The fourth and final Critters film was filmed back to back with the third instalment and is marginally better than that film. You can read our review of the first film here, the second film here and the third here.
Released in 1992, directed by Rupert Harvey and starring Don Keith Opper, Terrence Mann, Angela Bassett and Brad Dourif. It takes the Charlie and the last remaining Critters off earth and into space.
Yes, this is Critters in space.
Continuing directly after the events of the third film. Charlie (Don Keith Opper) is about to destroy the last two Critter eggs. He is stopped suddenly by a hologram message from fellow bounty hunter Ug (Terrance Mann). He tells Charlie not to destroy the eggs. It turns out these are the last remaining Critters in the universe and it’s against intergalactic law to cause their extinction regardless of their aggression.
Ug tells Charlie to put the eggs in a capsule that arrives out of the sky. Something that he is far from happy to do but obeys anyway. Unfortunately, as Charlie puts the eggs inside, the capsule closes on him and he and the eggs are sent into space.
Some time in the future, we’re introduced to a motley crew of salvage hunters who find Charlie’s pod floating in space. Initially excited about their find, they discover the symbol of the Intergalactic Council on it. They are then contacted by Ug, now going by the name of Councillor Tetra. He offers them three times the going rate if they bring the pod to a nearby space station. This causes a rift in the crew with some willing to take the offer and others unhappy about the deal.
Eventually they agree to hand it over but when they arrive at the station they discover it abandoned and in need of serious repair. The Captain, already unhappy about the deal, decides enough is enough and breaks in to the pod. This releases Charlie and the two remaining Critters who set about doing what they always do, killing and eating!
The best thing that can be said about Critters 4 is the quality of acting. A cast that includes Angela Bassett and Brad Dourif was never going to be bad and by now it’s hard to not feel some affection for Don Keith Opper’s Charlie. The moment when he discovers he had been floating in space for half a century is touching, or at least it would be if the movie gave it time to breathe. It’s a moment that lasts all of a few seconds.
Critters 4 seems desperate to end after spending the first half building characters and setting up an obvious final conflict. Then once the Critters are released, its pace quickens to such an extent it all starts to blur. This wouldn’t be such a problem if we we’re witnessed exciting and fresh ideas but we’re not. It’s the same old stuff but with very few amusing moments and not much in the way of gore (although the stuff we do see is decent).
It’s not the only thing that Critters 4 gets wrong though. One of the most enjoyable things about the first two films was the relationship that Charlie had with Ug. It was cute and very endearing. Having the pair conflict here works for the story being told but it will leave long-term fans feeling cold and disappointed.
Critters 4 is better then the third film thanks to good acting. As well as a decent plot and its finale that actually ends things with no sequel bait at all. That being said, it’s hardly a classic and it’s best the franchise ended here.