Critters the other Creatures

There were many other creatures besides the critters in the movies. Here are a few of the creatures I’ve worked on:
Critters 2 Zanti on set copy
Critters 2 Zanti on set 4


I wanted the “Zanti” to be one of those old 1950’s style big “Butthead” alien creatures. You remember those aliens with the huge heads sitting on a tiny body? When I began sculpting, my crew said to me, go bigger, go BIGGER!

Critters 2 Zanti on set2
Critters 2 Zanti on set3
Critters 2 Zanti on set5
Critters 2 Zanti on set Mick

Concept and Build

Cynthia Garris wanted to be in the movie in the worst way, and her husband, Director, Mick Garris (on the left) made sure it was in the worst way! Ha ha! Poor Cynthia! Her lips were the only thing recognizable on her, and just barely at that!

Critters 2 Zanti Drawing
“Critters2” Zanti’s Boby

“Zanti” the First

I was brought into the first film in post-production. The original Zanti prosthetics had been cast from urethane foam and latex and didn’t hold up for the close-ups. I was given the mold and we did a clay press out of it and reworked it onto the actor’s lifecast. We then re-sculpted it to the edges and added a bit more detail.
“Critters” Original “Zanti” from reshoot

Interaction with Critters (Gore Effects)

Showing the results of an attack by “Baby Crits”

Douglas Rowe as Quigley

Showing the results of an attack by “Baby Crits”
Sam Anderson as Mr. Morgan showing results of a “Crit” spine dart.
Sam Anderson as Mr. Morgan showing results of a “Crit” spine dart.
Critters 2 old guy from antique store


“Critters 2” Hexipod

Critters 1 Transformation

Concept Art

Concept Art

The opening sequence showed the two “Bounty Hunters” and “Charlie” (played by Don Opper) on an alien planet, hunting a dangerous bounty. We decided to go with something more bug like but with a few mammalian traits. Unfortunately, due to time constraints we we were not able to create the attacking creature version with anything more than just neck motion. 

Critters Transformation Skull sculpt finished
Critters Transformation Skull in progress
Critters Transformation Muscle Sculpt WIP
Critters Transformation Alien to Skull
Critters Transformation Skull to mucles
Critters Transformation Skull to mucles 2
Critters Transformation mucles to skin
Critters Transformation skin

As we were redoing “Zanti”, for his close-ups, we were also creating the transformation from the amorphous “Bounty Hunter” to the “Rock Star.” The transformation started with a life cast of Terrence Mann.
We created a clay press from the mold that I then pointed up, and a silicone mold was made from it. We did another clay press, from which I sculpted the musculature to match his facial structure. We then made another silicone mold, and another clay press, from that. I carved it down to a skull matching his facial structure. We cast fiberglass versions of the skull, and the musculature and painted them accordingly.
One of the skulls was then put into the musculature mold and red gelatin was injected into it to fill the space. The musculature head was then placed inside of Terrence Mann’s life cast mold, and again gelatin was injected to fill the space. We then made a mold of the Bounty Hunter mask, inserted the other skull and filled it with clear gelatin with a thin skin of a yellowish flesh tone. The use the clear on the skull was so that the light refraction through it would distort the skull and it would look as if it’s forming into a skull from the amorphous shape. Each head was mounted onto a body form and hit with heaters and hairdryers and shot in reverse over many hours. This method when viewed forward would give the appearance of flesh growing on to Terence Mann’s skull.