Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 100 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Angela Bassett, Brad Dourif, Anders Hove, Eric DaRe, Don Keith Opper, Barry Opper (writer and brother of Don Keith), Terrence Mann, Anne Ramsay.
Tag-lines: "In space, they love to hear you scream!"
Best one-liner(s): "Rick has got a bug up his butt. See. He's gone and discovered himself a magnetic space anomaly. And he's gotten stiff in the jock." (Now, imagine that being said by Brad Dourif, who's chewing gum and taking the part as seriously as everything he does, from ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST to DEADWOOD.)
Space. The final frontier. Where movie series frequently go do die, or at least to get a little more decrepit. (JASON X, MUPPETS FROM SPACE, LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE, PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE, etc.) But in the midst of a lot of general dislike for CRITTERS 4: THEY'RE INVADING YOUR SPACE, I'd like to offer a dissenting voice. I approached the film with trepidation upon seeing the poster. With a tagline like "In space, they love to hear you scream," and the fact that the poster art clearly previously depicted only three Critters and then the fourth seems to have been haphazardly inserted when somebody said 'Hey isn't this Critters FOUR?,' I feared the worst. I mean, really.
Quite unfortunately, this is not a scene from CRITTERS 4.
It's unlike the other installments in that Critter antics and mayhem take a back seat to other elements. But the other elements are damned good.
We got totally-crazed gum-chewing, ex-wife-joke wise-cracking Brad Dourif acting like he's in a film directed by Crispin Glover; Eric DaRae (Leo from TWIN PEAKS) playing basically Leo... in space!; Lars von Trier-alum Anders Hove in a flask-swigging, Kinski-esque mania, trying to outdo both Dourif and the Critters at chewing the scenery; Angela Bassett fooled into thinking she's in a serious STAR TREK drama; Don Keith Opper back as Charlie, the series' anchor; and the unexpected return of a fan favorite, now transformed into a villainous corporate sell-out. On a futuristic space station, the Critters don't have kitchens and fast-food restaurants to ransack, but they can still kill people and type like madmen on computer keyboards. The series began in space and it ends in space, so it lends an air of finality to the proceedings. It all adds up to a Mexican stand-off; a Critter frozen to death, shattered, and one-linered,
and some head-scratching upbeat honkytonk music over the end credits. Four stars and a proper end to the CRITTERS films, though I certainly wouldn't say no to another.