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Critters

Critters nc

Release Date
May 13, 2020
Running Time
18:44
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(After the Channel Awesome logo, we cold-open on a man, played by Doug, in a mock '80s commercial)

Announcer (Malcolm): Hey, guy in the '80s, do you love your kids? (The man nods) But do you also kind of hate them, too? (The man looks around shiftily, then nods) Well, do we have the perfect toy for you!

(A monstrous teddy bear with bloody teeth and a torn-up belly appears, along with the words "Lil' Shit")

Announcer: It's Lil' Shit! (The man yelps at this abomination, but then laughs at it) A tiny troll of torturous terror that's also kind of funny.

(The Lil' Shit is displayed amid twinkling stars)

Announcer: Is it for kids? Is it for adults? I don't know, it's the '80s...

(A montage of posters for '80s movies is shown, all displaying scary, yet funny, little monsters: Gremlins, Critters, Hobgoblins, Ghoulies, Munchies, Puppet Master)

Announcer: ...and we're just into scary little things right now!

(The Lil' Shit sits at the couch, pushing on the remote control. The man peers in, confused)

Announcer: You laugh with glee when he goes "Arooga!" at (image of...) a beautiful woman...

(At this, the Lil' Shit goes crazy, making an "arooga" sound as it does so. The man points at the Lil' Shit and laughs. Then he becomes shocked when he notices it's gone)

Announcer: ...scream in fear when he burns her alive...

(The man looks in another direction and spots a skeleton on fire)

Man: (covering his mouth in shock) Oh, fucking God!

(He then notices the Lil' Shit sitting on the couch again, this time holding a beer bottle)

Announcer: ...then laugh again when he gets drunk on beer. (The man laughs again) Is it meant to be funny? Is it meant to be scary? Who knows? But your kids will want the hell out of it.

(Two kids, played by Tamara and Malcolm, are shown acting all excited over the Lil' Shit)

Announcer: And because we're the '80s and we're all about making money, we'll totally sell it to them, despite it haunting their nightmares.

(Cut to a clip of a Gizmo (of Gremlins fame) doll commercial)

Announcer: Whether it be Gremlins...

Boy: (to the Gizmo doll) I'll take care of you, Gizmo.

(A clip of the movie is shown, as one Gremlin's head explodes after it's stuck in a microwave. Then cut to a commercial for RoboCop toys)

Announcer: ...RoboCop...

Boy: Surprise, RoboCop!

(A scene from the RoboCop movie is shown: a man getting mowed down by bullets. Then cut to a clip of a Batman toy commercial)

Announcer: ...or even Batman...

Boy: (playing with Batman and Joker toys) You've got three new weapons, Batman!

(A clip of that movie is shown as a man lands on a car's windshield as it drives, freaking out a girl in the car. Then cut back to the Lil' Shit and the man, played by Doug, laughing and shaking his finger at it)

Announcer: ...we simply don't care, ethics be damned. But don't trust us...no, really, you shouldn't.

(Cut again to the little girl)

Announcer: Listen to these happy little scamps.

Girl: I'll admit, I did think he was pretty scary when...

(The Lil' Shit is seen at the top of a stairwell, with a body lying on the floor far below)

Girl (vo): ...he dropped Mother down the stairwell...

(Cut back to the girl as she smiles)

Girl: But then he said a swear word that I didn't even know, and I laughed so hard! (giggles) I am a little concerned about that machine gun he's putting together, though.

(The sound of a machine gun is heard, its bullets leaving holes in the wall that come towards her! Then we cut to the boy)

Boy: At first, I was afraid...

(Cut to the boy in bed, cowering in fright with his face half-buried under the covers)

Boy (vo): ....when he started watching me at night. (The Lil' Shit appears in the doorway) But then I saw he liked watching Peter Pan! (The Lil' Shit holds up a VHS tape of the movie, and the boy emerges from the covers, smiling) I liked watching Peter Pan!

Boy: So I like him! (looks offscreen) What's that, buddy, a grenade?

(As if to answer his question, there is an explosion, and then we cut to the Lil' Shit again, with text which the announcer reads)

Announcer: Lil' Shit. This is One of Our Weirder Fads.

(And on that note, the "commercial" ends and we have the NC opening)

NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. I guess we've always had a fear of little things, haven't we?

(A montage of shots are shown of the following: Arachnophobia, Leprechaun, an episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "A Living Doll", Chucky, and Willie Scott in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom screaming at a spider)

NC (vo): Whether it be bugs or monsters or even our own toys, there's always been something creepy about teeny tiny terrors.

NC: But, there's always been something kind of hilarious about them, too.

(We cut to clips of movies involving tiny terrors, including Gremlins)

NC (vo): Why don't they just stomp on them? Why don't they just rip off their heads? There's no raid anywhere? Well, the '80s picked up on this high-larity and combined the horrors of the past with the goofiness of...just not giving a shit.

NC: Arguably, the most famous of these is Gremlins, but the one I find the most hilarious is Critters.

(The title for Critters is shown, followed by footage of that movie)

NC (vo): Made in 1986, Critters was the directorial debut of Stephen Herek. And if you don't know that name, you should. He is the Steven Spielberg of phenomenally okay.

