Schlocktoberfest IX – Day 8: Critters 2



Critters 2 (1988)


*Spoilers Throughout*

Mission Log:
 Those lovable yet deadly space aliens, The Crites, are back and doing exactly what they did in the first Critters film. 

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • Is Barry Corbin a step-up from M. Emmet Walsh? Me thinks not.
  • Aw man, Mick Garris?
  • And David Twohy, the writer of Waterworld, G.I. Jane and the director of the Riddick adventures. This is gonna be super-duper.
  • So the bounty Hunters from the first Critters are still in human form as Rock Star Johnny Steele and yokel Charlie. But they can change form to blend in to any new environment or planet so why are they still those two personas? We saw the one who’s now Charlie change multiple times when it was on Earth in the first one so it’s obviously not permanent.
  • This is only 2 years since the events of the first Critters film. Yet Brad looks 10 years older and doesn’t live home anymore.
  • I love how Brad is the only person on this bus going back to Grover’s Bend. 
  • This punk looks very familiar. [Tom Hodges, Lucas & Revenge of the Nerds TWO!]
  • So we saw moving Crite eggs at the end of the first film. Yet here we are 2 years later and still no hatching? That’s a mighty long gestation period.
  • So now Lin Shaye (in her obligatory New Line Cinema role) is working at the local newspaper. She was the police dispatcher last movie. I’m not even sure she’s the same character.
  • So no-one believed Brad’s story about the critters 2 years back and according the Editor-in-Chief of the paper his yarn “nearly tore the town apart.” But even M. Emmet Walsh’s sheriff character witnessed the Critters first-hand. Why is Brad the only one who’s considered a loony for the events of the first film? No one remembers the bounty hunters destroying the church and bowling alley either? All the deaths? Anyone?
  • Let’s see if this film breaks the first film’s time of 25 minutes until we finally see a Crite. So far we’re on 13 minutes.
  • So yeah, I figured the first Critters is too much of a cult classic and beloved to be featured in Schlocktoberfest so I didn’t include it. However, I still watched it since I haven’t watched it since the 80s probably. I also watched the 3rd and 4th Critters and I’m still questioning my sanity to include them since they were so awful and boring. But I could include the first Critters because truth be told, it ain’t as good as you may remember it.
  • However, the Johnny Steels song is still kick-ass:

  • So only Brad’s grandmother still lives at Grover’s Bend? Does this mean that Brad’s whole family moved away after the first film? That would make sense if there house wasn’t ridiculously rebuilt with bounty hunter magic at the end of he first film. If I was the bounty Hunters I’d be pissed that they used their tech to rebuild the house and then they moved out of it anyway.
  • Maesterbrau!
  • For a split second there the film went out of focus. Great camera work there Ed.
  • Getting back to the bounty hunters still looking like Steele and Charlie, The Charlie one actually asked Steele why the third bounty hunter is still a “nothing face” and why he’s still Steele. So the real Charlie joined the hunters after the first movie? Charlie only asked them questions as they went back to their ship but at no point did we see Charlie leave with them.
  • I know I saw this flick a few times back in the late 80s but the only thing I remember is the Critters coming together like Voltron and forming a huge rolling ball. But now I’m realizing that the stupid burger joint jingle, The Hungry Heifer has been lying dormant in my useless memory banks all this time. Me and my brother used to sing the jingle for years after this movie’s usefulness wasted away. So weird.

  • Eddie “King of the 80s Geeks” Deezen! Now it’s a Schlocktoberfest!!
  • No one today is the “Van Halen” Type. That includes Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony.
  • After Brad meets Megan Morgan and she tells him that she’s a reporter. Brad says, “Kinda like a Jimmy Olsen with breasts” Jimmy Olsen was the Daily Planet’s photographer dumbass.
  • So why exactly is Brad’s grandmother buying the Crite eggs for? I mean, this is despite the fact that they are unidentified and potentially dangerous, what is she planning to do with them? Can’t she just go to a market and buy normal chicken eggs?!
  • Plastic prop eggs are obviously plastic.
  • “Easter Sucks.” Can’t agree with you more.
  • Critters! 23 minutes!
  • Hahaha. Brad is looking at his old things (by old I mean things from the last film 2 years ago) and he finds a photo of a screen shot from the first movie of him watching Charlie about to shoot his slingshot before he hits April in the tush. No one took such a photo nor would they at that precise moment. Also, why are Brad’s old things at his grandmother’s house. He didn’t live there!
  • So this flick wants us to believe that these yokels have no questions about these alien eggs as they all paint them for Easter. 
  • Child actor extra looks right at the camera.
  • I can’t let this go much longer—Brad looks very similar to Brian when he was a kid.
  • The amniotic fluid that the Crite eggs have look just like split pea soup.
  • I’m assuming that Grover’s Bend has a population of maybe 50 adults living there. Even Wesley the day drinker teenager punk that harassed Megan and Brad is even there for Easter service. You know if he’s there, everyone’s there and there’s maybe 50 people in those pews.
  • Short role for the new sheriff. Surprised there wasn’t a Bugs Bunny in-joke since he died in a bunny costume.

