horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 22nd, 2018 Movie – Triassic Attack

triassic attack

If there is one thing that I miss, as do many other people on some of the fan groups I am a part of, it is the plethora of original movies that used to be shown on Sci-Fi/Syfy on a weekly basis. I know that television is a business and that the channels/stations are in it to make money but there was nothing better for me than to see what new movie would be airing on Saturday, and watching all of the movies that matched the new movie’s theme earlier in the day. Alas, those days are long gone and the only thing that remotely comes close is the annual Sharknado week, but I digress. So today’s movie is one of those movies that came out years ago but never got a DVD release in the US, which is unfortunately pretty common. However, me being me, I was not deterred and took to eBay to try and find an all region copy and managed to pick up a copy. So lets have some fun with today’s movie, Triassic Attack.

The plot: Sheriff Jake Roundtree and his wife Emma are being chased through the woods by an unseen creature and eventually meet up with Wyatt at an abandoned building. Quickly heading inside and shutting the door, Emma says they are trapped but Jake points out a ladder to the upper levels and tells her and Wyatt to climb up there and he will let the creature in so the can trap it inside. Once they are safely up the ladder, Jake opens the door to let the creature in, revealing it to be the skeleton of a velociraptor, and after he closes the door, he tries to avoid the raptor so he can climb the ladder himself. 24 hours earlier, residents of a small Native American town are staging a protest over the nearby university’s plans to expand by destroying parts of their town. Jake arrives and is confronted University President Richmond Keller, who is upset as the people had all signed an agreement and taken the money but now Jake’s uncle Dakota is leading the protest to try and renegotiate. Jake tries to calm everyone down and has the crowd disperse while he takes Dakota to the sheriff’s station. Inside, Dakota comments about Jake sounding like Keller and not caring about his heritage, while mentioning that it is why he and Emma are separated, before Jake sends him to a cell for the night. Jake returns home to see if Emma or their daughter Savannah are there and finds a note from Savannah saying she is studying at the library but he knows it is a lie. Jake heads to a frat party at the university, where he finds Savannah there with her boyfriend Matt and he tells her to get in the car, warning the frat leader to card people at their parties next time. Meanwhile, Keller is hosting a University fundraiser when Emma shows up and asks him about her losing her grant and Keller tries to charm his way out of it. When Jake shows up with Savannah, Keller thinks he is here to see him but Jake tells him he needs to talk to Emma. The two talk and he tells her about Savannah being at the frat party and after Savannah is told to wait in Emma’s car, Jake and Emma start arguing about how to raise Savannah; with Emma saying Jake is smothering her while Jake feels Emma is more focused on her career than their daughter. Jake leaves and returns to the jail, telling Dakota construction is starting at 4 the next day and he is free to go. Dakota tells Jake they can stop Keller’s plans together using the old ways but Jake says the old way’s have no place in modern times and that Jake’s isn’t doing their heritage any good by just selling rubber tomahawks. Dakota heads to his tribal museum/store and begins smashing the shelves and some of the displays. He then grabs the parchment from one case and using the ceremonial drum of the tribe’s shaman, he begins a ceremonial chant, which is shown to be affecting Savannah as well as himself. Dakota finishes the chant only to realize that he has brought the skeletons of a pteranodon, a velociraptor, and a tyrannosaurus to life and he quickly runs from the building. He gets into one of Keller’s bulldozers and tries to use it to escape but the pteranodon attacks it and he ends up running on foot. Close by, Wyatt sees Dakota running and calls out to him but when Dakota doesn’t respond, he heads back inside his trailer only for it to be knocked over. As his trailer catches fire, he quickly escapes out the window with his dog, which runs off, and Wyatt comes face to face with the tyrannosaurus and quickly runs away. The next day, Jake is called out to the site and finds no sign of Wyatt and has no idea what happened but feels like Dakota might be involved. Meanwhile, Savannah is pleading