(A montage of posters for movies directed by Herek is superimposed: The Three Musketeers, the live-action version of 101 Dalmatians, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Mr. Holland's Opus, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, The Mighty Ducks)

NC (vo): Chances are, you saw a movie of his that wasn't spectacular, but by God, you will always remember, which is more than you can say for a lot of directors who come and go. Critters is no exception. While I can't say it's groundbreaking or anything, there is something to memorably bizarre about it. You just think of this movie and you start giggling. It doesn't try to be anything it's not, and what it is, is fucking ridiculous. And we're here to celebrate this bushel of "Huh?" by looking over its best headscratching moments.

NC: So sit back and brush up on your Critter vocabulary...

(A Critter in the movie is shown snarling, which, courtesy of a handy subtitle, apparently translates to "Fuck!")

NC: Yeah, it's the only one I memorized, too. This is Critters.

(The New Line Cinema logo is shown)

NC (vo): Oh, yeah, back when the New Line logo was (A shot of the game Narc is shown in the corner) Narc for some reason.

(The movie begins IN SPAAAAACE! Here, an asteroid is shown, which, according to a subtitle below, is known as "Prison Asteroid-Sector 17")

NC (vo): I think the film sets its tone early on.

Guard: The Crites are up to something!

(Suddenly, there is an explosion as the titular Critters escape through a wall they blew up and then fly off in a spaceship, with laser cannons trying in vain to shoot them down)

NC: (as Dr. Jumba) Experiment 626...

(A clip of Lilo and Stitch, showing Stitch making a similar escape, is shown)

NC (vo; as Jumba): ...is loose! Pray he does not come across (A shot of Stitch dancing the hula with Lilo is shown in the corner) adorable comic foil!

(The prison warden comes out, looking as alien as they come)

NC (vo): Ah, so that's what happens when you don't consult your doctor when an erection lasts over four hours.

(The warden is shown addressing two other aliens)

Warden: They've stolen one of our fastest ships, with enough fuel to cross the galaxy ten times over.

NC: (shaking head) Yeah, there's no doubt about it. This is the point...

(Cut to a clip of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, showing Raphael walking out of a movie theater showing this movie, wearing a huge overcoat to avoid being recognized)

NC (vo): ...where Raphael walked out.

Raphael: Where do they come up with this stuff?

(Suddenly, a Tinker Bell-like fairy appears next to NC)

Fairy (voiced by Tamara): Congratulations. You are the first reviewer to ever make that joke.

NC: (excited) I am? I am?

Fairy: Yes. Nobody in the history of online criticism has ever thought of referencing that clip.

NC: (touched) Ho ho! My God, I feel so honored!

Fairy: Yes, and as a reward, I'm going to turn you into a real puppet!

NC: (confused) What?

(Suddenly, there is a bright flash. When it clears, NC has turned into a puppet, rather like the one he was turned into way back when he fell into the Plot Hole)

NC: What the FUCK?!

Warden: You will receive full payment, as usual, only upon evidence of their destruction.

NC (vo): The Crites, as the aliens call them in this movie, naturally head to the planet Earth...

NC: ...which seems to be on pause mode. Let me undo that real quick...

(It wasn't on pause, however, it just took its sweet time rolling the credits)

NC: Oh, no, that's just...real life.

NC (vo): ...and we see a mother [Helen Brown], played by Dee Wallace, because it's in her contract. (Posters for Critters, E.T., The Howling and Cujo are superimposed) If anything supernatural happened in the '80s, she had to be the mother in it.

Helen: (calling out) April, telephone!

NC (vo; as Helen): Let's see, the apron matches my shirt, my shirt matches the wallpaper. With any luck, I'll be invisible and no one will remember me from this movie.

(Her family, her husband, Jay (Billy "Green" Bush), and two children, April (Nadine van der Velde) and Brad (Scott Grimes), come to breakfast)

Brad: (to April) You're a real shithead, you know.

Helen: (offended) BRADLEY!

Jay: I'm gonna wash your mouth out.

Brad: Dad!

Jay: You miss that bus, and I'm gonna skin you and hang your bones out to dry.

NC: That moment you realize...

NC (vo): ...he's the killer in the film.

NC: This is all a prequel to Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (An image of that movie appears in the corner, with the characters being labeled "Father", "Mother", "Son" and "Daughter")

(The kids leave the table silent. Helen sighs as she sits down to breakfast)

Helen: (mockingly) "Thank you for the lovely breakfast you've prepared, Mother."

NC: Hey, you want thanks?

NC (vo): Don't decorate the kitchen in board game colors!

NC: Why don't you try my color scheme?

(A shot of NC's living room is shown, with its blue walls and red couch)

NC: (points to the side of his head) Only one eye bleeds with that. (nods)

NC (vo): Also, let's pause for a minute and ask, "Where did that kid's red hair come from?"

(We then cut to the town sheriff, Harv, played by M. Emmet Walsh)

NC: (pointing) Hey! His hair used to be red! Mystery solved!

