Blood-soaked Easter bunnies. Jokes at the expense of pop culture icons like Van Halen and Freddy Kruger. And the hottest Playboy Playmate bounty hunter hybrid the silver screen has ever seen. This was Critters 2: The Main Course – the directorial debut of future horror maven Mick Garris that was originally released on April 29, 1988 – and what a time it was to be alive!
I remember my first viewing of it all too well; it was at a friend’s basement in New Jersey (as so many other movies were witnessed for the first time for me), not long after the film had just been released to video and cable (something my family still had yet spring for). I had already seen the first film – which followed a family (lead by Dee Wallace and Scott Grimes) on a farm being attacked by mirco menaces from outer space. But this one just seemed so much different, and it had, well…breasts (my first time ever seeing them at that, at least on film – so to say it left an impression would be an understatement).
The plot is simple enough; shortly after the events of the first film (which you can look back on as well with my 2021 retrospective, also for Rewind It), Brad (Grimes) returns to his home town of Grover’s Bend, where he quickly realizes he’s not welcome back. Soon enough, it’s discovered the critters (or “Krits,” as they’re often referred to in the series) left behind a batch of eggs their first time around after some of the community mistakenly paints them as Easter eggs (hence the holiday angle with this entry).
Also back to save the day again are the bounty hunters; Don Keith Opper as the bumbling Charlie, Terrance Mann as rock star Ug, and, this time around, the late Roxanne Kernohan as the shape-shifting Lee, who literally “bursts” onto the screen when introduced in said topless scene. Several popular TV stars of the time, such as Sam Anderson from Growing Pains and Perfect Strangers, and Tom Hodges from The Hogan Family are also included, as well as the legendary Lin Shaye of Insidious and A Nightmare on Elm Street fame. Hell, even stereotypical ’80s nerd Eddie Deezen is briefly thrown in there for good measure.
Sure, the original might always be the one most point to, but from the Hungry Heifer to it’s climatic final battle, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in the second Critters entry (two more direct-to-video sequels and eventual reboots would also follow, but the magic was long gone by then). For what it’s worth, Critters 2 defines the old phrase, “They don’t make them like they used to.” They sure don’t.