2018 was kind of a disappointment on the sci-fi front. See, there had been talk of a reboot of the Tremors TV series, with Kevin Bacon returning to star in it. They even made a trailer for the show but then Syfy decided to pass on it. The only bright spot on this bit of sad news is that we did get a new movie in the franchise. As soon as I heard that this movie was being made, I immediately made plans to purchase it as soon as it came out. So let’s see what new horrors are in store for us with today’s movie, Tremors 6: A Cold Day In Hell.
The plot: At the Nanavut Province in northern Canada, 3 scientist (Aussie, Yankee, and Dutch) are taking core samples of some ice when their drill hits something under the ice. As Yankee and Dutch work on the drill, a yellowish fluid starts seeping up, just as Aussie detects a seismic anomaly, as if something living was moving under the ice. Suddenly, a large graboid burst out of the ice and swallows Aussie, while whatever was struck by the drill begins moving, dragging Yankee with it. As the graboid burrow under the snow towards Dutch, he starts running and falls down an embankment, only to have the graboid kill him. Some time later in Perfection, New Mexico, Burt Gummer is approached by Special Agent Dalkwed of the U.S. Treasury Dept. Dalkwed tells him that due to Burt’s not paying taxes, the government is putting a lien on his property. As Dalkwed leaves, Burt’s son Travis shows up with supplies that he had gone to get and he argues with Burt over his not making more of an effort to work with him. Back in the arctic, Dr. Rita Sims, the head of the research team, heads out to the site of the attack with team members Valerie McKee and Aklark and when they see the carnage, Valerie recognizes what has happened. Back in Perfection, Burt is taking a nap on the roof of Chang’s store but is plagued by painful nightmares of the time he was swallowed by a graboid. As he falls out of his hammock, Travis tells him he has a phone call from a woman saying they have a graboid problem. Burt picks up the phone and speaks with Rita but when she tells him where they are located, he says that it can’t be a graboid attack as they are desert/tropical creatures. Valerie gets on the phone and tells Burt she is a graboid enthusiast, impressing him with her knowledge of the creatures, and tells him the site has all the markings of an attack and convinces him it is worth coming out there to investigate as it would be a new phenomenon for him to explore. Burt packs up for his trip and Travis packs to go with him, which Burt objects to his coming but Travis convinces him that he needs to teach him how to hunt and kill graboids for when the time comes that he is unable to do it anymore. The two head out to Canada and as they are flying to the site in a single prop plane piloted by Mac, they are attacked by an ass-blaster, which runs into the prop and forces them to land. On the ground, they are approached by Mr. Cutts, who is in charge of a DARPA facility next to the research station. Cutts confiscates the alcohol that Mac was smuggling into the area and warns Burt to stay out of his way, while Burt warns him that he should take his team and leave the area. As Cutts leaves, Valerie and Aklark show up and Valerie rushes up to hug Burt. Burt chastises her for not telling him about the ass-blasters and when she learns they saw one, she says her parents aren’t going to believe it, then reveals that she is the daughter of Valentine “Val” McKee and Rhonda LeBeck, whom Burt lost track of after they left town following the first Graboid attack. The head out to the Boite Canyon Arctic Research Facility, towing Mac’s plane behind them so she can repair the engine. They are approached by Rita and Dr. Charles Freezze, who is upset to learn that the plane is broken as he wants to leave as quickly as possible. Rita introduces Burt and Travis to the rest of the staff and Burt tries to tell them of the dangers they are now facing. Burt then asks Rita to step aside and asks her about Cutts and the DARPA facility and she tells him it is a joint US/Canada project but they are being secretive about it. Suddenly an ass-blaster appears at the site and kills a security guard while trapping Freezze underneath the communications tower, which it destroys while trying to get to him. Burt heads out to rescue Freezze, handing him an insulated pancho to hide his body heat from the ass-blaster when Burt suddenly has a seizure and collapses to the ground. As the ass-blaster flies towards Burt, Travis and Rita head out and start shooting at it and Burt recovers enough to shoot as well and they eventually kill the ass-blaster, but Burt passes out. When Burt regains consciousness, Valerie tells him he had surgery and the two talk for a bit before she leaves as Travis enters the room. Travis asks Burt how he is doing but Burt angrily asks him where he got the HK that he was using when they are interrupted by Rita, who says she has something Burt needs to see. Meanwhile, the DARPA team is at the Meltwater Hot Springs 8 miles from the camp taking reading of the water when they detect a high level of formic acid in the water. Suddenly, the scientist in the water hears something just before a graboid appears and kills her. Back at the research facility, Burt is told that he has a parasitic organism in his blood that is killing him and when they tell him that it came from a graboid, he figures he was infected when he was swallowed and had to cut his way out of one. Travis suggests that they kill a graboid to get the antibodies but they tell him they need a live graboid, which Burt says is impossible to catch. Suddenly, graboid tendrils snake through the window and grab the doctor, yanking her outside to be swallowed by the graboid. Burt orders everyone to secure the area and since they can’t get any seismograph readings due to their comm tower being down, he asks for a satellite phone only to discover that Freezze has taken it and fled. Travis radios Mac and Aklark, telling them to stop their work on the plane, just as the graboid moves under the lab and away from the area. Realizing that it is chasing after Freezze, they look outside to see him heading for the nearby truck. Hart rushes off to try and stop him but the graboid knocks the truck over and kills Freezze while Hart climbs up a nearby