NC (vo): M. Emmet Walsh plays the cynical Southern bumpkin sheriff, a stretch from the cynical Southern bumpkin everything-else-he-plays, who's getting tired of locking up the town drunk, Charlie, played by Ben Stiller doing Simple Jack.

Charlie: (to Harv) I'm getting it through my fillings just like last time. Started getting these messages.

Voice on radio: This is patrol chief...

Charlie: Do you hear that?

Harv: (pointing to microphone) It's Jeff.

Jeff: I'm on.

NC: Oh, come on. Give him some credit. He thinks aliens are communicating through his fillings...

(Cut to a clip of an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, showing Neelix dressed as a policeman, speaking on a police communicator in a police car)

NC (vo): ...and that is Neelix

Neelix (Ethan Phillips): Come on, lover, pick it up.

(Cut back to Harv)

Harv: Cut the horseshit, Jeff!

(Cut back to Neelix)

Neelix: Oh, uh, uh, sorry.

(Cut back again to Critters, as Harv escorts Charlie out of the police station where Charlie is being held)

Harv: (to Charlie) Why don't you just go on out to Jane Helen's? You don't want to get fired now.

NC: This town acts like it's perpetually preparing for...

(Cut back to Harv again as Charlie leaves and the poster for the following appears off to the side...)

NC (vo): ...Spaced Invaders.

(The alien warden is seen addressing the bounty hunters)

NC (vo): Oh, speaking of which, the bounty hunters get advice from (An image of Bib Fortuna appears in the corner) Jabba's assistant...

NC: I'm sorry, I have too much dignity to Google his name.

NC (vo): ...and he gives them some essential videos on what Earth's culture is like.

(After scanning through various images of Earth culture, they come across a video of "Power of the Night" by Johnny Steele)

Steele: (singing) ...Stealing from the light...

NC: Oh, yeah, that looked the most interesting out of everything displayed!

NC (vo): We get, honestly, a damn good effect of the bounty hunter changing into the singer named Johnny Steele.

NC: Who... (shakes head) sounds like a cartoon show about a boy with a magic watch.

(An image of a made-up cartoon show called Johnny Steele is shown in the corner, showing a boy who looks like Ben Tennyson, who wears a watch that displays a holographic image of the chief from the Carmen Sandiego cartoon show. Back to the movie, the bounty hunter's human appearance is revealed, having turned into a duplicate of Johnny Steele)

NC (vo; as bounty hunter): I couldn't decide what sex I wanted to be, so I went with "D: All of the above".

(With that, the spaceship takes off for Earth. There, we see Charlie and Brad about to blow up a makeshift firecracker made out of a soda can with a fuse sticking out)

NC (vo): Back on Earth, Charlie's horsing around with Bradley, played by Scott Grimes, basically doing what people with barns and horror stories always do.

(The firecracker explodes, and the two of them cheer. Jay then shows up and glowers at Brad, pointing at another loaded soda can)

Jay: I thought I told you to get rid of them fireworks. (to Charlie) You gotta try and concentrate on what you're doing, okay?

Charlie: I'm gonna.

NC: Why does everybody dress like they're auditioning for...

(As the scene replays, an image of Russ Thompson, Sr., from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is superimposed)

NC (vo): ...Matt Frewer from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids?

(Brad and Charlie now are playing with slingshots)

Brad: That don't feel right.

NC (vo): You mean a boy with a slingshot? Every bit of media says we got 'em, but by God, I've never seen a kid in the '80s actually have one.

(Then a car pulls up in front of the house and April gets out, along with her boyfriend, Steve (Billy Zane). Jay greets them)

April: Hi, Daddy.

NC (vo): Bradley's sister April arrives with her new boyfriend Steve, played by Billy...

(Cut to a clip of Demon Knight, showing Zane's character there, The Collector)

NC (vo): ..."you fuckin' hoedown Podunk, well, then, there, MOTHERFUCKER!"...

(Cut back to Critters, as Steve joins the family for dinner)

NC (vo): ...Zane. He's sporting an '80s V-neck and a '90s ponytail, so he's trash in two decades.

(Charlie fires a slingshot projectile at April's rear. She freaks out in reaction. But Brad grabs it away from Charlie as April comes running up to them in a rage at being hit)

NC (vo): Bradley gets in trouble, taking the rap for Charlie slingshotting his sister...

NC: Now, him I'd buy having a slingshot.

NC (vo): ...resulting in Bradley not getting any dinner.

(That night, at dinner, Steve is with the family for dinner)

April: Well, we should get going.

Jay: Hon, I kinda figured you'd want to watch me bowl tonight.

NC: (as Jay) We can stare silently at how humble I am afterwards.

(April and Steve go out to the barn to make out)

NC (vo; as April): Come on, let's make out where my parents can catch us.

(They start to make out there)

April: You're the most...

Steve: Oh, really?

NC: (as Steve) Well, if farmers' daughters stories have taught me anything, it's there's a wonderful surprise in store for me.

(In Brad's room, meanwhile, there is a knock)

Brad: Come in.

(The door opens, and it's his father bringing him his dinner)

NC (vo; as Jay): Mmm, time for your supper and your beating. Eh, I'm tired. Just beat yourself and I'll eat your supper.

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