with her mom to let her go on a camping trip with Matt that they had already planned and Emma lets her go. Emma then heads out to the woods to teach her paleontology class and has them pair up to explore the area. Two students, Brian and Melissa, wander into the woods and see the pteranodon flying overhead just before they end up being attacked. Emma hears the pteranodon crying out and when she notices Brian and Melissa and calls Jake to ask him to come help look for them. Meanwhile, Wyatt wakes up after hiding all night in the woods and sees Dakota riding backwards on a horse but Dakota doesn’t answer when he yells out. Seeing the velociraptor approaching, Wyatt tries hiding from it in a cow pasture, falling into some manure in the process, and watches as the velociraptor is attacked by the tyrannosaurus, which approaches him but turns away and attacks a cow due to Wyatt’s smell. Meanwhile, Emma and her assistant discover Brian’s arm in a tree as Jake and Deputy Savage show up and they eventually find Melissa’s body down an embankment. Jake sends Savage to the University to have them lock it up and keep everyone indoors just as Emma tries calling Savannah, telling Jake she let her go to the lake despite his grounding her. At the lake, Savannah watches as Matt and the other pledges are forced to perform humiliating tasks and eventually heads out to the floating dock on the lake, where she is joined by Matt. As they start to swim back to the shore, they see the tyrannosaurus show up and begin attacking everyone there and Matt has Savannah hide behind some rocks while he gets their clothes and the keys to his truck, accidentally leaving Savannah’s phone on the rocks. As they are driving, they see Dakota on the horse and stop to get him only to find him in a trance and Savannah wakes him from it. Meanwhile, Jake and Emma arrive at the lake to find the carnage but no sign of Savannah and Matt. Emma sees the tracks from the tyrannosaurus and tries to explain them but can’t. They head back to town only to encounter Wyatt, who tries to explain what happened only for them to be attacked by the velociraptor. Jake tries to destroy it by running over it but the bones reform and chases them, bringing us to the events at the beginning of the movie. Jake manages to make it up the ladder and they trap the velociraptor in the building and head to the university, with Emma calling to warn Keller about what is happening. Keller refuses to listen and continues with his speech to the donors only for the pteranodon and the tyrannosaurus to show up to attack. Jake contacts the university’s ROTC to help and bring whatever heavy weapons they have with them. They arrive there and help get everyone inside the gym, then Jake and two members of the ROTC use bazookas to try and destory the two skeletons only to have them reform into a winged tyrannosaurus, which flies up and grabs the two ROTC members and carries them off. Back in the town, Dakota, Savannah, and Matt head to the museum and Dakota reads from the book and figures out that lightning is how they can stop the fossils. Dakota and Savannah begin performing the chant, causing it to start raining in town and lightning to strike near them. The winged tyrannosaurus shows up but before they can get a lightning bolt to strike it, it kills Savage by knocking him into a power line, then injures Dakota and Matt. Jake and Wyatt show up to help them into the museum, followed by Emma and Keller, and Savannah explains to her parents what Dakota’s plan was. Savannah says she can lure the fossils back to the area and make it rain and Jake reluctantly agrees to let her try but says instead of trying to call down lightening, they use the electricity from the nearby power substation instead. Wyatt rigs the power lines and Savannah begins chanting, causing it to begin raining and bringing the winged tyrannosaurus towards them, but also the velociraptor, which had escaped the building it was locked in, but when the tyrannosaurus arrives, it ends up cutting the power line. While Jake and Emma distract the tyrannosaurus, Wyatt grabs the power lines and holds them together and tells Savannah to throw the switch, electrocuting the fossil and breaking it apart for good. Wyatt collapses just as the velociraptor shows up so Emma lures it into the trap while Jake holds the lines together so they can destroy it as well. Some time later, Keller is standing with Dakota in front of a newly built museum and dedicating it to the native heritage. As the crowd cheers and Savannah is brought on stage to cut the ribbon with Dakota, Jake and Emma are shown to be giving their marriage another shot.

