CRITTERS ATTACK! FANTASIA FEST and chews its face off…
DIRECTOR: Bobby Miller
WRITER: Scott Lobdell
CAST: Jack Fulton, Jaeden Noel, Ava Preston, Dee Wallace, Tashiana Washington
The alien Krites are back, and this time they’re chomping up a small college town. Do you really need to know more? It’s Critters. It’s not high art.
CRITTERS ATTACK! is a very silly blood & ooze soaked ode to 80s horror, specifically the tiny creatures flicks that the original CRITTERS films were a mainstay in. It’s mindless fun. I’m not gonna harp on dialogue or low budget performances, because ultimately if you’re watching a CRITTERS film it’s because you love 80s trash cinema and just want to see tiny creatures fuck stuff up.
Speaking of 1980s, Genre queen and pioneer Dee Wallace is in this one kicking ass as Aunt Dee, in a much different role than her previous critters appearance. It’s fun to see Dee up there blasting Krites because it’s friggin’ Dee Wallace, and I think they needed an anchor from the old films to bring the fans back to this one, but I digress.
Back to the Krites, yes, this film has your back if you want ridiculous puppets with a lot of teeth chomping up a storm. Yes, they’re cute and vicious! There is so much Critter mayhem in this film. So many chewed up limbs and faces. So many exploding ooze-filled balls of fur.
In response to lack of blood and violence of the director’s previous flick, THE CLEANSE (which also played Fantasia Festival a few years back), Bobby Miller said, “alright, mother fuckers!” and amped up the gore with this one. That’s pretty much an exact quote. That’s the kind of film this is. It’s ridiculously violent. There’s more face being eaten here than at a high school prom. It’s the big dumb violent creature feature you expect it to be.
Even the actors were excited to see said blood and gore and fight scenes on set, which shows because the cast seemed to have a lot of fun time with this one. They were especially excited to be part of the franchise and see the “furry balls everywhere”.
Speaking of the furry balls, probably the only thing every other reviewer seems to agree on liking in this film, the Krite puppets were very important to director, Bobby Miller. They had about twenty of them on set, three or four animatronic ones, and a bunch of others that they blew up. That’s quite impressive because It feels like there’s a lot more of them in the movie, so it’s amazing how they pulled that off. Some of those puppets were recycled from previous CRITTERS instalments that the studio sent over. It’s good to know the studio goes green when it comes to 80s horror schlock.
Regarding all those practical FX, Miller made it very clear it was of the utmost importance to him. He kept saying no to the CGI guy, and kept said CG to a minimum. He felt that digital FX is so prevalent these days, that the idea of awe and wonder is gone. There’s a magic to practical FX, and that magic shines through with CRITTERS ATTACK! It really feels like a product of the era it birthed. So if that doesn’t work for you, maybe you should check out something like MIDSOMMAR and stop harping on friggin’ CRITTERS.
This film is stupid, stupid, horrific fun for an age where we take shit too seriously. Maybe it’s just for diehard fans of the franchise. Maybe it’s just for 80s fans… but honestly, there’s a scene where a bumbling forest ranger is in a shower and mistakes a hairy Krite for a loofah. Need I say more? How can you not love that? It’s Critters. It’s probably all we’ll get until they give us more GREMLINS sequels.
CRITTERS ATTACK! will continue to run the festival circuit. It’s available for pre-order on several On Demand sites.