action, comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 11th, 2018 Movie – Tremors 6: A Cold Day In Hell

tremors 6

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

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 21st, 2018 Movie – Tremors 5: Bloodlines

tremors 5

11 years after the last movie, we are finally blessed with a new Tremors movie. When I first got wind that this was happening, I was excited to hear it and had pre-ordered it on Amazon. Now I will say that there was one aspect of the movie that I was worried about; Jamie Kennedy. My opinion of Jamie Kennedy kind of fluctuates between whether or not he is a good actor. I mean, I liked him in Scream and Scream 2 but not so much in anything else. So having him in a series that I liked was troubling as I might not like the movie because of him. My only hope was that Michael Gross would be able to counteract any negativity Jamie Kennedy might have. So let’s see if my hope was well placed as I watch today’s movie, Tremors 5: Bloodlines.

The plot: In the South African valley known as the Cradle of Humankind, two men, Johan Dreyer and Basson, are hunting in the area when Basson falls into a cave. As his Dreyer goes to get a rope to pull him out, Basson looks around and sees some cave drawings depicting Graboids just as he hears something moving around in the area. Dreyer throws down the rope and starts pulling Basson up but Basson is attacked by an Assblaster and killed. In Nevada, Burt Gummer is filming footage for his survivalist show when he is interrupted by the arrival of Travis B. Welker. Travis explains that he is taking over as Burt’s cameraman and wants to help him get more exposure using modern social media. As they are talking, they are approached by Erich Van Wyk, who introduces himself to Burt and says tells him about the Assblaster in Africa. Burt is skeptical, as he believed all known Graboids were confined to the North America continent but Van Wyk insists and tries to convince Burt to come to Africa to deal with it. Burt starts to agree but Travis interjects himself to the conversation and pulls Burt aside. He asks Burt to let him handle the negotiations, offering Burt an HK91 if he lets him come to Africa with him, and Burt agrees. Travis talks with Van Wyk and tells him that Burt is too busy to go to Africa but when Van Wyk offers to fund 3 years of Burt’s videos, Travis and Burt agree to the deal. They arrive in Africa and head to a game reserve, which has been set up as their base camp, and Burt befriends their helicopter pilot Dan Bravers but learns that his weapons have been held up in customs for 3 days. When they reach the reserve, Van Wyk introduces him to Dreyer, who shows him the tranquilizer gun that they will be using but Burt tells them that Graboids are immune to tranquilizers. Dreyer says that they are hunting an Assblaster, not a Graboid, but Burt tells them that if they have an Assblaster in the area, then they will have Graboids as well and scoffs at Van Wyk’s wanting to try and capture one. Burt and Travis arrive at the main lodge and Burt is shown the weapons that Van Wyk acquired for him but says that they won’t be much use against a Graboid. Meanwhile, Travis sees a little girl named Amahle and speaks with her for a little but before he is introduced to her mother, Dr. Nandi Montabu, who owns the reserve. Meanwhile, two paleontologists, Dr. Michael Swan and Lucia, have uncovered the fossilized remains of a Graboid out in the plains and are excited about their discovery but as they are showering later, they are attacked and killed. Back at the reserve, Burt is trying to get details from Dreyer on where the attack occurred when they are approached by Baruti, one of the game wardens, who tells them of the attack. They head to the dig site and Burt says that the fossilized Graboid is different than the North American counterparts. As night starts to fall, Nandi and Amahle invite Travis to a tribal dance and Travis ends up getting into an argument before Travis leaves. At the dance, Nandi helps translate the chief’s speech, telling Travis that their tribe has hunted the Assblasters for generations and the Assblasters hunt at night to make it easier to sense their prey. Back at the reserve, Baruti and Thaba are working on a jeep engine, with Baruti complaining about Travis getting too close to Nandi, when they are attacked by an Assblaster. Burt helps them try to find it off and kills it but a second one carries Thaba away. Burt and Dreyer head off to try and rescue Thaba and find him lying injured on a bridge. Burt dons a thermal cloaking poncho and then heads out onto the bridge but the Assblaster kills Thaba, then attacks the jeep with Dreyer in it before Burt is able to kill it. Burt and Dreyer head back to the reserve just as Travis, Nandi, and Amahle arrive and Burt chastises Travis for not being there, then Burt tells Nandi to evacuate the reserve while he, Dreyer, and Van Wyk go after the Assblaster. They eventually locate the Assblaster and Dreyer attempts to tranquilize it but it has no effect. Burt manages to kill it, with the flaming carcass falling on Dreyer and killing him, and Van Wyk is upset about Burt killing the Assblaster and Dreyer. When Burt finds a Graboid egg in the carcass, Van Wyk points a gun at Burt, revealing that he is actually a poacher and plans on selling the egg. Van Wyk locks Burt in the lion cage intended for the Assblaster and Burt suffers from mild exposure before Travis shows up and rescues him, dragging the cage along behind him on the way to the reserve. When the cage hits a rock and comes unhitched, Travis stops and frees Burt but they discover that Travis’ fuel line is busted so they are forced to walk. They come across the wreckage of Van Wyk’s land cruiser and grab some weapons from it then go hunting him. They eventually find an injured Van Wyk and tell him to get on the rocks but as he does, something grabs the cooler with the egg and carries it into a nearby cave. Van Wyk is then attacked by the Graboid’s tentacle tongues, which Burt realizes are able to detach from the main body. Realizing that the tentacles, and the Assblaster, are protectign the cave, Burt and Travis figure that it is a nest and Travis goes inside to deal with it while Burt uses Travis’ phone to call Bravers for help. Meanwhile, an Assblaster shows up at the reserve and begins attacking Amahle and Baruti but Nandi is able to kill it with a bow and arrow. Back at the cave, Travis sees the cave drawings and finds the nest just as he is attacked by an Assblaster so he throws a phosphorus grenade at it to kill it. He heads back outside just as Bravers shows up in his helicopter but Burt and Travis watch as the Graboid attacks and kills Braver’s copilot, then swallows Bravers whole. Burt feels like things are hopeless but Travis points out the missile pods on the helicopter that they can use to take out the nest. Using some nearby cattle to mask their presence, Burt and Travis make it to the helicopter and fire the missiles at the cave, blowing it and the nest up. Bravers shows up, having shot the Graboid in the mouth to get it to spit him out, and they quickly leave. Heading back to Travis’ jeep, Bravers gives them some fuel and then leaves while Burt and Travis head for the reserve. As they are driving, Burt asks Travis what he knows about his visit to Florida, as Travis has mentioned it several times, and Travis reveals that he is Burt’s son from a one night stand he had there, and Burt reacts in disbelief to the news. Meanwhile, Nandi, Baruti, and Amahle are attacked by another Assblaster and a second Graboid but they manage to kill them, then head to the village. As they head there, Nandi discovers that Amahle has a Graboid egg in her bag and realizes that is why they are being attacked. When they get to the village, they find it seemingly deserted and tell Nandi tells Amahle to stay in the car while she and Baruti look around. They head into the market and find someone being attacked by the Queen Graboid but are unable to save her. Hearing Amahle scream, they find her being attacked by the tentacles just as Burt and Travis arrive at the village. Seeing a dirt bike nearby, Burt has Travis use it to distract the tentacles and Graboid while Baruti rescues Amahle. As Travis lures the Graboid away, Burt, Nandi, and the villagers construct a lightning trap using the storms to electrocute the Graboid when Travis lures it into the trap. As the villagers celebrate, Burt reluctantly accepts Travis as his son and when Travis mentions going back to Florida, Burt stops him, saying that he promised to help him with his career. In a mid-credits scene, it is shown that Burt and Travis have partnered up and travel around hunting monsters worldwide.

