ATTENTION: This review reveals content of the movie.
I like to create little movie-related rituals for myself throughout the year. On every Friday the 13th, I have to watch the next chapter of “Friday the 13th”. During December, I like to choose a selection of Christmas and Holiday-themed films. On Guy Fawkes Day, it’s time for “V for Vendetta”. When “Critters 2: The Main Course” started and I realized that it is a horror comedy set around Easter, I was really excited. The further it went along though, the more generic and uninspired, not to mention more “Gremlin-like” the picture became.
Set 2 years after the first film, Brad Brown (once again played by Scott Grimes) is returning to his hometown after moving away. No sooner is he back that an Easter egg hunt goes horribly wrong and the Crite eggs leftover from the first film hatch. This marks the return of the bounty hunters (Ug and Lee, get it? ) accompanied by Charlie (Don Keith Opper.)
At the beginning, this really is an Easter film. There’s Easter eggs, chocolate, decorations, a giant Bunny costume and there’s even a scene set in a church in which the reverend talks about the resurrection of Christ (he’s rudely interrupted by a violent death, but it’s there) This is when the film is at its best. Seeing the unsuspecting people of Grove’s Bend paint Crite eggs thinking they’re harmless, it’s a great setup for some comedic deaths. I was loving it.
Some other noteworthy elements include the fact that if anything, the creature effects are better here than they were the first time around. “The Main Course” does something really fun with the Crites towards the conclusion that I suspect we’ll see again in the third and fourth films. It’s much more creative and interesting than the “giant” Crite we saw during the climax of the 1986 story. If you liked that first movie, you’ll also be surprised, but pleasantly so, that most of the original cast is back. Lin Shaye as Sally, Barry Corbin as Sheriff Harv and of course Scott Grimes and Don Keith Opper all reprise their roles.
Soon after the initial Crite rampage, the movie gets less original, tries harder to be funny and gets less classy. It ends up feeling more like a cash-grab on the popular “Little Monsters Go Crazy” genre that people claim the first one to be than as a legitimate sequel. You’ll be disappointed to see the bounty hunters turn into less interesting characters (who are more incompetent than they were in the first film, but in a different way) Next, the whole story basically plays out as you would expect it to, with no really original ideas. We get some eye-roll worthy sequences where the Crites go to town in a burger joint, which wouldn’t be so bad and it just reminded me of that bar scene in that… other movie. We also get one scene with nudity that firmly plants this picture in the “R” territory. It’s pleasing to the eyes if you enjoy the nude female form, it also does make for one clever joke, but it’s not necessary, I would have rather it been left out and have the film toned down to a PG-13.
Aside from the beginning where it goes all Easter Crazy and the end where we get a nice addition to the mythos, “Critters 2” isn’t very remarkable. It’s more entertaining to look at the little curiosities throughout than the actual film. A joke about Freddy Krueger is entertaining; I liked seeing Eddie Deenzen (who’s highly nasal voice I remember from “Dexter’s Lab”) as a fast food restaurant manager. There’s also a joke at the very end of the credits that’s not original at all, but you might as well stick around for. Not because it’s good, but because there’s one particular credit on the way that blew my mind. At 1:24:15, at the very bottom of the screen is “Krite Translations – Karl P. Anno Institute of Intergalactic Semantic Research”. At first I wondered if this was some kind of technical thing, As far as I can tell though, it’s just a joke. You might think it’s obviously a joke, but check out that spelling. “Krite Translations”. “Krite”? I thought it was “Crite”! We never see it actually spelt out in the film, but the subtitles use a “C” every time. Is it possible that the official spelling was lost when they made the first DVD, and they just went with a guess and nobody noticed that the credits of the second film show the real way to write it down? Is the joke where it all went wrong? Is the language spelt differently than the species? If someone out there has a Laserdisc of the film, can they check if the spelling is with a “K” or a “C”? I must know!
I had hopes for “Critters 2: The Main Course” but I’m going to remember weird little moments here and there more than I will the actual movie. It’s a sad thing to surrender myself to, but I don’t know if there is a good Easter horror movie out there. I haven’t seen “Bless the Child”, “Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! ” or “Resurrection”, but when it comes to “Critters 2”, it’s only amusing for the first 30 or so minutes. Once the nudity shows up, it all starts going down. (On DVD, September 12, 2015.)
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