So years ago, I was watching Syfy channel and came across the TV show Tremors. Obviously, I was hooked and enjoyed watching the entire series. Anyways, as I was watching the show, one weekend they aired this movie. I honestly thought that it was nothing more than the pilot for the series but I later learned that it actually came out two years earlier. That still doesn’t mean that it wasn’t meant to be the pilot, as it did really set up for the series and watching the series after the movie made a lot of sense regarding some episodes. So let’s return to where it started with today’s movie, Tremors 3: Back To Perfection.
The plot: In El Chaco, Argentina, Burt Gummer meets up with a news crew from a local TV station and gives an interview about being brought in to deal with the a Graboid/Shrieker problem in the area. As Burt explains the situation, the Shrieker herd begins moving towards them and the news crew quickly get back into their car while Burt climbs into an anti-aircraft turrent installed on the back of his truck and begins firing on the Shrieker herd, killing them all. Some time later, Burt returns home to Perfection, Nevada and is greeted by Miguel, who tells him about the property developers that are trying to buy up the land and remake it into condos. Miguel then asks Burt about some cement trucks he saw heading to Burt’s house and Burt explains he is building an underground barrier around his property to keep any Graboids out of his home and Miguel scoffs and says thee hasn’t been a Graboid attack since the first one 11 years ago. Burt then heads to Chang’s store, which is now run by Walter’s niece Jodi, and she gives him his mail and asks if he brought any pieces of Shriekers or Braboids back that she could sell to tourists, showing Burt the flyer for Jack’s Graboid Tour, which started up while Burt was out of the country. Meanwhile, Jack Sawyer is out on his tour, which has his partner Buford fake a Graboid chasing after the truck. After returning from one of his tours, Jack sees Burt getting gas and talks to him about helping out and partnering with him but Burt refuses to help his scam. Some time later, Jack is on another tour and Buford has brought Mindy along with him but he ends up being attacked and killed by a Graboid while Mindy helps Jack get his tour group to safety. Meanwhile, Burt detects the Graboid in the area and activates the Graboid siren but when he asks Jodi, Nancy, and Miguel if they see anything on their seismographs, he learns that they haven’t been upkeeping them. As Jack and Mindy return with the tour group and send them to safety, Burt organizes everyone to go hunt after the Graboids only to be stopped by Department of the Interior Agents Charlie Rusk and Frank Statler, who are their with paleontologist Dr. Andrew Merliss. Merliss explains that the Graboids are an endangered species and need to be protected and Rusk says that their properties can be seized by eminent domain, which angers the residents. That night as Burt is taking out his frustrations with some target practice, he detects a Graboid near his property and when he goes out to check, sees an albino Graboid surface briefly at the edge of his barricade then head back down into the ground. Meanwhile, Rusk and Statler show up at Changs and complain about not having any luck capturing a Graboid and Jack works out a deal for them to let Burt help them capture one of the Graboids for study, then let the residents kill the others so they can keep their land. Burt reluctantly agrees to the deal and brings Jack with him to help but while they are setting up, they are approached by Melvin Plug, a former resident who is behind the real estate company trying to buy up the valley. As Burt refuses Melvin’s offer to sell, Jack sees a Graboid coming towards them on the seismo-monitor. When the Graboid surfaces and moves towards Burt, Melvin drives off while Burt manages to get into a drum before he is swallowed whole by the Graboid. Jack manages to make radio with Burt, who tells him to lure the Graboid towards his home, where it ends up killing itself colliding with the barrier. Jack the uses a chainsaw to cut Burt out of the Graboid just as Jodi gets there to see what is going on. After Burt recovers, he goes back out with Jodi, Jack, and Miguel to look for the Graboids but they encounter Merliss, who explains that they found a hollowed out Graboid just before they were attacked by some Shriekers. Rusk and Statler were ripped to shreds but Merliss had used a fire extinguisher on himself to avoid detection but was still injured and ended up dying from his wound. Burt warns Nancy and Mindy, who are in the town, about the Shriekers and tell them to hide their body heat and then he uses satellite imaging to locate the Shriekers. As they make their way to the Shrieker herd, they are suddenly attacked by a Graboid and forced onto some rocks. Burt recognizes it as the same one that had come to his compound and Miguel, who had called it El Blanco, said he had an albino goat that was sterile and Burt figures that is why it hasn’t