Maybe time does make a difference because this was one of the better entries in the series since the first movie. Michael Gross was great reprising his role of Burt Gummer while Jamie Kennedy was surprisingly good as Travis, playing the role with the seriousness and dry humor that it actually warranted but not being silly funny with his role. The story was pretty good and I liked how the evolution of the Graboids differed in Africa, making a nice way of changing up the routine without having to introduce a new creature to the mix. I did like the not so subtle nod to Jurassic Park when Baruti and Amahle were being chased by the Assblaster in the kitchen. The special effects were pretty good and well used in regards to the new variants of the species. This is a good movie and definitely earned it’s spot in the franchise.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 20th, 2018 Movie – Tremors 4: The Legend Begins

tremors 4

So as the Tremors TV show is airing, the last couple of episodes were missing the star, Michael Gross. This was because he was filming the next movie in the series, which would actually turn out to be a prequel. Now I will be completely honest, I never saw this movie until I bought the box set of movies a few years ago. This was because every time it was on Syfy/Sci-Fi, I would not be around to watch it and, since this was before the days of DVR, I could record it and watch it later. I know that is a weak excuse but it doesn’t matter in the end as I managed to buy it so let’s see how they decided to work in this prequel to the series as I watch Tremors 4: The Legend Begins.

The plot: In 1889 Nevada, some miners are working in mine outside of Rejection when something begins attacking them. Scared over the attacks and the mine’s closing as a result, many of the town’s residents decide to leave. Among those who are staying are Pyong Lien Chang, who runs the local market with his wife Lu Wan and their son Fu Yian, Christine Lord, Juan Pedilla (a miner that witnessed the attacks), Tecopa, and Old Fred. As they discuss what will happen to the town with everyone leaving, the store receives a telegraph that Hiram Gummer, the owner of the mine is coming to Rejection to find out what is going on. When Hiram arrives, he tells the assembled group that he is there to speak with the mine’s foreman only to learn that he had gotten onto the coach that just left and it was the last one to come by the town. When Hiram says he wasn’t told of what had happened, Christine tells him that 17 people were killed in the mine and it was closed down as a result, with the only person that knows what happened being Juan, who isn’t there at the moment. Christine shows Hiram to her hotel but is disgusted by his superior attitude towards everyone in town. When Juan returns from inspecting his land, he tells Hiram that the mine is not empty but 7 more people died trying to work it and the remaining workers are too scared to enter it and Hiram asks Juan to take him out to the miners so he can talk with them. The next morning, Hiram shows up intending to ride his bicycle out to where the miners are but the chain breaks and he is forced to ride a horse out to the mine to meet the few remaining miners. Hiram leads them into the mine to investigate but they find no sign of anything in the mine so Hiram decides to have it reopened. As night falls, Hiram and the miners make camp but as they prepare to go to sleep, they are attacked by some freshly hatched Graboids. The 4 miners are killed but Juan manages to kill one of the Graboids with a pick-axe before he and Hiram take shelter on some rocks. Figuring out that the Graboids hunt using sound and move through the soft sand, they walk along the mountains back towards town. When they finally arrive in town, they explain the situation to the others and Hiram decides to hire a gunfighter to come and deal with the remaining 3 Graboids. As a month passes, Christine talks with Hiram about paying his bill but Hiram gets insulted and tells her to start a tab for him. Later, when he sees young Fu Yien having to work as nobody else is able to do his job, Hiram apologizes to Christine for his behavior and reveals that he had sunk his family’s entire fortune into the mine and is essentially broke until it reopens and starts turning a profit. That night, Black Hand Kelly shows up in response to Hiram’s telegraph and, after showing a display of his quick draw skill, he speaks with Hiram about his salary. Hiram offers him as much silver as a horse can carry once the mine opens but when Kelly starts to leave, Hiram gives him the gold piece his was carrying, as well as his cufflinks when Kelly asks for them, to convince him to stay. The next day, Kelly has Hiram and Juan grab a weapon from Christine’s collection and they head out searching for the Graboids but find no sign of them. Kelly starts to think Hiram is wasting his time but when they come across a hot spring that was tapped for the mine, they find 4 hatched Graboid eggs floating in the water. Hiram theorizes that the warm water must have hatched the eggs and, since Juan had killed one of the creatures, there were 3 left. The soon come across Old Fred’s wagon, which has been destroyed, and find Fred’s head among the wreckage. After burying the head, Kelly wants to make camp there, as it is the firs sign of the creatures they have seen but when Hiram refuses to camp on the soft ground, Juan suggests an old railroad shack, saying the creatures can’t break the solid beams of the floor. As they are sleeping, strange snake-like creatures make their way into the cabin but they wake up the three men and Kelly starts shooting at the creatures, scaring them off. Juan wants to leave but sees the horses have been scared off, just as the snake creatures begin ripping the floor boards out form under them. Kelly works on showing Hiram how to shoot a gun and Hiram has Juan use the telegraph to try and get a message out to Rejection to send help. At Chang’s store, Fu Yien, Lu Wan, and Christine are all observing the telegraph but Fu Yien says that it isn’t morse code and might just be coming from Hiram and the others asking for help. He figures out where they are and Christine decides to head out in her wagon to help them. Back at the shack, Juan is still tapping on the telegraph when a Graboid breaks through the floor and tries to kill him. Kelly and Hiram start shooting at it, allowing Juan to escape, and they realize the snake creatures were simply the creatures’ tongues and that there are still only 3 creatures, but Kelly says that it doesn’t make any difference as the creatures are so large and their weapons had no effect on them. As morning breaks, the floor is almost gone and Kelly is grabbed and killed by a Graboid just as Christine arrives, and Hiram and Juan get into the wagon and they head back to town. As they relay what happened to the others, Hiram decides to leave town and suggests they do the same. As Hiram prepares to leave, Christine and the other residents approach him and tell him to give them the mine or else they will send telegraphs to every city explaining about the creatures, making the mine unsellable. Hiram does so and heads to Carson City, preparing to head back to Philadelphia, but as he is buying his ticket, a telegraph comes in from Rejection saying that the creatures are coming and he changes his mind. As Christine and the other residents are preparing to leave Rejection, Hiram shows up in a wagon full of weapons, having pawned his gold pocket watch to pay for them, and says he is there to help defend the town, prompting the others to join him. They come up with a plan to lure the creatures into the middle of the town, where Hiram will use a massive bore gun to kill them. Hiram misses with his first shot but manages to kill one of the Graboids with his second one, but as they prepare to ambush the next Graboid, it grabs the rifle from his hands and drags it underground. The Graboid then goes after Juan, chasing him up a telegraph pole but as it works on bringing down the pole, Tecopa places a long saw into the hole he dug for a flag pole and begins beating on it. The Graboid starts heading towards him but ends up running headlong into the saw and cutting itself in half. As they celebrate the victory, the last Graboid attacks Tecopa but he manages to get away just in time. As the Graboid begins circling the town, Hiram and the others decide to use his remaining black powder to build a bomb to kill the creature but when the telegraph suddenly becomes active, luring the Graboid towards the market with Fu Yien inside. The Graboid destroys the market but Fu Yien manages to escape it only for the Graboid to come after him, Lu Wan, and Christine. With no time to finish the bomb, Hiram comes up with an idea and he, Juan, Tecopa, and Pyong Lien attach a hose to the large steam engine tractor and then attach it to the Graboid, using it to winch the Graboid into the tractor and killing it. Some time later, Hiram is approved for a loan to help hire workers and reopen the mine and he asks the others not to say anything about the Graboids, offering to rebuild the store and hotel as well as giving Juan and Tecopa what they want. Hiram decides to stay in town, which is renamed Perfection, and makes plans to build his house, suggesting that Christine join him there, and as he works on target practice, Christine buys him a gift of a gatling gun to use.

