Plot: What’s it about?
Those horrific little furballs of terror are back and this time, the countryside is left behind as the beasties take aim on Los Angeles. The vermin have grown tired of life in the sticks, so when the chance comes to head to the bright lights, the hairballs don’t hesitate. A truck carries a few of the monsters and some eggs into town, where they soon take up residence inside of an old, run down apartment complex. At the same time, intergalactic bounty hunter Charlie (Don Opper) is supposed to be on the hunt to erase all the little bastards, but he isn’t able to act quickly enough. The apartment building is home to two young tots, a boy named Josh (Leonardo De Caprio) and a girl named Annie (Aimee Brooks), both having hard times of late. Josh has just went through his parents’ divorce and Annie’s father is in serious financial trouble. But those problems will soon seem unimportant, when the hideous demons of fur are uncovered and soon enough, the residents will be trying to stay alive, never mind their other woes. As if battling the alien fuzzballs wasn’t enough, the people also have to avoid the hazards of the dilapidated old building, which is poised to collapse at any second. In other words, its a showdown of epic proportions. When the smoke clears and the dust settles, will the humans or critters be the survivors?
One sequel just wasn’t enough for the Critters franchise, so the little bastards return in the third picture in the series. The second movie was pretty much a remake of the original, which was fun, but limited the new directions the hairballs could venture in. But time around, the series offers a fresh backdrop, as the critters move into an urban landscape. This means all new kinds of carnage, though the buggers aren’t given total access to the city streets, which removes some great potential for gore and hilarious moments. Still, it is nice to have a change of scenery and to know that the critters have raised their standards for destruction. The location isn’t the sole change in Critters 3 however, as a new and improved kind of critter is on showcase. No, not some mutation or some such, but a new animatronic design, a smoother and more refined design. Of course, the beasties still look like big furballs being tossed around, but any improvements are welcome. The storyline is still wafer thin, but the performances are dead serious and as usual for the series, that means enhanced humor and a more fun experience. Of course, most folks will be drawn to Critters 3 to see Leonardo De Caprio’s screen debut, but the real draw here are the creatures, to be sure. This is by no means a good movie, but for fans of the series, Critters 3 is worthwhile.
Video: How does it look?
Critters 3 is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with a full frame version also included on this disc. As New Line provided good visual efforts on the previous two films in the series, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this movie also looks terrific. I found this treatment to be a tad less impressive than the prior two pictures, but the differences are due to the nature of the material and not this presentation. The main complaint comes in the darkest of scenes, which are frequent in this movie. The contrast remains solid, but lacks the refinement I would like and softness is often an issue in those sequences. Even so, the visuals come across well and given the material involved, I am glad Critters 3 looks as good as it does.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not to beat a dead horse, but the included Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is just like the ones found on the previous two Critters releases. And as such, I am recycling my comments from that review, much like the producers of this film recycled elements from the prior two Critters, not to mention countless other genre pictures. This disc includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and as with most horror movies, the audio is used to mostly create mood and atmosphere. Of course, the theme returns and sounds fantastic, but the rest of the elements also come off very well here. I found this to be a very active track in all respects, but the surround use never seems forced, which is good. The needed offbeat, yet eerie mood is present throughout and no problems seem to emerge at all. The dialogue is crystal clear and always at a proper level, never overshadowed by the other elements. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.