The cult horror franchise Critters is getting adapted into a TV series for Verizon’s free, ad-supported streaming service go90. Many genre fans would argue that the 1980s were a golden age for horror, with multiple worthwhile franchises being born during the decade. While certainly not among the top tier 80s fright franchises like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Hellraiser, Critters proved to be a solid success, spawning a total of four feature films.
The original Critters movie hit theaters in spring 1986, and focused on a rural Kansas family being menaced by a group of ravenous aliens called Krites. While small in stature, Krites are very fast, and are equipped with teeth sharp enough to easily tear through human flesh. A horror comedy, Critters hauled in $13.2 million at the box office on a budget of $2 million, and even received a positive review from Siskel and Ebert. This led to 1988’s Critters 2: The Main Course, which performed much worse both critically and financially than the original, ending the franchise’s time in theaters.
Despite Critters II’s failings, the property still had enough life left in it to get 1991’s Critters 3 made, albeit direct to video. Critters 3’s biggest claim to fame is featuring an early role for Leonardo DiCaprio. Critters 4 followed in 1992, moving the action into space. The Critters franchise has been dormant ever since, but Variety reports that a Critters TV series is in the works, and set to stream on Verizon’s go90 service. To ensure consistency, Rupert Harvey and Barry Opper – producers of the Critters movies – are set to produce the series, entitled Critters: A New Binge.
It’s currently unclear if Critters: A New Binge will have any direct narrative ties to the film series, or feature any returning characters. One actor it would make sense to try and bring back is Don Keith Opper, who played the heroic if sometimes easily outsmarted Charlie McFadden in all four movies. Of course, Opper hasn’t acted since 2005, and might well be officially retired. Then again, he’s Barry Opper’s brother, so one assumes a call could be made.
As for the plot of A New Binge, the streaming series will see the Krites return to Earth in search of a Krite that was left behind years earlier during the course of a prior mission. The little monsters land in Burbank, California, and proceed to target a group of high school kids and their families. One wonders how attacking teenagers will help them find the lost Krite, but hey, murderous furballs gotta eat too.
Critters: A New Binge has no current premiere date.