This was an interesting movie to watch and a decent way to show the history of the Graboids and Perfection. Michael Gross was pretty entertaining as Hiram Gummer, the ancestor of Burt Gummer, and I thought it was funny how Hiram didn’t like guns at first but by the end of the movie, he started liking them. The other actors were decent, with my favorite being August Schellenberg (Tecopa). The story was interesting and I liked how they explained how the Graboids showed up, being exposed from the ground by the hot spring, which also explained how they hatched. I also thought they had some fun trying to explain how some of the characters from the first movie ended up in the town due to their ancestors. The special effects were pretty decent and I liked how they designed the starting form of the Graboids, as you know they had to start off smaller before growing into the forms we are more familiar with. It’s a good entry into the series and definitely one that a fan of the series will want to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 19th, 2018 Movie – Tremors 3: Back To Perfection

tremors 3

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

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 18th, 2018 Movie – Tremors 2: Aftershocks

tremors 2

So I have an interesting history with this movie. Years ago, while lazing about my mom’s house, I caught the tail end of this movie on HBO. As I watched I was curious as to what movie I was watching (I was too lazy to check the guide to see what the movie was) but Fred Ward and Michael Gross being in it clued me in. Sure enough, I later learned that it was a sequel to Tremors, which I had not even been aware existed. Anyways, a few years ago the 5th movie in the series came out and, feeling like rewatching all of the other movies, I decided to buy the series in a box set. Now let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Tremors 2: Aftershocks.

