2012 Film Challenge #28 - Critters 3
I know there to be no channel in the world superior to The Horror Channel. Of course, they show some dross from time to time, but even their dross is outstanding by virtue of the fact that there is absolutely nothing else like it being shown anywhere else.
The same cannot be said of BBC 3, can it?
Besides. Who else would have the benevolence to broadcast an only slightly-cut version of Critters 3 on a Sunday morning?
In a choice between Critters 3 and the Hollyoaks Omnibus, I'm not sure that myself and someone who'd opt for the latter would have much to say to each other. Of course, we'd get along. We might even call each other friends. But that mutual soul-stroke that occurs at eye contact would be out of the question. We'd never get very far.
I think I've seen precisely fourteen seconds of the first Critters – a scene where three of the smiley divels are stood in a row. One of their number's hit by a broomstick, sending him flying. This causes for the two remaining to share a look and a high-pitched bestial growl – helpfully translated via subtitles as “Shit!”
This told me all I needed to know about the series to understand and enjoy this third instalment: this is a film which wouldn't exist were it not for Gremlins. Luckily, though, like the film it so dearly wants to be, it doesn't take itself at all seriously.
Think of this, then, as part two in a series I really hope I can continue – films which bank on being mistaken for other, more famous films.
This was better than The Humanoid, though.
It's perhaps most famous for including an early outing for Leonardo DiCaprio. He shows up at the Critter-infested tenement block with his stepfather. Seconds after establishing himself as A Bad, Bad Man, said stepfather is chewed to death by the Critters. And, seconds before said stepfather is chewed to death by the Critters, young Di-Prio screams at him: “I wish you were dead!” - only to spend the remainder of the film tormented by guilt.
See, right from the start Mr. Leo was drawn to the complex roles; the tortured minds; the depth, the depth.
There are a couple of brilliant scenes of Eistensteinesque montage. The aforementioned death by chewing is accompanied by sickening footage of a chicken carcass being torn apart by a grinning cook-show host. Similarly, a scene in which a gaggle of Critters are toppled by a hurled bin is inter-cut with a TV bowling match.
There's also a scene prerequisite to entries to the “adorable but murderous creatures” genre of ANTICS – in this one, a Critter binges on a pot full of beans (with predictable results), whilst another downs a bottle of washing-up liquid and spends the rest of his tragically cut-short life blowing bubbles.
The Critters themselves are indeed adorable. They're not as cute as Mogwais, but not as twee, either. They're far cuter than the Gremlins, though. They therefore combine the fluffiness of Gizmo with the menace of his mutated counterparts. I think I'd rather have a tame, vegetarian Critter as a pet than I would a Mogwai. You wouldn't have to be so careful, and he'd be great fun.
I'd call him my little fluffy Knight of the Realm.