Yolks on him.

  • This is the second Critters movie to feature a church getting destroyed. I’m thinking that there may be some underlining atheist message here.
  • “This was NO farm accident!”
  • Wait, Barry Corbin is now Harv the retired sheriff from the first film originally played by M. Emmet Walsh. I guess M. Emmet was too good to reprise his role. I will tend to agree.
  • Gratuitous nudity! Well alright. Why don’t I remember Lee the bounty Hunter transforming into a nude Roxanne Kernohan but sure, I’ll remember The Hungry Heifer jingle. Very unlike me.
  • HAHAHAHA. So Lee changed into Roxanne Kernohan who was in a Playboy centerfold that Charlie found when they arrived on Earth and complete with perfect breasts and ample ass, she also had a giant staple in her abdomen because it was in the magazine. Silly joke.

I think the doctors botched your stomach stapling job.

  • Not that I’m complaining, but why would transforming into Roxanne Kernohan make Lee’s clothes rip off. In the first film only the bounty hunter’s heads changed when they transformed. Silly reason to have an R-rating. And not just rip in certain places but rip completely off leaving nothing but a belt and thong and boots! Hilarious really.
  • “Critter Busters!” Great gag Brad!
  • Why and how would the half-eaten corpse of Mr. Quigley not only be propped on the door but somehow open it to “attack” Brad?!
  • Don’t roll up the window or anything when being attacked by Crites.
  • An amazing coincidence that the very second Brad pressed on the bounty hunter communicator that they arrived guns blazing in Granny’s house!
  • And they just fired blind into the house, not even giving a hot shit if they could hit Brad, Megan or Granny!
  • So now, somehow, Lee has clothing on. It looks all new as well. This movie didn’t go the full nine in their gratuitous nudity at all. AT ALL!
  • “I gotta go where the cosmic winds blow me” 
  • I’m no newspaper editor but the leading in that headline is all wrong!
  • Wild Critter hijinx at the Hungry Heifer!
  • Hahaha. A giant critter ball rolled into a group of townsfolk and made a bowling pin sound effect when they fell.
  • So if Granny’s with Brad and Megan who just saved her dad at the newspaper, then where is his younger daughter? This is still Easter Sunday and she was in Granny’s care earlier.
  • There she is, still at the church with Lin Shaye for some reason.
  • So now, Lee decides to transform in Eddie Deezen. So now we get more awkward Deezen gags as well as see him in what used to be Roxanne Kernohan’s sexy bounty hunter costume. Which is not the most pleasing sight, let me tell you. Better yet, I’ll show you:

Great gams Edward.