tower. Burt has everyone else get back inside and they try to come up with options. Swackhammer says they have some dynamite and supplies to rig up a bomb to feed down the graboids throat but Travis comes up with a better idea, using the generator to fashion an underground electrical fence to keep them away from some of the buildings. As Burt splits the group into teams to head out, Cutts and his men show up and Burt taunts him, believing that they were somehow responsible for this. Cutts tells Burt that they aren’t creating bioweapons, but are trying to access the water and figure out a way to transfer it to cities. Suddenly, the graboid breaks through the floor and attacks them, killing one of Cutts’ men. Burt tells the other to head out according to their plan and Burt tells Cutts to get somewhere on high ground and stay there. Travis sticks a makeshift fuse into the gas can on Aklark’s ATV and drives off to create a distraction and as the graboid chases after him, he jumps to safety while it swallows the ATV, only to be blown up. Burt yells for everyone to head to the hangar but when a second Graboid appears, they are forced to take shelter, with Burt and Swackhammer heading to the tower Hart is on while Travis and Rita are on the flipped over truck. Burt has Hart pee on the ground to lure the graboid towards them, then tells everyone to continue towards the hangar but as he makes a run for it, Burt suffers another seizure. Valerie and Vargas spot a third graboid heading towards Burt and he manages to make it onto some rocks before he collapses. Swaghammer manages to make the makeshift electric fence, which stops a graboid from entering the hangar but it instead heads over to the DARPA facility, attacking the building and people in there. While it is gone, Burt recovers enough to make it to the hangar and tells everyone to start prepping the bombs. Travis argues with Burt about their needing to capture one of the graboids in order to save him, then reveals that he had gone to see Heather, which is where he got the HK from. When the core sampler starts up automatically, the graboids approach the tower that Hart is on and Valerie rushes over to shut it off. Burt tells Swackhammer to shut off the fence while everyone else uses powertools to make some noise and lire the graboid towards them, then Swackhammer turns the fence back on, killing it. Valerie manages to shut off the fence as the third graboid takes off and they head towards the base. Inside the hangar, the generator gives out just as Burt has another seizure and collapses into a coma. Travis takes the lead and tells Mac to get the plane ready while they head to medical but before they leave, they hear Cutts calling out for help. Travis tells Rita and Aklark to get Burt to medical and keep him alive while he and Swackhammer head out to rescue Cutts. When they get there, Cutts demands that they get a ladder so he can get down but Travis refuses to do so unless Cutts arranges to remove the lien on Burt as well as ensure that neither Burt nor Travis have to pay federal taxes ever again and Cutts reluctantly agrees to it. Travis and Swackhammer return to the base with Cutts and he goes to see Burt, who tries to get out of bed but Travis argues with him that he needs to stay down and let him handle this as he has a plan. Travis has Swackhammer cut out the ends of a shipping container, fashioning a trap for the graboid. They then set some bait and as the graboid grabs it, Mac is able to use her plane and it’s own momentum to steer it into the container, where everyone pushes some steel bars through the slots to trap it in place. They then open the other end of the container to reveal steel bars are keeping it from closing it’s mouth and they attempt to sever the three proboscis tentacles, with Burt shooting them from the base camp before passing out again. Travis crawls inside the graboid’s mouth and extracts the venom from it’s gland sac and they take it back to medical to fashion the antibodies needed to save Burt’s life. With Burt fully recovered, he and Travis prepare to leave and Cutts shows up with the signed paperwork ensuring that Burt is clear of any tax penalties or owes any taxes ever again. Cutts then comments about the graboid being a good bioweapon but Burt has Hart fly one of his RC planes carrying a bomb into the graboid’s mouth, then detonates it, killing the graboid. Valerie says goodbye to Burt and comments about how she is going to have a great story to tell her parents and he tells her to tell Val and Rhonda he said hi. Travis and Rita, who had become attracted to each other, say goodbye, with Rita telling him she will be back in the states in 6 months. Travis kisses her on the cheek and as he joins back with Burt, Burt chastises him for simply kissing her on the cheek, prompting Travis to go back and fully embrace and kiss Rita, to the cheers of the other staff. As Travis rejoins Burt, Burt tells him it was better and that they should head back to Perfection.
One thing I like about these movies is that even though the basic premise is the same, they manage to add a new twist to make things interesting. This movie was a lot of fun to watch. Michael Gross and Jamie Kennedy did great jobs reprising their roles of Burt and Travis respectively, and I liked that they still had the clash or personalities as Burt still struggled to accept Travis as his son. Tanya van Graan (Rita) and Jamie-Lee Money (Valerie) also did great jobs in their roles and I loved the interactions between them and Travis and Burt respectively. The story was good, with the new location being a nice twist, while also being a not so subtle nod to the climate change debate. Aside from the introduction of Valerie, there were also a couple of other nods to the original movie that were pretty funny if you caught them. The special effects in the movie were good and I liked that they used the new designs from the previous movie for the graboid and ass-blasters, as it felt like the right versions to use, as they were frozen in ice millennia ago and never thawed until the temperature warmed up along the Arctic, allowing them to move about. So a great entry into a fun franchise and hopefully they will continue on with the it, either with more movies or another attempts at a TV show.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5