|Directed by||Rupert Harvey|
|Produced by||Rupert Harvey|
|Written by||Rupert Harvey
David J. Schow
|Starring||Don Keith Opper
Eric Da Re
|Music by||Peter Manning Robinson|
|Cinematography||Thomas L. Callaway|
|Edited by||Terry Stokes|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
Critters 4 is a 1992 science fiction comedy horror film starring Don Keith Opper, Terrence Mann, Angela Bassett and Brad Dourif. It was directed by Rupert Harvey and written by Harvey, Barry Opper, Joseph Lyle and David J. Schow. It is the fourth and final film in the Critters series. Unlike the first three films, this installment takes place not on earth but on a future space station.
The film begins in 1992 as Charlie McFadden (Don Keith Opper), still in his role as alien bounty hunter, is about to destroy two Crite eggs. He is suddenly stopped by a hologram message from is alien friend Ug (Terrance Mann), who tells him the eggs are the last two Crites in existence and that it is against intergalactic law to cause their extinction. Charlie protests that the Crites are too dangerous to keep alive, but he obeys Ug's orders to place the eggs in a preservation capsule that suddenly falls from the sky. As Charlie puts the eggs in the pod, the hatch closes on him and he is launched into space.
Over a half-century later, in 2045, the crew of the salvage ship RSS Tesla finds the pod in deep space and brings it aboard. The ship is crewed by the shady and lecherous Captain Rick Buttram (Anders Hove); along with his eccentric engineer Al "Albert" Bert (Brad Dourif); pilot Fran (Angela Bassett); cargo specialist Bernie (Eric DaRe); and young deckhand Ethan (Paul Whitthorne), who anxiously anticipates seeing Earth and his father for the first time. While Rick and Bernie push Ethan around, Fran and Albert show him more respect.
After examining the pod, Ethan discovers the emblem of the old Intergalactic Council on the side and questions the legality of claiming it for salvage. After reporting their find, the ship gets a communication from Councilor Tetra (Terrance Mann), of TerraCor, who offers Rick three times the going rate if he brings the pod to a nearby station. Fran, Bernie and Albert encourage Rick to accept the deal, but Ethan disputes going off course as it will delay his trip home.
Eventually the crew decides to go to the station, but find the facility abandoned and a barely kept running by a malfunctioning central computer named "Angela" that won't obey orders unless given the exact opposite instruction. Things get more problematic when Albert learns the station's reactor is also leaking radiation but doesn't anticipates it going critical for a month or so. In the meantime Rick has bigger plans and secretly decides to rip off the others and take the contents of the pod for himself.
While Rick tries to force open the pod, Ethan arrives and Rick asks him to assist in his scheme saying his plan will get them back to Earth sooner. Ethan however, refuses to abandon the others and Rick knocks him out. Rick manages to open the pod and encounters Charlie who jumps out. Infuriated, Rick refuses to believe Charlie is the only thing in the pod and crawls inside himself. There he discovers hatched eggs and is quickly killed by the baby Crites inside.
Charlie tries to shoot the Crites but the critters run off. He then revives Ethan and quickly goes off to pursue the Crites with a confused Ethan in tow. Eventually they meet up with the rest of the crew and Charlie is forced to explain who he is and how he came to be in the pod. While the crew contemplate his wild story, Bernie departs refusing to believe that "man-eating fur balls" are running loose on the station.
Ethan then uses a keycard he found outside a research lab to access a report made by a Dr. McCormick (Anne Ramsay), who reveals that she was conducting research on various alien organisms as a bioweapon. Unfortunately her creations couldn't reproduce and she requests finding a suitable organism capable of rapid reproduction. After learning what has been going on aboard the station, Albert strongly suggests they leave immediately.
Elsewhere, Bernie sneaks into the station's pharmacy to steal drugs unbeknown the Crites are closing in on him and he becomes their next meal. Once the others find Bernie, Angela announces that the reactor will go critical within hours and starts sealing up sections of the station. Albert then realizes the system was in worse shape than he originally thought. The crew are then forced to crawl through tunnels to reach their ship, during which they find a clutch of freshly laid Crite eggs.
Meanwhile, the Crites have gone to the Tesla and plot a course for the nearest inhabited planet – Earth. One Crite tells the other to "get the kids" while it preps for take off. Once the crew arrive at their ship, Albert gives Charlie the only weapon left – his antique Colt revolver. Charlie wastes no time using it when they encounter the Crite on the ship, but his shots not only kills the Crite but destroys the flight controls leaving the ship dead in the water.
While the crew attempt repairs, Ethan takes the gun to hunt down the last Crite himself. He finds the creature in the science lab using equipment to rapidly grow several baby Crites to full size. He then runs back to the ship to warn the others just as a Terracor ship carrying Tetra and his troopers arrives.
The surviving crew run to meet Tetra, but finds the troopers leveling their weapons at them. Tetra demands the the Crite eggs but Albert refuses to be threatened. Ethan arrives just as Tetra shoots and kills Albert. Tetra then knocks Fran to the deck while Charlie stands confounded that his old alien friend Ug has turned selfishly evil. Ug says "things change" and then orders his troops to find the eggs.
Still unnoticed, Ethan runs back to the science lab and sets up a trap for Tetra's troopers. When they arrive he seals them in with the pack of hungry critters. He then retrieves the Crite eggs and brings them back to Tetra while juggling them in the air. He purposely drops and breaks two eggs leaving one left. As Tetra threatens to kill Fran, Ethan tosses the last egg distracting him. Fran who noticed the revolver hidden in the small of Ethan's back cracks Tetra in the head with it and knocks him out.
Charlie and Fran rush aboard Tetra's ship to prepare for take off as Ethan lingers to mourn over Albert's body. Suddenly the last Crite appears and attacks, but Ethan manages to flash freeze the Crite with a fuel hose. As Ethan recovers he finds Tetra pointing a gun at him. Charlie returns and points the revolver at Tetra who doubts Charlie has the guts to pull the trigger. Charlie utters "things change" and shoots Tetra in the head.
Angela then warns that the reactor will go critical in a matter of moments and the survivors rush aboard Tetra's ship to escape. As Angela counts down to destination, the station suddenly explodes a few seconds early leaving Ethan to laugh at how stupid the computer was and that it figures it couldn't tell time.
- Don Keith Opper as Charlie McFadden
- Terrence Mann as Ug/Counselor Tetra
- Angela Bassett as Fran
- Brad Dourif as Al Bert
- Anne Ramsay as Dr. McCormick
- Paul Whitthorne as Ethan
- Anders Hove as Rick
- Eric DaRe as Bernie
- Martine Beswick as the voice of Angela