dated, but carries well with the plot and the kills are gorey and fun like they should be.

Ug (Terrence Mann) returns after having been promoted to the place of Counselor Tetra. He seems to have changed with this promotion and become quite devious. One might think he orchestrated poor Charlie's misfortune in leaving Earth!

This film follows directly after the Third movie, and feels as such.

The Critters are lesser in number, but the film takes the story in a slightly different angle (without losing the charming gore-soaked-hand-puppets angle that we know and love).

Like most sequels closer to five than one, it's just not got the same feel to it that 1 and 2 did. But on the whole, is a nice roundoff to a fun, low budget series of killer porcupines. And the characters are on the whole, a lot less stupid than the ones seen in Grover's Bend and in the tenement building! Although, I suppose they are space men...

Definitely a must see if you've seen the previous films!

If you've seen "Android" you may also recognise at least one clip in this flick, too!

[Picture: New Line Cinema]
Baby Critters just don't inspire the same 'aww' factor that most creatures do!