The plot: At the Petromaya Oil Field in Chiapas, Mexico, a worker is shown to be crawling across some pipes, trying to stay off the ground, while something is moving underneath the ground behind him. Reaching the end of the pipe, the man starts jumping on the tops of nearby barrels but ends up being knocked to the ground and killed by a Graboid. In Perfection Nevada, Earl Basset is still living in the isolated town and attempting to start an ostrich ranch when he is approached by Carlos Ortega, the owner of the oil pipeline. Ortega explains that his workers have been attacked by Graboids and he wants Earl to hunt them down and kill them, having already asked Val McKee to help as well but been refused. Earl refuses as well and heads inside his trailer but Grady Hoover, the taxi driver the brought Ortega to see Earl follows him in to talk. Grady explains that he is a big fan of Earl and Val and Earl tells him that Val had married a good woman (Rhonda) while he blew all of his money on fis failing ranch. Grady tells Earl that Ortega is willing to pay $50,000 for each Graboid that they kill and eventually manages to convince Earl to accept the deal and take him as his partner. When they get down to Mexico, Ortega greets them and introduces them to Pedro, the chief engineer, and then says that he will pay double if they manage to capture one of the Graboids alive, which Earl reacts in angered disbelief at the request. Ortega then shows them the supplies they requested from the Mexican Army, then introduces them to the company’s geologist Kate Reilly before wishing them luck and leaving. Kate introduces them to her assistant Julio, who had been planting seismographs in the region so they can help track the Graboids. Later that  night, Earl is talking with Kate about the attacks and why she stayed, while both of them check each other out when they are not looking. Meanwhile, Grady has made hooked some cans to a chain and is attaching it to the back of Earl’s truck to use in attracting the Graboids attention while Julio attaches a seismograph monitor into their car so they will be able to detect Graboid movements. The next day, Earl and Grady set out and head to the spot where most of the attacks have occurred. After driving around for a while, Earl sees a Graboid on the monitor and tells Grady to stop the truck. They then place some dynamite into an RC car and send it out into the field, then detonate the dynamite after the Graboid swallows the car, killing it. Using this method, Earl and Grady manage to kill several Graboids before taking a break on some rocks, but Grady leaves a radio on the ground and it ends up being swallowed by a Graboid. Continuing on to the next day, Earl and Grady manage to kill 12 Graboids, which results in $300,000 for each of them, and they start talking about what they will do with their money; as Earl wants to simply invest it while Grady wants to open a monster themed theme-park. When Grady steps onto the ground to retrieve his umbrella, they suddenly hear music coming towards them just as Earl sees a Graboid approaching on the monitor. Earl tells Grady to get back in the truck and he does so, barely avoiding being swallowed by the Graboid that swallowed their radio. The Graboid manages to snag onto the chains and begins dragging the truck through the valley before it eventually snaps the chain. As Earl and Grady recover from the experience, they see several more Graboids all converging on their position so they quickly get out of there and head back to base camp. Earl contacts Burt Gummer and asks him to come down and help him out and Burt agrees, confiding to Earl that Heather left him. Earl, Grady, and Burt head back out to the valley and begin searching for more Graboids. Earl and Grady detect a Graboid on the monitor and notice it is moving away from them so they decide to follow it. Earl starts worrying the Graboids are planning something just as the Graboid appears before them and Earl ends up wrecking his truck when he quickly throws it in reverse to avoid the Graboid. As Earl goes to get his weapon, Grady goes to check on the Graboid and notices it is still above ground. The get closer and Earl says it might be sick but Grady is excited about the fact that they captured a live Graboid. Earl contacts Kate and tells her to send Pedro out to pick them up and as they settle in for the night to wait for Pedro, the tell Burt about their capturing a live specimen. Suddenly, they hear the Graboid making a strange roaring cry before falling silent and as they go to check on the Graboid, they find it is dead, with a giant, gaping hole in it’s side. Grady thinks something ate the Graboid but Earl says it looks more like something came out of it, similare to a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. They hear roaring coming from another Graboid somewhere in the valley just as they see Pedro’s truck start to