Yes, you have to have a high tolerance in suspending your disbelief, but this can be an entertaining movie. The acting was pretty good, with Steven Brand (Jake), Kirsty Mitchell (Emma) and Raoul Max Trujillo (Dakota) doing good jobs in their roles. I also thought that Gabriel Womack was really funny as Wyatt while Emilia Clarke (of Game Of Thrones fame) doing a good job in one of her earliest roles as Savannah. The story was pretty good and actually had a deeper story going for it underneath the basic tale of fossilized dinosaurs killing people; that being the whole eminent domain and how people leaving on Native American lands tend to be taken advantage of by the government and people with money. The special effects were pretty decent but unfortunately, did cause some “WTF?” moments as well as some that you really have to try not to think to much about. So let me go ahead and discuss 2 of the big problems now. First, when Wyatt and Jake grabbed the power lines without any sort of protective gear, they would have been fried on the spot. Second, regarding the skeletons, you have to essentially ignore the fact that skeletons don’t have any sense of smell, nor would the pteranodon be able to fly without any sort of membrane coming off it’s wings/arms. Still, the nonsensical aspects like that is what makes these movies entertaining. So shut off your brain for 90 minutes and just sit back and enjoy a fun movie to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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

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

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

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

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

March 17th, 2018 Movie – 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

action, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 12th, 2018 Movie – Transmorphers: Fall Of Man

transmorphers-fall of man

So here is an interesting premise. A sequel to a major blockbuster translates to a prequel to the corresponding mockbuster. What, you don’t think that makes sense? Well that is exactly what happened regarding today’s movie. With Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen coming out in theaters, The Asylum decided to make another mockbuster of the series. However, they decided to make it a prequel to show the initial invasion, as the first movie pretty much had an ending that didn’t leave room for a sequel. So let’s see what kind of a movie I have on my hands with today’s movie, Transmorphers: Fall Of Man.

