Triskaidekafiles

Triskaidekafiles is a love letter to cheesy cinema from the 80s and 90s, with the occasional dip into other eras.  if you're a fan of MST3K, Elvira, Joe Bob Briggs, or just bad horror movies in general, Trisk is the place for you.

Critters 2 (1988)

CRITTERS 2

WRITER: Written by D.T. Twohy and Mick Garris

DIRECTOR: Mick Garris

STARRING: Scott Grimes as Brad
    Liane Curtis as Megan
    Don Opper as Charlie
    Barry Corbin as Harv
    Tom Hodges as Wesley
    Sam Anderson as Mr. Morgan
    Lindsay Parker as Cindy
    Herta Ware as Nana
    Lin Shaye as Sal
    Terrence Mann as Ug

QUICK CUT: A bunch of children hunt for their Easter eggs, but sadly find they've all gone off.

THE MORGUE

 Another bite

Another bite

THE GUTS: Welcome back, Triskelions!  Happy April, happy Easter, and happy April Fool's Day!  This review is dropping on April 1st, and what better movie to review than Critters 2?? It's also the 20th anniversary of the movie being released this month!  It's another helping of spiky evil armadillos, so pile up your plate, and lets get into this!

The movie catches up with alien bounty hunters, Ug, Lee, and Charlie finishing up a job on an alien world.  They get a message saying there are still Crite life signs on Earth, so they better head back and finish the job.  Fair enough sequel set up!

While they make the long trip through space, we instantly jump to Earth and watch a slightly older Brad Brown returning to Grover's Bend after two years.  The town has a reputation now after the Crite attacks, although it's more folklore and no one QUITE believes it.  But they know the Browns were involved, and Brad does his best to hide his identity to avoid any awkward questions.

 CAP: When you just got out of the shower and the videophone rings.

CAP: When you just got out of the shower and the videophone rings.

Meanwhile, local junk shop owner Quigley, and local punk kid Wesley, are poking around an old barn, and come across some strange looking eggs.  Wesley offers them to Quigley for a finder's fee of some beer, and they haul them off to his store.

We then meet the owner of the local paper, his lone reporter, and his daughter Megan.  And hey, it's Sam Anderson!  He's one of my favourite "that guy!" actors.

The reporter sees Brad roll into town and thinks she smells a story.  But Mr. Morgan thinks that family has been through enough, and so has the town.  Best to just let those old horrible memories lie.

Sal isn't quite ready to let it stop there though, so she heads off to find the sheriff, or rather, former sheriff.  He lost his job after the first Crite attack went so horribly wrong, and now just lives in his trailer watching The Price is Right

We check in briefly with the bounty hunters three to keep that plot rolling, and Charlie voices concerns of being left behind.  But he's become one of the group, and he's with them to the end.

Back on Earth, Megan heads to the Hungry Heifer McDonald's wannabe fast food joint, and oh no, there's an Eddie Deezen in this movie.  Is this the first Trisking he's appeared in??

 Uh oh, we've got a Deezen infestation.

Uh oh, we've got a Deezen infestation.

Megan runs into Wesley, who tries to flirt with her, but she's not his type.  He tries to go all Weinstein on her, until Brad intervenes.  Hilariously so, for his size.

Back at Quigley's, Brad's Nan pops in to pick up some stuff for the church's Easter celebration, and she buys the eggs.  She asks where he got them and duh, he got them from down under!

He sells her half, and keeps the rest next to his electric heater, which I'm sure will not cause any problems whatsoever!

 Mmmm, fried eggs.

Mmmm, fried eggs.

Quiggles wanders around his shop for a bit, dressed in his Sunday best ready for church, and he notices his dog hasn't made much noise.

After digging around, he finds his dog, being slightly eaten.  And the Crites are finally here, 20 minutes into the movie.

Seeing something larger and tastier (and soaked in beer batter, with all the cans he has laying around...) they attack Quigley and have their Easter dinner.

 I didn't know chairs could bleed...

I didn't know chairs could bleed...

Morgan's daughter gets one of the eggs as a gift from Nan, she paints it up, and fortunately before it can fully hatch and eat her, Sam steps on the Critter and turns it into a pile of goo.  If these things have one weakness, it is that they squish terribly easily.

But it's finally Easter, the ladies hide alien eggs all over, and the new sheriff arrives to get into the Easter Bunny costume to entertain the kids.

He has some issues getting his costume zippered up, and the newborn Crites take the opportunity to pile into his suit and have some tasty fresh bunny.

 Happy Easter, everyone! =D

Happy Easter, everyone! =D

Brad recognises the signs of the attack, while the rest of the town is going no no nope, farming accident, mmmhmm.

Megan tells Brad she believes him, and they go to get the old sheriff to go back on the case, and I present to you the smartest person in this entire movie.

Harv hears the news, and his response is "Fuck this shit, I'm out".  Followed closely by "this town voted me out, it can kiss my ass."

 CAP: I ain't running away boy, I'm DRIVING away.

CAP: I ain't running away boy, I'm DRIVING away.

Finally the bounty hunters three arrive on Earth, and Charlie instantly finds porn.  Lee, who has still yet to choose a faceform, watches over Charlie's shoulder, sees the centerfold, and takes on her form.  Giving us some of the most gratuitous boobies ever.

Meanwhile, Megan and Brad are driving along, when Sal bursts out of nowhere near Quigley's shack, and she's rambling incoherently about...something.  Maybe I should just record all this so we can slow it down and watch it later.

They want to check on Quigley, and Brad has the girls get in the truck while he checks on the shack, where the Critters somehow propped the corpse up by the door to fall on anyone who opened the door.