approach before suddenly stopping. With no choice left to them, Earl and Grady decide to make their way to Pedro’s truck only to find the engine completely destroyed and Pedro missing, with only his hands left behind still clutching onto the roll bar in the truck bed. Earl says this is something new and, seeing a radio tower in the distance, decides to head there to try and call for help. Meanwhile, Burt is driving along and recording a video log of his hunt, saying that due to lack of radio contact with anyone, he is heading back to the main camp and that he has not seen any sign of Graboids, in spite of tracking one to that location. Back at the radio tower, Earl and Grady discover the tower’s power source had been destroyed, explaining why the radios no longer work. Seeing a car nearby, Grady starts trying to hotwire it when the hear something approaching from behind a nearby shed. Taking cover behind the car, Earl and Grady take aim and are surprised to see a small, bipedal creature resembling a Graboid appear. When the creature appears to notice them, it lets out a loud shriek and charges at them but Earl is able to shoot and kill it. Hearing more of the creatures approaching, they quickly get in the car and leave as more “Shriekers” appear from behind the shed. The next morning, Kate and Julio are discussing the lack of contact from anyone when Julio is killed by a Shrieker. Earl and Grady show up and kill the Shrieker, then head inside to check on Kate but as they go to leave, they find another Shrieker has destroyed their car’s engine so Earl quickly kills it. Burt shows up, having had his own encounter with the Shriekers but he managed to catch a live one. Bringing Burt’s truck into the garage, they take the live specimen to the lab for study, unaware that another Shrieker had survived, clinging to the underside of Burt’s truck. Doing some tests, they discover that the Shriekers are blind and deaf but sense objects through infared. When Grady throws one of Burt’s MRE’s into the cage, the creature eats it and then regurgitates a new Shrieker and Kate says that they are hermaphroditic, able to reproduce at an exponential rate depending on how much they eat. Suddenly, another Shrieker bursts through the window and Earl sees dozens of them getting into Burt’s MREs. They quickly run outside to try and shut the warehouse door but are too late as some Shriekers have already made it outside. Grady leads them towards another building to take shelter but they find that it isn’t finished; consisting of one finished wall and a frame. Realizing the Shriekers can’t detect them through the walls, Earl comes up with a plan and uses some nearby doors to shield themselves as they try to make their way to Julio’s car. Ducking behind a wall, they find another Shrieker nearby and Burt uses his last bullet to kill it, but the bullet goes through the wall behind it, as well as several other object, before going through Julio’s engine block. Finding themselves confronted by more Shriekers, they are all forced to hide, with Burt hiding in a bulldozer’s scoop, Grady climbing onto some oil tanks, and Kate and Earl hiding in the cantina. As the Shriekers try to break in, Earl heats up some pants and suspends them from a clothes line to distract the Shrieker, allowing him and Kate to climb up the tanks with Grady. As Earl, Burt, and Grady start arguing, Kate tells them that nobody has heard from them since the night before so they should just wait until help arrives. As they wait, Earl and Kate talk and Earl realizes that she happens to be his favorite Playboy playmate. When the Shriekers start climbing on top of each other to try and get to Earl and the others, Burt climbs out of the bucket and lures the Shriekers back into the warehouse, sealing them in. Everyone starts cheering until they hear the Shrieker crying out and realize that the warehouse contains snack cakes. Earl comes up with a plan and has Kate and Burt spray him down with CO2 extinguishers to mask his body heat, then he heads into the warehouse to grab a bomb from Burt’s truck. He manages to grab a bomb as the CO2 starts melting off and as the Shriekers detect him and start swarming the truck, he throws it into the back of the truck. Kate, Grady, and Burt help Earl escape and he tells them to run as he threw the bomb in the back of the truck but as they duck behind a building, Burt tells them to keep running, as he had 2 1/2 tons of high explosives in the truck. They keep running until they reach a ditch and Burt tells them to take cover as the bomb explodes. As they avoid the falling debris, they all start cheering their survival and Grady reminds them that they survived so Ortega owes them for all of the Graboids they killed, though he might be upset that they blew up the refinery. Earl and Kate talk about starting a relationship while Grady tries to convince Earl to go in on his theme park idea.