The plot: A diplomat’s daughter is driving her car erratically and arguing on the phone with her now ex-boyfriend when she is pulled over in a small town by Officer Hadley Ryan, who gives her a warning about driving while on the phone. As the woman drives away, she finishes arguing with her ex and puts the phone down on the passenger seat but the phone suddenly changes into a robot and attacks and kills her. At Edwards Air Force Base, two NSA agents are discussing a report and when told it is verified, one of them asks the other to get Dr. Jo Summers; who at that time is getting coffee but when she sees the newspaper story of a the diplomat’s daughter’s death, quickly leaves the shop. Back in the small town, Mayor Ethan Holt arrives at the autopsy and speaks with Hadley about the girl, who tells him that she wasn’t shot but neither he nor the medical examiner can explain the wound in her head. The next morning, Madison Ryan returns home from work and finds her TV is on the fritz so she calls the satellite company to send someone to fix their dish and is surprised to find it is her ex-boyfriend Jake Van Ryberg, a military vet that had recently returned from active duty. Jake goes to check the satellite dish when he hears a strange sound and sees it moving on it’s own before it changes into a robot. Jake quickly grabs a gun and when Madison asks what is going on, he runs back to the house, inadvertently knocking her down, and tells her to get get “Nanna” out of there and call the police, then goes back outside to look for the robot. Meanwhile, Jo approaches Hadley, saying she is from Homeland Security, and asks him some questions about the girl’s death when they are approached by the two NSA agents, who tell Jo that she has to come with them while Hadley gets a call about his niece, Madison. In their car, the two NSA agents start questioning Jo, who tells them she noticed a strange signal and something from Earth communicating back with it. Meanwhile, Hadley pulls up to where Madison and Jake are and, after asking Jake to hand him his gun, asks them what is going on. When Jake tells him about the satellite dish changing into a robot and Madison confirms that the dish is missing, Hadley tells them to get in the car and drives off but is forced to take a detour to investigate a murder. Arriving at the scene, he sees the victim has the same wound as the girl and a witness tells him that the car pushed the body out of the car and then drove away on it’s own. Hadley heads back to the coroner’s office to get the cell phone from the girl’s accident and the medical examiner tells him that the Feds were there looking for it but it is missing. Deciding to search the office, Hadley finds the phone and goes to leave when they are attacked by the SUV. Hadley gives chase and tries to arrest the driver, not realizing there isn’t one, but when the satellite dish robot shows up, he quickly gets back in the car and leaves, with the SUV giving chase again. They attempt to lose the SUV but when they find themselves boxed in, the SUV changes into a robot and attacks them but they are saved when a military helicopter attacks the robot while the female NSA agent pulls up and tells them to get in the car. The agent takes them to Edwards Air Force Base, where the senior agent introduces them to Jo, then explains what they know and that Jake was brought there because of his experience with UAV’s. The agents learn that more robots are appearing all over the world, primarily in cities with military bases, when suddenly, the SUV robot arrives and begins attacking the base, killing everyone in sight. Jake theorizes that the robots are probing their defenses and comes up with a plan to shut down the robot by jamming the signal controlling it. With Madison providing a distraction, Jake and Jo head towards the control tower and grab the equipment to jam the signal while Hadley gets into a helicopter so he can destroy the robot. Madison manages to distract the robot, almost getting killed by an explosion in the process, but she bought enough time for Jo and Jake to jam the signal but Hadley’s helicopter was damaged while fighting the robot so he radios Jake to take care of Madison, then sacrifices himself by crashing into the robot, destroying both it and himself. With the threat seemingly over, everyone moves on with their lives and Jake and Madison end up getting together, unaware that thousands of cubes are floating through space heading right towards Earth. The next day, Jake and Madison are woken by the sounds of explosions and head outside to see dozens of objects falling from the sky. Jake heads back inside his home to grab a gun, then heads back outside to Madison and they leave, just as a robot lands nearby. Jo pulls up and they get in her SUV and drive off, with a flying robot chasing after them. Jake is able to destroy the robot, getting wounded in the process, but they end up getting into a wreck and Jo’s leg is injured. They are picked up by Mayor Holt, who takes them to a refugee camp he established out in the desert after the robots took over the city. When they get word of the robots doing something to the water, Jake decides to lead a team to the aqueducts to stop them. Jake, Madison, Jo, Holt, and two others grab all the dynamite available and head out but two of their group are killed along the way. The meet up with a surviving member of a special forces team, who explains that he was on the way with his team to destroy the terraforming machine nearby, explaining that the robots are changing the entire planet to suit their needs. Deciding to change their mission, Jake and the others follow the soldier to the terraforming plant, with the soldier dying to provide a distraction to get them inside, while Holt is killed as well. Jack sets the explosives and tells Madison and Jo to run, then follows them outside only to come across several robots approaching him. When the explosion occurs, Madison cries thinking Jake died but he appears through the smoke and the two embrace and kiss. Afterwards, Jake, the new leader of the human resistance in the area, sends out a message to any other survivors telling them they lost the battle but the war isn’t over and they should join him.

Weak story aside, this is a much better movie than the first one. The acting was ok, with Bruce Boxleitner (Hadley), Shane Van Dyke (Jake) and Alana DiMaria (Madison) all doing good jobs in their roles. The story was admittedly a little weak but they did a good job if incorporating some of the story from the first movie into this one. I did like the set up that Jake’s last name was Van Ryberg, the same last name as Eliza Swenson’s character from the original movie, indicating that she is a descendant of Jake. The special effects were still not the best but definitely better than the original movie, though there were a few times that they reused the same scenes that could have been done better. It’s not the greatest cinematic movie of all time but it did show the improvements that The Asylum has made over the years and indicates how they will only get better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5