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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Top 5 Small Creature Features

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I have been meaning to do a Top 10 creature features for a while now, which will be done soon in video form. But I knew I wasn't going to be able to fit all the movies on it I wanted to so in deciding what to write today, I thought it would be a good idea to break the concept down a little. So for your enjoyment, here are my Top 5 Small Creature Features.


5. Ghoulies- This is one of those films where half the people who have seen it love it and the other half can't stand it. I thought it was a good movie, interesting plot and OK acting. But this film could have been soooo much better. It was to be directed by Charles Band, with special effects by Stan Winston which would have been awesome since they had worked together on Parasite. It ended up being directed by Luca Bercovici with special effects by John Carl Buechler and his company Mechanical and Makeup Imageries Inc. I would much rather have seen Band and Winston's stamp on this one. One of the better things about Ghoulies was it's star, a just debuting Mariska Hargitay who plays the uber hot Det. Benson on Law & Order SVU. A lot of people think this film was a rip off of Gremlins but Ghoulies actually started production first. Everyone knows there is a part 2 that is very forgettable, but not many are aware that parts 3 and 4 exist. Never watch the last two, you might actually kill brain cells.

4. Leprechaun- There are not many redeeming qualities about this film other than Warwick Davis who plays the title character. You have to love his rhyming one liners, plus come on, the guy was Willow. I met him at a con years back and he is a really nice dude. The movie itself is awful. The plot, the script, and the rest of the acting made me want to puke and rinse the taste out of my mouth with Troll 3. Yes, I said Troll 3 because if you were to mix Leprechaun and Troll 2 the results would be more devastating than a meth lab in a trailer park. We are introduced to a young Jennifer Aniston in this film but that's not saying much nor was it helpful to the cast. Whats funny about the Leprechaun series of films though, they actually got more watchable as the sequels rolled out. True they were a lot stupider, but the camp factor made them very entertaining. So for that reason and Warwick Davis being so cool, they earn a spot on the countdown.

3. Troll- I really liked Troll, the story was original and the film had a really good cast including Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack, Jenny Beck, Sonny Bono, and June Lockhart. The effects and set pieces always looked really cool to me and Torok was a genuine nasty little bastard. I remember when the VHS came out with Torok holding the ball, walking by the box at the video store always creeped me out for some reason when I was little. I would easily rank this as one of Empire Pictures best films. The film had two sequels which had nothing to do with the original. Troll 2 has the distinction by many to be the worst film ever made. You tend to be left in a catatonic state pondering what the hell it was you just watched. The child star of Troll 2, Michael Stephenson, directed a feature-length documentary about Troll 2 titled Best Worst Movie which I cannot wait to see.

2. The Gate- I can remember being home alone during summer vacation watching this film on HBO. The movie itself was a little crazy but you have to love the stop motion, Harryhausen-esque creatures. Stephen Dorff made his feature film debut in The Gate and would go on to be evil vampire Deacon Frost in the horror film Blade. The premise of The Gate is what always drew me into watching it, two friends home alone that have to battle creatures from hell then explain to their parents why the house is destroyed. There is a 3D remake in the works and H.R. Giger is supposed to be working on the creature designs, that in itself has me in a theater seat opening night.

1. Critters- Although widely believed to have been made to "cash in" on the success of the similarly-themed Gremlins, director Stephen Herek has refuted this in interviews, pointing out that the first Critters script was written by Domonic Muir long before Gremlins went into production and subsequently underwent rewrites to reduce the apparent similarities between the two films. I have always thought the design of the Critters themselves was great and the fact that they have the shooting porcupine spines is awesome. And how could you not like a horror movie that stars Dee Wallace, she is the best horror mom ever. The best part of the film is when two Critters are standing on the porch and Critter 1 says "They have weapons." Critter 2 is like "So what?" Critter 2 is then shot off the porch and Critter 1 shouts "Fuck!"