Tremors 2: Aftershocks met with positive results from the critics, holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics felt that it was a fairly good sequel, matching the humor that was found in the original. Originally, Kevin Bacon was scheduled to be in the sequel but when the budget was cut from $17 million to $4 million, the studio couldn’t afford to have him in the movie. The creators wanted to give the film a theatrical release but though the studio said no to a wide release, it did receive a limited release in some theaters.

This is a pretty funny movie and definitely fit with the pattern of the series. The acting was good, with Fred Ward (Earl) and Michael Gross (Burt) doing a good job reprising their respective roles. I liked Chris Gartin’s character of Grady but I honestly thought Helen Shaver’s character (Kate) was a little weak and wound up being the stereotypical screaming girl too often. The story was good, switching the location and introducing the evolution aspect to keep things from being stale. They did take away some of the horror aspect to focus on the comedy but I think that actually helped make the movie more entertaining, as the straight up horror aspect would not have done well a second time around. I also like the change of the Shriekers hunting using infared, as it wouldn’t make as much sense for them to still use sound when they were moving above ground. The special effects actually weren’t too bad considering the budget and I thought the design of the Shriekers was pretty good. It’s some guilty pleasure silliness that is worth watching if you need some laughs.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 17th, 2018 Movie – Tremors

tremors

Some of my favorite movies are the ones that come out in theaters but absolutely bomb, then manage to find new life when it hits video. Granted, that doesn’t mean that every one of these movies is something I will enjoy, as there are some absolute bombs that I have no real desire to watch, but some like today’s movie just scream right out at me. I remember seeing the trailers for this movie and thinking that it was something I would absolutely enjoy. Of course, the main thing I remember from the trailer was them always promoting Reba McEntire, as this was her theatrical debut. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Tremors.

