Written by: Orphan
Here’s a little something that you didn’t know about me: I like to get drunk and beat up hookers. Here’s another little something that you didn’t know about me: I LOVE creature features. They’re a sub-genre in the horror world and one that’s near and dear to my heart.
They can be goofy and gory, they can be clever and creepy, and best of all if, done right, they can actually work. From “THEM!” way back in the day to “Deep Rising” to the upcoming “Feast”, I love each and every one of them. But none of them can compare to the sheer badassitude that is “Tremors”. Originally released in 1990, the Ron Underwood-directed classic starts off with two hapless handymen, Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward), who live and work in the smallest town you’ve never been to: Perfection, Nevada. How small it Perfection, Nevada?
Well, let me put it to you this way, if you’re driving by and you sneeze, you’ll miss it. Anyway, Val and Earl eek out their meager living doing odd jobs for the local folk in between bouts of bickering about which one of them did what. The day we met them just so happens to be the day that they meet Rhonda, a university student who’s in the area to study the unusual seismic readings in the area.
Turns out that those readings are being caused a-heretofore undiscovered creature that could be as old, or older, than the dinosaurs. These creatures, who are basically giant worms that look like flesh colored bullets with spikes on the sides, begin to slowly but surely pick off anyone who lives in the out lying areas while heading straight for Perfection. It’s seems that they are very, VERY hungry. The story only gets better from here and I don’t want to spoil it for you.
There are so many reasons why this movie works and I could on about them all day, but I will only list a few. First off, the cast is first rate. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward really looked like they were having a great time playing these characters and they definitely looked like they had fun making the movie. Second only to them, and this is a VERY close second, is the survivalist couple, Burt and Heather, played perfectly by Michael Gross and Reba McIntire.
Dude, forget “Family Ties” Michael Gross IS Burt Gummer. The characters are a constant source of humor and entertainment, and when one of the Graboids manages to break into their desert fortress, they make damn sure it wished it never did. This sequence alone is worth the rental price. And the rest of the cast, rounded out by smaller actors in supporting roles, all do a damn fine job and it was refreshing to know that their characters were fleshed a bit. That’s more than we usually get in a horror flick. Second, the special effects were pretty damn good.
The monsters themselves aren’t very scary but the havoc they unleash is, the one exception being the snake like appendages that come out of their mouths. There are a number of deaths that are graphic and bloody and I was surprised to see them get away with that much in a PG-13 movie. There’s not too much in the gore area but what we get is more than enough. And lastly, the comedy. The comedy in the film was in perfect balance to the rest of the movie and was, surprisingly, consistently funny. Now, is this film in the same league as say “Dead Alive”? Of course not, dingus, they’re not even in the same sport. But for a good time and some good chills, you could do a lot worse than “Tremors”