  • Aw man!!! There could’ve been the best cameo ever when Lee sees a cardboard stand in a video store of Freddy Krueger and wants to transform but Charlie stops it and makes him change back into Roxanne Kernohan. I would’ve easily given this movie a 9 if they actually did that!
  • Ug gets so upset at Lee’s death that he transforms back into glowing play-doh face.
  • So now the townspeople are all vigilante and waiting for a Crite attack. But why aren’t the Crites trying to go to some other place, a more populated place with more food and people to eat. They’re just staying in Grover’s Bend. And why aren’t the people trying to warn other towns or trying to contact the armed forces?
  • The highway patrol? Not the army or National Guard?!
  • So now the townspeople are ganging up on Brad because 2 years ago the Crites attacked and now they attack again so they think Brad’s behind it.
  • “If we sit around here on our duffs, bitchin’, we’re going to end up as tomorrow’s leftovers. I don’t too much relish that idea.” Easy with the food puns sheriff.
  • Brad suggests that they have to blow them up. The sheriff says “oh c’mon boy?” in disbelief that that’s a bad idea. They know the Crites are vulnerable to gunshots so why wouldn’t blowing them up not work. And since when is using large quantities of explosives to eradicate a small army NOT work? The sheriff responded like Brad suggested they sprinkle salt on them or that a particular song will kill them.
  • Do midwestern hardware stores just stock large boxes of explosives on the shelves like that?
  • The Polar Ice Burger factory has their burgers already preassembled with buns, like those terrible microwave Whiten Castle burgers.
  • How exactly are they luring the Crites to the Polar Ice Burger factory? They just all of sudden stopped eating the cattle in the field and roll on over, even ignoring the people.
  • I had to go back because I thought I missed something. Turns out that they are using simple oscillating fans to wave the frozen burger smell over a few miles to where the Crites were eating the fresh cattle. That’s highly improbable. Wouldn’t cooking the meat be a better and faster idea?
  • Was that Tom Landry in the crowd of the vigilante townsfolk?
  • Now this I’m confused by. The wind changes course to blow back towards the town and the people following the Crites. The Crites then stop, take a few whiffs and realize that fresher meat is in the opposite direction. But wouldn’t the wind blowing back cause the cheeseburger smell to amplify and lessen the townsfolk smell? 
  • The de facto leader of the Crites tells the legion of Crites (in subtitles) that he smells Cheeeeeeeseburgers and no bones!!! So they then turn around again towards the Polar Ice Burger factory. Whew. I was worried there for a minute.
  • So Brad notices the leader Crite going into the factory and asks, “Where’d that big one come from?” Totally forgetting that in the first one he not only fought an adult human-sized Crite in the first movie, but also saw it actually grow in front of his eyes after eating and saw it drag his sister onto their spacecraft. 
  • What exactly are they waiting for? They are just sitting there watching the Crites eat the burgers. Wasn’t the plan for them to lure them to the factory to blow them up?
  • So the Crite leader was Ug all along who now all of sudden transform his whole body into a Crite! Why he followed them into the factory and transformed back is a great question. If they actually decided to go along with their plan sooner he could’ve been blown up with them.
  • Ah, here’s the giant Critter ball! Awesome!
  • One of the best kills is when the Critter ball rolls over a farmer and his whole body is stripped to the bloody bones by the time it rolls over him. 
  • I guess we’re going to gloss over the reason why the explosion trap didn’t kill any Crites?
  • And why is it rolling back to town?! Again, it should take to the highway and find another sleepy yokel town to feed!
  • Oh yeah, I totally forgot about Charlie. Easy to when he’s done nothing this whole flick.
  • Why is Megan crying that Charlie is dead, sacrificing himself to kill the Critter ball? She didn’t even really know him.
  • Ug takes the form of Charlie now and everyone seems better now.
  • This movie failed to even remotely flesh out the romantic relationship between Brad and Megan but that’s OK.
  • Charlie’s alive after all! And he shouldn’t seem so confused or bewildered that Ug transformed into Charlie. Charlie knows that they can do that. I can see some wonderment but he didn’t need to circle him twice.
  • Ug just gets “beamed” onto a spaceship as it flew by. He doesn’t even say any farewells. Typical Hollywood endings I tell ya.
  • Sheriff Harv gives his badge to Charlie to be the new sheriff. But If I understand this correctly, He wasn’t the sheriff in the beginning of the movie, that was the guy dressed like the Easter Bunny that got killed. So who made Harv the sheriff again? Seems sketchy.
  • Why does the film state: The filmmakers wish to thank the people of Grover’s Bend, without whose support this  motion picture could not have been made? Grover’s Bend is a fictional town. This film was filmed in Santa Clarita, CA.
  • Oh GAAAWD, why is the end credits rolling with the Hungry Heifer jingle!!!!
  • Eddie Deezen played the Hungry Heifer manager? Manager?!
  • Apparently there’s an actor by the name of Gary Cashdollar. I wonder if he’s related to Tommy Creditcard?

Phobia Level: I just read that Mick Garris originally declined to direct this but changed his mind because he was such a fan of the original and “wanted to make the sequel a more scary film than the first.” Well he failed. As Mick Garris usually does.

Sick Bay: Some good gore and blood. The giant Critter Ball scene especially has a great yet goofy bloody skeleton effect.

Heavenly Bodies: I did mention Roxanne Kernohan a few times right?

Best Transmission: Pretty much anything Barry Corbin’s sheriff says is gold. “What is this bullshit? Them man-eating dust mops got us roped up tighter than a blue-ribbon bull and all you folks can do is stand here and play kick-the-can with some punk kid!”

Most Successful Experiment: The only takeaway from this carbon copy sequel is the giant Critter Ball. OK and Roxanne Kernahan.

Experiment Gone Awry: As boring and lackluster this sequel is, it really didn’t suck and have dumb scenes that stand out. But I will say that they really shouldn’t used Deezen more. Another failure was not having Robert Englund cameo as Freddy for a scene.

Damage Report: Like I said, I watched this a lot as a kid and always enjoyed it. I still kinda do, it’s not great, but neither is the first Critters. They are pale Gremlins imitators and not too well written or even scary. But they do have some fun, tongue-in-cheek moments that are entertaining. These movies know that they are schlock and don’t take themselves seriously. This one especially compared to the first one. While I wish this franchise thought more outside the box and tried to do something different and not set it in the same town again, it was still kinda fun to watch. This could very well be the highest rated movie this month.

Kobayashi Maru Score:

3 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest IX – Day 8: Critters 2

  1. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest IX: Recap from Outer Space! | Hard Ticket to Home Video

  2. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest XI – Day 20: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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