From: Critters (1986)
Classification: A hostile, dangerous intergalactic race of creatures.
When we are introduced to the Krites at the beginning of Critters (the first movie), they are awaiting transfer to an intergalactic prison planet. There are eight Krites that we are introduced to and they are apparently the last of their race (there were ten but two were killed because they were eating everything in sight).
The Krites reputation for being an intergalactic scourge and furious race isn’t enough for the Intergalactic Council to destroy them. The Council has a policy about protecting endangered life forms from extinction and as such is sending them to the prison planet for incarceration and preservation.
While the ship is taking them to the prison planet, the Krites devise a plan to kill the pilot and take over the ship. The pilot the ship itself until it crash lands on Earth after being perused by two shape shifting bounty hunters.
The Krites are small, intelligent beings that have quills like a porcupine, glowing red eyes, and a large maw of sharp teeth. Many, many rows of sharp teeth. The size of their mouths is disproportionate to the size of their round chubby bodies. They also have short little arms that end in little clawed hands and short stubby legs.
They posses a language of their own and within some of movies we are treated to subtitles of their discussions (which are mostly humorous). They are skilled hunters that attack in packs to bring down their prey. They can launch their quills a short distance and they posses a neurotoxin that can incapacitate creatures much larger than themselves.
The Krites also have the ability to tuck themselves into balls for movement. They can gather enough speed to launch themselves at an enemy and do damage with their sharp quills. A group of Krites can also join together to create a large ball that uses their mouths and teeth as weapons along with their quills.
The Krites also have the ability to grow much larger by consuming more. This is an ability only seen in the first movie. Here is a photo with the stars Dee Wallace and Scott Grimes with the larger Krite.
There have been four Critters movies since the first one arrived in theaters 31 years ago. In my opinion the first two were the best and connected to each other by continuing the story. At the end of the first movie it is revealed that the Critters had left eggs behind after their demise.
When the second movie begins, it is Easter and shows a man in an Easter Bunny suit hiding eggs in a yard (So would that make this an Easter movie? Holidays and movies are a hot debate.). One thing leads to another and the Krite eggs get placed in the yard instead of normal ol’ Easter eggs. The eggs hatch and baby Krites leap into the Bunny suit and eat the man, or at least tear him apart….comedic horror gold.
On top of the over the top comedic elements of the movies, I love how the movies try to have a “universe” with other aliens and races thrown into the mix. The Bounty Hunters themselves offer a depth to the movie and add an element of coolness. Broadway performer Terrence Mann plays one of the shape shifting Bounty Hunters named Ug. On their way to Earth the Bounty Hunters begin monitoring Earth television and Ug takes on the guise of heavy metal singer Johnny Steele which turns a few heads in town…well that and the huge cannon he and his partner are carrying around. And we won’t go into some of the people his partner turns into.
Critters also stars Dee Wallace of E.T. fame and there is of course an E.T. joke, and Scott Grimes who would later provide voices on Seth McFarlane’s American Dad and star along side McFarlane on Orville. Billy Zane also makes a cameo, so right there you know the movie is legit. As I said the sequel uses a lot of the same actors and builds upon the story from the first movie.
Also a side note, Critters 3 stars an actor named Leonardo DiCaprio…just saying.
Krites are one of my favorite 80s monsters/aliens. The movies were such big part of my childhood…along with many other horror movies. The whole attempt at a large universe with Intergalactic forces and other aliens made the movie feel like so much more than just a B-Movie horror flick. Back in those days you hunted for anything close to a comic book and Critters fit the bill.