CRITTERS 3 (1991)

MARCH 3, 2014

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If I’m to maintain my integrity as a reviewer, I must come clean and admit that I actually worked on CRITTERS 3 (and Part 4). I not only helped build the puppets for the Chiodo Bros., but I was one of the puppeteers. 


Yes, the hands that type this review have also co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio. 


But any bias you think I would have toward the film is unwarranted as I will happily admit that the film isn’t that good. 


One of my big issues with the entire franchise is its “gosh, aw golly, gee-whiz” tone. The characters are all a little too precious for their own good with the good guys being quintessential good souls and the bad guys, mustache-twirling villains. I prefer a little edge with my characters, not Disney-channel caricatures. 


In this installment the Krytes have somehow survived their destruction in Grovers Bend at the end of Part 2 and Charlie (Don Opper) is still after them. When widower Clifford (John Calvin) and his kids Annie (Aimee Brooks) and Johnny (Christian and Joseph Cousins) break down at a rest stop, those pesky Critters latch on for a ride into the big city. 


It is here where they soon terrorize the remaining tenants of an apartment building that is run by a crooked landlord (Geoffrey Blake) trying to evict them. DiCaprio, in his feature film debut, plays the son of the landlord who sides with the tenants and helps them defend themselves against the voracious Krytes.


The plot is by the numbers and rehashes a number of the events of the previous films in the franchise as well as continuing to mine from GREMLINS. 


The Critters themselves are the best they’ve ever looked due to the advancement of FX since the first film in the mid-80s and their talented crew (okay, maybe a little biased). 


Unfortunately CRITTERS 3 is the lowest point of the series and only worth watching because it leads directly into CRITTERS 4 (They were shot back-to-back) or if you are a DiCaprio completist.