BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Tremors (1990)

Man-eating, prehistoric snakes!

BQB here with a review of “Tremors.”

You know 3.5 readers, even in the early 1990s, people were complaining that movies stink, lack of originality and so on.  The sequel, reboot phase had yet to begin but as always in the horror genre, it seemed like it had all been done before.


Then Tremors came along.  First, it was funny because the heroes weren’t experts at all.  They were two broke-ass dummy handymen who just happened to stumble across a situation where killer pre-historic worms of immense size were terrorizing a small, southwestern town.  That’d be Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward.

A little bit of knowledge comes to us from college student Rhonda (Finn Carter), there to study seismic abnormalities.  She has some basic theories about the monsters but the dimwitted townsfolk expert her to know everything and view her smarts as worthless since she can’t fully diagnose what the hell these things are, seeing as how no one has ever seen them before.

Like any good horror movie, there are rules.  Kill the zombies with a blow to the head.  Kill the vampire with a stake to the heart.

Here the rules are simple yet they make the movie.  The worms are underground.  They can sense when someone moves above ground.  If you walk on the bare sand they’ll pop out and eat you.  Ergo, the movie becomes quite clever as Kevin and Fred and Co. figure out new and inventive ways to move around without walking on the ground – i.e. pole vaulting across boulders, hiding out on rooftops, riding bulldozers etc.

Michael Gross and Reba McIntyre round out the film as a couple of crazy doomsday preppers.  They’re made fun of for their survivalist ways until an awesome, somewhat hilarious scene in which one of the snake monsters break into their house and the couple pulls off one gun after another off of their walls (more guns than anyone would normally have) and unloads into the beast until they finally destroy him.  Thus, they become the unlikely heroes of the movie as their prepper ways have finally paid off.

“You broke into the wrong rec room didn’t you ya bastard?!”

Gross really shines because up until this movie, he was best known as the mild-mannered, liberal/former Woodstock flower child turned father Steven Keaton on “Family Ties.”  That Gross was able to go from that laidback role to this one (i.e. gun toting survivalist) proved his acting skills.

Funny, I remember seeing this movie in the theater as a kid and I remember having a good time.  It seemed new and different and you know, I was like 11 at the time so to me it probably was.

They’ve made like 4 or more sequels, though the second one is the only one I’ve bothered to watch and I don’t remember much about it.  The rest I believe went straight to video.

It just goes to show that if you are a writer and you are tired of zombies and vampires, you can create your own monsters, just decide a) how they attack b) how the heroes are boxed in and c) how the heroes can fight back.

Fun fact – the girl who is terrorized by dinos in the original Jurassic Park plays a kid terrorized by giant worms here.  Someone decided this kid was only able to be in roles where she is terrorized by giant monsters.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.


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