Tremors is one of those movies that you used to see late at night on HBO or TBS being played hundreds of times, and did well enough to get a franchise out of it. I think I’ve seen bits and parts but never got a chance to catch it from the beginning, but I picked up a DVD set that had 1-4 in it. I had this series done and in the vault to bring out when I got a chance to see part 5. We get Netflix, and low and behold, it’s on there.
I’m not sure if this is the first time I’ve done a Kevin Bacon movie, but of course Hollow Man was on my guilty pleasure list, and I intend on doing the Nightmare on Elm Street Series one day.
So lets get into Tremors, shall we?
Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are two handymen in the major town of Perfection Nevada, population 14. They hate working there and want to go to the even bigger city of Bixby, but on the way out find an old man dead on an electrical tower, and take him back into town. For some reason there isn’t a mark on the old dude, he just seemed to climb up there and die. Kevin Bacon and his Ward head back out of town, and keep getting pulled back in, and we get some attacks on the townsfolk by the- I guess we call them graboids, but have not seen them yet. There is a serious Jaws vibe going on here, and its coming off better than you would expect. We know that the things are underground, even though the characters don’t, so we get a few people taken out, in fun ways to be honest, my personal favorite was the guy with the Jackhammer hitting one of the graboids on accident, just a good visual. Have I mentioned we haven’t even gotten REBA and the Dad from Family Ties yet? Eventually we get down to Kevin Bacon and friends vs the Graboids in a battle to the death!
So how is Tremors?
Better than it has any right to be. Is this the next Psycho? No, and it doesn’t try and be, but it fits all the fun I want in a popcorn horror flick. I have characters that have some development, I don’t get a ton of “only one way out and it has no chance of working”, and I love that in a movie like this one where there isn’t a lot of moving parts. Its just great writing.
Lets talk about the cast. Kevin Bacon is the only guy on the poster, and he’s the selling point. He’s the normal Kevin Bacon kinda guy, and Fred Ward plays a decent sidekick, to be honest, I get a bit tired of them, but they connect everybody. Michael Gross just steals the movie, and judging by the posters of the other movies, the powers that be agree with me, he’s just having a crazy ball. REBA is in her first film, and while she may not be the most comfortable with the action, when she’s talking or moving, she’s just fine.
Lets talk about the Graboids themselves. Number one, stupid name. The DVD features states they wanted Landshark, but SNL beat them too it. They should have stuck to Tremors for the name of the movie, and still called them Landsharks. Not like they made a ton off the merchandise anyway. They do a really good job of showing where they are, and by the time you really see them, just like in Jaws, you are already in, so you don’t care, and there is even a kill where its a straight rip-off/homage to Jaws that for some reason they don’t mention. You don’t even mind the special effects.
So how do we grade Tremors? It has laughs, well acted, well written for a B-movie, and I never really got bored or annoyed? I think I settle into an 8 here. I’m not sure how I can give a horror movie that is PG-13 an 8, but I did.
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