Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tremors (1990)

Before Jurassic Park really unleashed the computer image revolution for creature features, there was a last hurrah for the practical effects in the monster movie genre. But the 1980s saw the rise and domination of the slasher film in the horror genre. You didn’t see many creature features any more. Then along came Tremors. It didn’t make a huge splash when it came out in theaters… but on VHS, it was a hit!

Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) are a couple of nice guy handymen who are just looking for excuse to get out of the small desert town of Perfection. The endless menial jobs, culminating in a sewage mishap, finally push them to hop in their truck and take off… just an hour too late.

Val and Earl discover several dead bodies on their way out of town. The circumstances are bizarre, with the corpses being mangled gruesomely. Is some kind of crazed killer on the loose? Before they can head to the nearest town for help, the road is blocked and all hell breaks loose. Geology student Rhonda (Finn Carter) is tracking some strange seismic activity, and it isn’t long before they all see the creatures tunneling under the ground, hungry for human flesh! Even though survivalists Burt (Michael Gross) and his wife Heather (Reba McEntire) have a huge amount of artillery, it may not be enough to stop the massive creatures creating the Tremors.

Good Points:
  • Impressive practical creature and gore effects
  • Lots of humor in the script and performances
  • Moves at a great pace, keeping you wondering just who is going to get devoured next

Bad Points:
  • Some of the special effects aren’t too convincing
  • Not much of a story other than, “We’ve got to get out of here!”
  • Those who don’t like kids in peril won’t like this film

I remember loving this flick back in the day. My sister and I watched it a bunch of times. Its great to see it’s just as much fun as I remembered. The gross out effects are fun and squishy. The acting and dialogue is funny. The movie balances humor and horror almost perfectly. I also like seeing all the different plans they come up with to defeat the underground menace. If you’re a fan of monster movies and haven’t seen this one, check it out ASAP!

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 4
Sound: 3
Acting: 4
Script: 4
Music: 3
Direction: 4
Entertainment: 5
Total:  4

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.

Obscurus Lupa reviewed the entire series of Tremors films (and the spin off television show). Check out her review here.


  1. This was good monster movie fun.

    It's been said of NYC's rats that the problem will never be solved until they go on the menu. Maybe that was the overlooked solution in Perfection NV. Did anyone try BBQing a Graboid?

    1. Ok, that's an awesome idea. In the whole running of the films and television series, I don't think anyone tried to BBQ a Graboid. :) You, my friend, are a genius.

  2. Yep, pretty much a guilty pleasure SF set of films for me. Sort of got a bit burned out by the third one, but they are still fun. They used to show them all the time on the SF Channel.

    1. Yeah, the first is still the best in my opinion. But the sequels aren't too bad either. It is funny because the series kinda got revived by the frequent showings on the Sci-fi Channel. I've met a lot of folks who know it from that. I just remember when it came out on video word of mouth just clicked and we couldn't keep it in the store.