 I'll let ya have a chunk of my face real cheap kid.

I'll let ya have a chunk of my face real cheap kid.

Crites roll out and attack, with all their favourite tricks.  Which are really just 'biting' and 'spikes', but it's pretty effective.  There's a few good gags of stuff like biting the tires and inflating, though.  They are clearly having fun with it.

They hurry back to Nan's, where a Crite is busy raiding the fridge to try and find something to eat, and getting only vegetables.  I feel ya, man.  Damned vegans.

As the Critter attacks, Brad and Megan arrive, try to use the communicator, but don't worry!  The bountrio are already here, and blow up the door to announce their arrival!

 The return of FUCK DOORS: Critters Edition

The return of FUCK DOORS: Critters Edition

We also get a nice reunion between Brad and Charlie, and it's a genuinely sweet moment.  Charlie says he won't be staying long, he's gotta go where the cosimc winds blow him, and Brad takes this to heart, vowing that one day he shall be the helmsman on a great startship...

The bounty hunters head off to the Hungry Heifer, and we get a glorious bit of Crite massacre as they shoot the place up.

Meanwhile, the kids head to the paper and save Mr. Morgan from the crites in there, but not before he gets needled and paralyzed for a bit.

Back at the massacre, the hunters come out of the diner, and Lee sees Deezen, and decides to try his face on for awhile.

 This is a definite downgrade.

This is a definite downgrade.

Fortunately, the Deezening doesn't last long, as Lee finds a new face...and it's Freddy Krueger's.  Charlie interrupts the process and slaps the porn mag up on the cardboard standup before the transformation can commence, and we're back to porn star.

The restored female Lee stalks after some more Crites into a dark alley, and they overwhelm her, killing her.  At least she didn't die a Deezen.

Everyone piles into the church to figure out their next move, while the Crites continue eating anything they can outside.

They start coming for the people in the church though, smelling fresh meat.  Brad has everyone get inside and lock the doors, as he bats away some of their troubles.

 A rousing game of critter cricket.

A rousing game of critter cricket.

 

Everyone tries to figure out what to do next, and no one wants to listen to Brad, because this all started when he returned to town.  Ahhh, small town mob logic.

 

The notSheriff stands up and defends Brad, saying arguing won't get them anywhere, so let's at least here him out.  Brad's plan is to lure the Crites to the Polar Burger plant, and once they're all inside, blowing it up real nice.

I appreciate any movie series where the solution to the problem is 'blow it up as much as humanly possible."

The Crites smell the meat and come a-rollin', and there's a brief moment where they smell all the humans and turn back, because fresh meat.  And not processed garbage fast food!  But a larger than normal Crite points out that the burgers are awesome, and have no bones, so they roll back to their dooms.

 We've got McDonald's at home!

We've got McDonald's at home!

Our extra sized Crite is revealed to be a transformed Ug, luring them back to their crispy fried explosive fates.

The meat plant blows up, and while that could be the end of it, out rolls the mother of all giant Critterballs.

It rolls back towards town to get the tasty children.  Megan and Brad try to race it back to the church and eventually run the Criteball off its path.

That's when Charlie zooms in with the bounty hunter ship, and crashes it into the Criteball, sacrificing himself for the greater good, and his hometown.  And really, they should've left it there.

 Crites go boom.

Crites go boom.

 

So of course the movie ruins it by having Charlie turn up alive thanks to ejecting from the ship before it crashed.  I'm glad he's alive, but it weakens the ending, in my opinion.

 

The movie ends with Harv and Brad getting back on the bus out of town, Charlie being given the sheriff's badge, and Ug poofting off in a new ship.

Okay, Charlie becoming the sheriff makes sense, but uh, doesn't that need to be voted on?  And so much for Ug not leaving a fellow bounty hunter behind, but I guess he's found his place.

 This planet ain't big enough for two Charlies.

This planet ain't big enough for two Charlies.

AUTOPSY REPORT

Video: I am surprised how good this looks.

Audio: A decent surround mix with some good use of the surrounds.

Body Count: So many bodies, it's nicely murderous.

1 - Bug monster goes splat less than two minutes in
2 - Quigley's dog gets eaten.
2 - Quigley gets eaten as the first real death at 23 minutes.
3 - Squished critter under foot.
4 - Sheriff Bunny gets eaten inside his costume
5 - Squished critter by truck.
6 - Exploded splattered wall critter
7 - Hungry Heifer Critter Massacre
8 - Lee gets eaten
9 - Guy gets eaten guarding the kids
10 - Critter squished by door.
11 - Polar Burger critter massacre

Best Corpse: How do I not say the sheriff?

Blood Type - C+: It's got a fair amount of blood, and great critter effects.

Sex Appeal: Some of the most gratuitous boobs ever when Lee becomes a babe.

Drink Up! Every time you see Eddie Deezen.

Video Nasties: Enjoy the Critter massacre at the Hungry Heifer.

Movie Review: This is a near perfect sequel.  Not to say it's a perfect MOVIE, but it does exactly what I want a sequel to do.  It brings back familiar faces, it gives a plausible reason for everyone to come back together, while having the first movie causing clear consequences.  But it's still a really good movie in its won right.  The plot is just enough to get things going, the acting isn't half bad, and it's well made.  Four out of five Heifer burgers.

Entertainment Value: This was a lot of fun to revisit these characters.  The Critters are a BLAST and you can tell the crew was having fun with the gags, and flinging furballs at trucks and stuff.  There's good comedy mixed in with the horror, and the movie is a blast.  Four out of five Playboys.