The plot: In the former mining town of Perfection, Nevada, Valentine “Val” McKee and Earl Basset are working as handymen for the small tiny community, doing odd jobs to try and earn a living. As they are heading back into town, they see Rhonda LeBeck, a seismologist student, out in the desert and stop to talk to her. Rhonda asks them if they know of any drilling or blasting going on in the area, as she has been getting some strange readings from the seismographs, and they tell her no but say they will ask around to see if anyone else might know. As they go about their tasks for the day, Val complains about what they are doing and says they should just leave. When the hose on a septic pump burst, dousing them in the filth, Earl takes it as the last straw and decides they should leave. The two pack up their belongings and start to make their way out of town when they notice Edgar Deems apparently stuck on a electrical tower. Thinking he got drunk and climbed up the tower and is too scared or drunk to climb back down, Val climbs up the tower to get Edgar down only to discover that he is dead. Bringing the body to Jim Wallace, the local doctor, they ask what killed him and Jim says Edgar died of dehydration, and Val and Earl wonder what could have caused Edgar to stay up on the tower long enough for that to happen. Elsewhere, a shepherd named “Old Fred” is working out on his field when he notices his sheep acting nervous. Looking around, he doesn’t see any predator close by so he continues to work in his field only to be attacked by something underground. As Val and Earl pass by Fred’s place, the notice the bloody sheep pen, as something has killed all of his sheep, and go looking for Fred only to find his severed head in the ground underneath his hat. Val and Earl head back to Perfection, warning two construction workers as the pass by them, but while one of the workers gets nervous, the other one says they are messing with them and goes back to using a jackhammer when the jackhammer suddenly breaks through the ground and strikes something, which lets out a roar as blood oozes up from the ground. The creature makes it’s way through the earth, dragging the jackhammer, and the worker who was caught in the hose, along with it and as the second worker goes to help his friend, he ends up caught in a landslide that blocks the road. Val and Earl return to town and try to use the phone at Walter Chang’s store to call the authorities but when it isn’t working, they decide to drive to the nearest town and alert the authorities only to find the only road out of town blocked by the landslide. Finding a bloody helmet by the rocks, Val and Earl decide to leave only for their truck to temporarily get stuck before Val is able to work it free and they head back to town. When they get there, everyone wonders what is going on when a little girl named Mindy discovers a strange snake-like creature wrapped around the truck’s rear axle. Val says that must have been what they were stuck on and Burt Gummer, a survivalist that lives in the town, says that it would take more than just the one worm to stop their truck, indicating there might be more out there. That night, Jim and his wife Megan are out by the frame of their home when their generator suddenly sinks into the ground. When Jim goes to investigate, he is attacked and killed and Megan gets into their car only to have the creatures drag the car under ground. Back in town, the townsfolk discuss what they should do, as the town is effectively isolated due to the surrounding mountains they decide to send Val and Earl on Walter’s pack horse to Bixby to get help. As Val and Earl ride off, they stop by the Wallace’s only to find the buried car and realize they are both dead. The continue out of town only for Earl’s horse to get attacked by the creatures and when Val shoots one of them, they discover the creatures are actually the tongues of a giant slug-like creature. The creature chases after Val and Earl but when the jump a concrete drainage ditch to get away, the creature slams into it and ends up killing itself. Rhonda shows up, having detected seismic activity in the area and as they examine the creature, Rhonda says that her readings indicate that there are 3 more creatures out there. Deciding to get Rhonda’s truck and head back into town, Rhonda notices the seismograph getting a reading just as another creature attacks them. The three make it up onto some nearby rocks and Val and Earl notice one of the tongues is just a stump and realize this is the same creature that grabbed their truck earlier. With “Stumpy” keeping them trapped on the rocks, they are forced to stay the night out there but the next day, they use some nearby poles to pole vault across the rock outcroppings until they reach Rhonda’s truck and manage to get away. Heading back into town, they try to tell everyone that they have to leave and head up into the mountains, as the “Graboids” (as Walter decided to name them) attacks have them on a course right to the town. Suddenly, Melvin, a teenager that has a penchant for causing trouble, screams out and they find him up on a sign post, just as a Graboid bursts up from the ground. Val and Earl tell everyone to get inside and stay quiet but then runs outside to rescue Mindy from being eaten. As Earl and Rhonda go to help him, they see another Graboid approaching and Rhonda gets ensnared in some barbed wire fencing. Val goes to help her, hitting