1. Movies

30 years later, 'Critters' still fighting the shadow of 'Gremlins'

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Published Apr. 11, 2016

Which came first: the Mogwai or the 'Krites?' Most '80s fans would insist that 1984's Gremlins must have influenced Critters, released 30 years ago today.

But Critters director Stephen Herek will say we're all wrong, noting in numerous interviews that the Critters script was co-written by Domonic Muir before Gremlins.

Chicken or the egg, my friends. Does it really matter?

Unlike Gremlins' Mogwai (hailing from the Pacific-Asian region of Earth). those pesky Krites were some murderous aliens hell-bent on total mayhem upon reaching Earth. Suffice to say that the plots surely feel pretty similar, enough so that I'll refrain from typing it all out.

Critters did have a few stars among its cast including M. Emmet Walsh and a very young Billy Zane. And the movie turned out to be somewhat successful at the box office, where it pulled in about $13 million. That was enough bank to encourage three sequels.

The most impressive thing about Critters 30 years later is probably its homages to other '80s institutions, including Ghostbusters and Ghoulies, which are sprinkled throughout the film. And poor E.T. He'll never be able to phone home again.