It seems the bounty hunters missed a small batch of Crite eggs when they were last on Earth. You'd think they would have known to check for something like that considering they are bounty hunters and apparent experts in various alien lifeforms such as the Crites. Alas no, the professional bounty hunters bungled their last job by forgetting to check for eggs. Oh yeah and its Easter time on Earth. Crite eggs...Easter...got it. So after a brief hologram message from some wiry alien creature (must be the new space prison boss. The last hovering alien was probably fired for fcking up and allowing the Crites to escape, probably), the bounty hunters are off to Earth yet again for another ultra destructive rescue mission.
So lets just address the most obvious change here. This franchise started after the classic 1984 horror comedy 'Gremlins', yet it was apparently written before. This critter sequel came out in 1988, two years before the sequel to 'Gremlins' in 1990. And still, like the original films the similarities between the sequels are easy to spot. Where as the original movies (both 'Critters' and 'Gremlins') were basically horror comedies with a somewhat semi-serious dark thrilling vibe; the sequels go down the comedy route.
Everything in this movie is one step up, more in your face, more lunacy, more cartoonish. But lets be clear, this isn't a goofy spoof which 'Gremlins 2' kinda turned out like. No this is still a semi dark, thriller-esque horror comedy for sure, it just has more laughs at the Crites expense. The Crites themselves have definitely gone down the cartoon route for certain scenes. They are still threatening and make you wanna pull your feet away from the edge of the couch; but at the same time they are now used as the butt of some definite goofy visual gags. Nevertheless this movie doesn't ever go down the metaself-referential route for its gags, it doesn't satirise the original movie. The basic plot still holds up and plays out.
So lets have a look at the plot. Well its the same as before only more! More Crites, more feeding, more blood, more gore etc...Oh and Charlie is now a bounty hunter. Why is Charlie (Don Opper) a bounty hunter? Beats me, no clue why Ug would allow this clearly weak human to accompany him into space as a trainee. We even see how bad Charlie is at the job at the start. Meanwhile on Earth Brad (Scott Grimes) is all grown up now and visiting Grover's Bend to see his gran (conveniently). For some reason Brad has a bully problem from a guy called Wesley (in a very 'Back to the Future II'-esque scene). Not sure why this guy was in the movie. And Sheriff Harv has now been recast with the younger (at the time, I think) Barry Corbin who was at one time the main man to cast for any authority figure...usually in a small town type scenario. This guy is the most Texan Texan I've ever seen; his name should be Tex Stetson McSixShooter.
One of the big attractions with this sequel (for all us dirty minded underage boys at the time) was of course Ug's partner in crime (now called Lee). In the first movie his gimmick was shape-shifting between various human forms for comedic effect. This time things got a bit more grown-up, a bit more seedy; dare I say a more lowbrow hook or carrot on a stick. Yep this time Lee shape-shifts into a hot sexy blonde with big boobs that adorned a Playboy magazine cover that Charlie finds lying around in a field (as if). I should also point out that not only does Lee's face change, his body changes too. Complete with firm arse, huge boobs (that inflate like balloons complete with whining sound), and even a nice tight thong. Because of course that would be included in his shape-shifting.
The other big draw with this movie was the Crite special effects. Basically the new tricks and gimmicks the puppets could do and the various comedic ways in which they got killed. And with that we see critters getting blown to pieces with the bounty hunter space guns. Getting run over and squashed flat. Boiled in a vat of chip fat until lobster red and bald. Electrocuted in a very cartoonish manner. Biting on a car tyre and inflating like a critter balloon. Splattered against a wall. Seeing Crite facial expressions such as their little eye bulging out of their head when scared. And the coup de grâce, where all the Crites join together like an organic Transformer to form the giant critter ball which eats people alive as it snowballs along. Everyone loved that bit, the bit where the critter ball rolls over some guy reducing him to a quivering bloody skeleton in its trail.
Quick note, Ug transformsmorphs into a critter in this movie. That is something new which leads to questions such as, why did he not do this before? Surely that would have helped in the first movie. How can he do this?? It is kinda assumed these shape-shifters can only transform their face, but in this movie it seems they can transform their entire body shape and even size! So clearly the goalposts are being moved to suit the plot here, which is fine I guess (this is a B-movie), but also troublesome for consistency.
So what's the lowdown? Well I'd say this movie is pretty much on par with the first movie. The original is more of a genuine horror thriller with reasonable jump scares and tension; the sequel is more of a horror comedy with more silly Crite hijinks. Both movies are good stand alone flicks, both are easy to follow, and both deliver exactly what you would expect. Some folks will prefer the original and some will prefer the sequel, and that's completely understandable. Myself now, I think I slightly prefer the original as it takes itself a tad more seriously, a bit darker. When I was a youngster I preferred the sequel because bewbs. But overall, weighing up the pros and cons, I'd say they were about equal.
Review by phubbs from the Internet Movie Database.