the Graboid with a pick axe and he has her take her pants off so she can get free and they run back to Walter’s store. Val tends to Rhonda’s wounds and they try to figure out their next move when the coke machine suddenly starts squeeling and Val, Earl, and Walter rush to unplug it only for a Graboid to burst out from the floor and kill Walter. Val, Earl, and Miguel climb up to the roof of the store while Rhonda, who had been knocked out the window, climbs up the nearby water tower, and they yell for Nancy, Mindy, Nester, and Melvin to get on the roofs of their homes, or the outhouse in Melvin’s case. Meanwhile, Burt and his wife Heather return to their home after trying to hunt down the Graboids and Heather notices the people on their roofs. Burt uses his radio to contact the store and Val grabs the CB radio and warns Burt about the Graboid being underground just as one heads towards Burt’s house. When the Graboid bursts into their basement, Burt and Heather begin shooting at it and Burt finally manages to kill it with an elephant gun. Val warns him about their being two more Graboids so Burt and Heather head up to the roof of their house. Val asks if he can get to his truck and get help but a second Graboid shows up at the Gummer’s house and disables their truck. Meanwhile, Stumpy begins attacking the foundations of the various buildings, managing to knock Nestor off of his mobile home and kill him. Earl comes up with the idea of using the nearby bulldozer to make it to the mountains, thinking the Graboids wouldn’t be able to stop it, and they could drag an old semi trailer behind them to carry everyone to safety. Miguel starts up Walter’s tractor to serve as a decoy and Val starts running for the bulldozer but when the tractor gets knocked over, Val is forced to stop as the Graboids appear near him. Earl, Miguel, Rhonda, and Melvin start shouting out to try and get the Graboids’ attention, with Rhonda knocking loose a pipe from the water tower. As the falling water from the tower draws the Graboids towards her, Val is able to reach the bulldozer and use a chain to attach the trailer to it, then heads towards the town to rescue everyone there. They then pick up Burt and Heather, who bring several weapons and supplies with them, and they start heading towards the mountains. As they get near the mountains, they notice the Graboids doing something in the distance only to end up falling into a pit that the Graboids dug. Burt uses a pipe bomb to try and attack the Graboids but when it explodes, they notice the sound of the explosion drove off the Graboids. They decide to head for some nearby rocks, using another pipe bomb to keep the Graboids at bay. When they get there, tempers start to flare between Burt, Val, and Earl as they argue over the fact that they are stuck on the rocks. Burt has an idea on using pipe bombs like fishing lures and manage to kill one of the Graboids. When they go after the second one, Val sees that it is Stumpy and wants to kill it himself but Stumpy spits out the bomb, which lands in the bag containing Burt’s other bombs. As everyone takes cover from the explosion, Val, Earl, and Rhonda end up off the rock and star tto head back only to be cut off by Stumpy. Burt and the others try to get Stumpy’s attention but Val realizes he isn’t falling for it. Holding up one of the pipe bombs that he had grabbed before the explosion, Val heads for the nearby cliff, with Earl and Rhonda following after him. As Stumpy chases them, Val lights the pipe bomb and throws it past Stumpy so that when it explodes, it causes Stumpy to blindly charge forward away from the blast, and end up running off the cliff and falling to his death. Some time later, the residents are working to get their lives back on track and Rhonda is preparing to lead up the study of the Graboids and as she leaves, Val, pressured by Earl, runs after her and kisses her and the two embrace.

Tremors met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “An affectionate throwback to 1950’s creature features, Tremors reinvigorates its genre tropes with a finely balanced combination of horror and humor.” Despite the good reviews, the movie was barely a hit at the box office, earning $16.6 million off of an $11 million budget. However, it more than tripled it’s box office gross in home video rentals and sales, which helped it spawn 4 sequels, with a 5th one being released in May 2018, and a short lived television series.

This is such a fun movie to watch and probably a guilty pleasure for a lot of people. The acting was good, with Kevin Bacon (Val) and Fred Ward (Earl) doing a good job in their roles. I also have to admit that Reba did a pretty decent job in her acting debut but I don’t think she warranted all of the hype that she was given in the trailers. The story was an absolute throwback to the giant monster movies of the 50’s form the setting in a small/isolated town in the desert to the distrust of the government. The Graboid design was actually pretty good and definitely unique but some of the effects regarding the Graboid were a little less than stellar, like some sub par blue screen work and the final seen where Stumpy falls off the cliff and dies. It could be considered a high budget B-movie (which would probably be an oxymoron) and might not be up for everyone but it is definitely worth giving a shot.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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