In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.
A small town gradually becomes aware of a strange creature which picks off people one by one. But what is this creature, and where is it? At the same time, a seismologist is working in the area, she detects _tremors_. The creature lives underground, and can 'pop up' without warning. Trapped in their town, the town-folk have no escape. Written by
This is a great movie and a fun ride. They went back to the basics and came out with one of my all-time favorite flicks.
There are two ways to make a good monster movie: slow-paced and suspenseful, or fast-paced and surprising. Tremors definitely opts for the latter method. The producers also managed to assemble an excellent cast, all of whom establish their invidual characters with admirable clarity. Only Mindy, the young girl, comes off as kind of a cipher. Plus, with the exception of Kevin Bacon and Michael Gross, they all look like REAL people.
The spotlight gets shared out pretty equally among the cast, as well. One particularly nice touch was the fact that our two main heroes weren't the only people in town who have any competency, at all. Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon DO carry the movie, but it's more because of the great screen chemistry between them. Miguel has the better ideas, and Burt contributes more to the actual destruction of the monsters.
While Tremors never really 'cheats' the audience, i.e. sets up a situation and then doesn't deliver, the movie does vary teasingly from the expected. One of the aspects I enjoy most about showing this film to first-time viewers - aside from the the pride I take in indoctrinating new members to the Cult of the Graboid - is how the movie fools them about things like who gets eaten and who doesn't, and how the worms actually operated.
My one bullsh*t call is the Cat loader. Any operator with any kind of experience could have used the loader bucket to lever the tractor up and out of the pit it fell into, and that impact wouldn't have knocked out the engine. Whether they could have pulled themselves out before the Graboids yanked them off the tractor is less certain (Every time I see the scene of Burt Gummer falling from the loader to the ground, I cringe and think: there's a stuntman with two broken ankles).
I also could have used more Victor Wong and less Reba McEntire. She's just hard to listen to, as an actress. As little as she contributes after Burt and Heather shoot up the Graboid in their basement, they could have fed HER to the monsters and let Walter Chang survive.
Ah, well. YOU try telling a Graboid who it can't eat.
Oh, and I love Val & Earl's truck. I think it's a late-60s Jeep J10 Warrior. Absolutely indestructible.
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