*. “Starring Leonardo DiCaprio in his film debut.” So says the DVD box, making the most of this movie’s sole selling point. At least I can’t think of any other reason someone would be drawn to it.
*. Leo was 16 years old. Cary Elwes had been offered the part of Josh (“don’t call me Joshua”) but turned it down. I guess neither of them suffered any lasting effects to their careers from their decisions.
*. A star is born? It would take a keener eye for budding talent than I possess to have seen it. It’s not much of a part, and to be honest I don’t think he stands out in any way. Aimee Brooks as Annie totally outshines him. But there’s no telling how these things are going to go.
*. “You are what they eat.” I’ve mentioned the passing of a golden age of tag lines before. This one is pretty good.
*. There is little to detain us here. The basic idea wasn’t bad, with the Krites (nobody actually calls them Critters) hitching a ride from the sticks to the big city. Specifically a run-down apartment building run by Joshua’s mean step-father. The Critters proceed to terrorize the remaining residents of the building while engaging in the usual gremlin-style vandalism. The only returning character is Don Oppel’s Charlie, who again saves the day.
*. It’s hard to think of anything good to say. It’s a very cheap movie, and looks it. It’s not funny or scary. When the Critters run wild one of them drinks a bottle of dish soap and starts blowing bubbles. Another eats a whole pot of beans and begins to fart. That’s the level of the humour. There are no interesting twists like the giant Critterball at the end of Critters 2. Instead there’s just the usual stuff. They even throw in the old horror bit, which I think got started with Psycho, of coming up behind someone who’s seated in a chair, only to find out that they’re a corpse.
*. Shot simultaneously with Critters 4, which it leads directly into by way of a painfully protracted end-credit sequence that breaks off with “To be continued . . .” Could there have been anyone who cared?