The 80s Sci-Fi Horror Fan Favorite Everyone Should See, Steam Right Now

By Brian Myers | Published

1980s science fiction gave a treasure trove of solid films to hungry audiences, many of them as campy as they were intriguing to the imagination. While Star Wars was still all the rage as the decade’s years ticked by, sci-fi movies that were enshrouded with terror overtones were becoming more popular. The 1986 film Critters has stood the test of time and is a must-see movie for any fan of the genre or a love of the signature cinema from that decade.

Critters From 1986

Critters opens at an asteroid prison in the remote reaches of the galaxy. The movie’s prime antagonists are a group of aliens called Krites that are being loaded onto a transport shuttle that is bound for another prison.

The mean little suckers manage to hijack the transport ship and leave their bondage behind.

This escape prompts the prison officials to solicit the services of two bounty hunters. Ug and Lee have the ability to change their physical appearances, a skill that will come in quite handy as it becomes known that the Krite’s commandeered ship is heading to planet Earth.

The Critters Escape

In Critters, Ug and Lee study images from Earth via satellite and Lee decides shift into an American rock-star as Ug chooses to not shift and retains his blank face.

The Krites ship crashes in the evening on the rural farm of the Brown family, where young Brad (Scott Grimes) and his father Jay (Billy Greenbush) investigate.

To their horror, they find that one of their cows has been mutilated and partially eaten (courtesy of the Krites), causing them to dart back into the safety of their farmhouse. 

Small But Deadly


Critters sees the Krites make short work of the deputy that arrives on the scene as the little movie monsters eliminate him as a threat. The Krites are small, but their razor-sharp teeth and claws, combined with their intelligence, make them pose a real threat to the farm and the nearby community.

As the bounty hunters Ug and Lee begin to close in, it’s a race to see who will reach the Brown family first; the Krites or the intergalactic heroes?

A Very 80s Movie


Critters provided audiences with a science fiction movie that captured all of the necessary ingredients of solid 80s cinema that newer fans will have nostalgia over.

The quintessential 80s mom, Dee Wallace, gives one of her most unsung performances as farm mom Helen Brown while Billy Greenbush brings his reputation as a heavy from the decade and inserts himself as a familiar rural dad.

Good For A Low Budget Film


The Critters special effects were particularly good for a film shot on such a low budget. But Sho Films’ $3 million investment in Critters was allocated well, resulting in some pretty decent spaceships and outer space scenes.

The creature effects for both the Krites and the shapeshifting Ug and Lee are particularly notable and elevate the movie’s appearance far beyond the perception of low budget.

Streaming Critters



Critters has a solid, if not predictable, storyline that is a fun and imaginative journey from start to finish. There wasn’t a lot of fat left in the movie as director Stephen Herek worked hard to make every frame count.

You can watch Critters streaming free with Tubi, or rent the movie On Demand through Prime, Vudu, Google Play, and AppleTV.