morphed into Shriekers. The group is trapped on the rocks overnight, with El Blanco seeming to take particular interest in Burt. Miguel fashions a fishing pole using dental floss and Burt manages to grab his radio off the hood of his car and asks Mindy for help in creating a distraction. She does so and Burt goes to his truck to grab some weapons, then wedges the gas pedal and sends his truck driving off for El Blanco to chase after it, then they head to the canyon to deal with the Shriekers. When they get there, they hear a strange noise and find the Shriekers have apparently molted their skin and changed but have no idea into what. The find the wreckage of Burt’s truck and then see one of the new creatures, which reveals that they are able to fly using an explosion of gas from their butt. They manages to kill the new creature but it crashes into Miguel as it falls, knocking him off the cliff and killing him. Burt radios Nancy and Mindy to warn them about the Ass-Blasters (as Jodi dubs them) just as an Ass-Blaster attacks them. Nancy and Mindy make their way into Chang’s and Mindy heats up a ham and uses it to distract the Ass-Blaster long enough for them to hide in the meat locker. Meanwhile, Burt, Jodi, and Jack use a mattress to shield their body heat and make their way to Burt’s house, being chased by El Blanco on the way. When they get there, they try contacting Mindy and Nancy only to have an Ass-Blaster crash through the ceiling and land in Burt’s basement. They take shelter in Burt’s panic room but when the Ass-Blaster starts melting through the door, they go out Burt’s escape tunnel while Burt uses some gas to blow up his home, not wanting the Ass-Blaster to eat his MRE’s and multiply any further. As they avoid the debris, Nancy contacts them and tells them that the Ass-Blasters go into a coma after they eat and tells them to feed them the MRE’s to stop them, causing Burt to go into a slight case of shock. When the other 4 Ass-Blasters show up, being drawn by the fire, they use a boat to make their way to the nearby junkyard to hide. As the Ass-Blasters make their way to the junkyard, they manage to drop a fridge on one of them, then hide as the others show up. They come up with a plan to fashion a makeshift potato gun and use it to ignite the internal liquids of the Ass-Blasters in order to kill them. They scrounge up the necessary items and using fence posts as arrows, kill the three Ass-Blasters. They celebrate their victory only to have El Blanco show up and Burt realizes that it is the ultrasonics from his watch that keeps luring El Blanco towards him. As he goes to take it off, El Blanco hits the mobile home they are in, sending Burt flying outside and getting stuck on a box spring. As Jodi works to free Burt, Jack grabs the watch and lures El Blanco away, then throws it at the last Ass-Blaster, who had recovered from the fridge, and El Blanco ends up swallowing it. Some time later, Nancy and Mindy sell the Ass-Blaster they caught to Siegfried and Roy in order to pay for Mindy’s college tuition. Jack tells Jodi that he is moving to Bixby and taking over a car wash and she hops in the car with him, as they discuss starting a relationship. Meanwhile, Burt uses another watch and a radio controlled car to lure El Blanco to where he is just as Melvin shows up. As El Blanco appears, Burt informs Melvin that so long as El Blanco is around, Perfection is considered protected and can’t be developed, and they have made the necessary protections to the town so that they can live with El Blanco, then he drives off, leaving Melvin on the rock screaming at him.
I will admit that this was kind of a let down as a stand alone movie and would have been better as a two part episode for the series. The acting was ok, with Michael Gross doing a good job continuing his role of Burt Gummer. I liked the fact that they brought back Charlotte Stewart, Ariana Richards, Tony Genaro, and Robert Jayne to reprise their respective roles of Nancy, Mindy, Miguel, and Melvin from the first movie. I also liked Shawn Christian (Jack) and Susan Chuang (Jodi) as they both added some new character elements to the franchise. The story was ok but while the addition of the new evolution, the Ass-Blasters, was interesting, I think the more important aspect was the introduction of the tour and the fact that the town mainly survives based on tourism and Graboid related items. The special effects were fairly decent, as they had a slightly larger budget than the previous movie, and I did like the concept and name of the Ass-Blasters, honestly appealing to the juvenile humor mindset of me. In serious aspect though, I liked the idea of the whole Graboid cycle, as it does mimic insects with the Graboids being the larva stage, then changing into Shriekers which eventually morph into Ass-Blasters, who are able to fly and lay new Graboid eggs in order to spread the population. Anyways, while it isn’t my favorite of the series, it is still a fun movie to watch and definitely something to watch before giving the TV series a shot.
Rating: 3 out of 5