Last year, Warner Bros. announced tentative plans to reboot the popular eighties sci-fi horror franchise Critters as a web series for their digital unit, Blue Ribbon Content. In response to the announcement, director Jordan Downey (best known for “ThanksKilling”) took it upon himself to beat WB to the punch, ostensibly to prove that he’s the man to helm the project. On YouTube, he writes, “I’ve been a die-hard fan of the series since I was a kid and wanted to show that I would be the right director for the project.”
Critters was a New Line Cinema franchise launched in 1986 just two years behind the immensely popular Gremlins. The four films in the series centered around a nasty breed of alien vermin called Krites, who rolled about like Sonic the Hedgehog shoot quills and frequently leapt to people’s throats like The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. While the movies were never anything near as frightening as the many other sci-fi horror films of the era, they are fondly remembered for their dark humor.
Created with a six-person crew, “Critters: Bounty Hunter” falls a bit short in the humor department (due to it’s brevity), but it still manages to very closely re-create the aesthetic and spirit of the original movies, leading me to believe Warner could do worse than to hire him. The film’s action is fast-paced and tense, and the attention to detail is superb, with both the bounty hunter and the Krite itself bearing an uncanny resemblance to the originals.
All in all, this is a superb fan film.
Jordan Downey on the making of “Critters: Bounty Hunter”:
“Critters Bounty Hunter was completed from start to finish in under two months with a small budget and an even smaller crew. All in, a total of six people worked on the movie: Myself, Kevin Stewart, Ricky Fosheim, Nick Soole, Troy Smith and Gina Luciani. We shot for two nights at a house in Mammoth Lakes, California. The Critter puppet was built by Troy Smith who worked with us on both ThanksKilling movies. Our crew handled everything from building the bounty hunter costume, learning the VFX required to pull off the glowing head, scoring, title cards, sound design, etc. We’re proud of what we pulled off with limited resources and can’t wait to share this with everyone. Turn up the volume and hit HD – We hope you enjoy our fun little take on Critters!”