This post is part of Cinematic Katzenjammer’s NOT-SO-SECRET SANTA REVIEW SWAP blogathon spearheaded by Nick. When I signed up to do this a month ago, I was a bit nervous what movie I’d end up getting, ahah. Well, it turns out to be a pretty fun movie!
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.
Director: Ron Underwood
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Reba McEntire
I read on IMDb that although Tremors was not a big hit during its theatrical run, the film became a runaway smash in the home video market, and ultimately tripled its original box office gross with VHS sales and rentals. I’ve actually read a couple of reviews not too long ago and seems that this film is well-loved, some consider it a classic. Well, now that I’ve seen it, I totally see the appeal.
There’s an inherently likable and charming quality about this movie. It starts off with two handymen Valentine Mckee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward), two friends who have big dreams that some day they can make something out of themselves and perhaps the key to that is to leave the tiny town Perfection, Nevada. But just as they threw everything in their beat-up truck to get out of town, strange things start to unravel and they soon realize they just might be trapped in Perfection after all.
The movie poster pretty much gave everything away. We know there’s something lurking beneath the ground, swallowing the town’s sparse residents one by one, but the suspense build-up is pretty good. A grad student Rhonda (Finn Carter) happens to be in town’s desert to study the bizarre seismic activity, which turns out NOT to be volcanic vibrations after all. The three of them ended up teaming up to outsmart the 30-foot giant worms with eel-like tongues. Turns out there are four of them to be exact, and they grow more aggressive with each victim they devour.
Inspired by 50s monster flicks, Tremors is more humorous than scary. The attack scenes are actually not as gory as I expected, I mean people do get swallowed alive but these monsters are more disgusting and gross than terrifying. What makes the movie so fun are the characters! Kevin Bacon is perhaps the most successful out of the other actors in this movie (not counting Reba’s music career that is). Over two decades and about three-dozen movies later, it’s amazing that Bacon still looks pretty much the same as he was here. In any case, Bacon and Ward have a nice chemistry and their constant banters are amusing. The addition of Rhonda adds a bit of playful sexual tension amongst them. The ‘pole vault’ scene is a fun to watch as Rhonda got a brilliant idea to jump from boulder to boulder as the monsters can’t get to them that way. I include the clip here below:
I feel that this movie is great to watch with a group of friends, as there’s that sense of community where the people all band together to survive. The townsfolk are full of quirky characters as well. There’s Walter Chang (Victor Wong) who owns the only convenience store in town, which ends up becoming one of the hiding place until those monsters are smart enough to rattle the house down to eat them. Then there’s the gun-happy couple Burt & Heather Gummer (Family Ties‘ Michael Gross & Country Music star Reba McEntire), seemingly ready for WW III with their stockpiles of ammunition. The scene of them blasting off one monster with every possible weapon they own is hysterical!! The monsters themselves are kind of goofy looking, well in a gross way, and surprisingly they’re not as dumb as they look.
So overall it’s quite an enjoyable horror-comedy, so thanks Nick for the movie ‘gift.’ Considering how popular this movie is, now I’m glad to say I’ve seen it. Apparently it’s Ron Underwood‘s feature film debut, which ends up being a rental hit that spawned three sequels and a Syfy network TV series! Underwood is now back doing TV work following the major flop that is The Adventures of Pluto Nash.
Tremors is a perfectly solid, cheesy B movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously nor try to be more than what it is. Not really interested in the sequels though, I’m sure it’s not gonna be as good as the first one anyway.
4 out of 5 reels
Thoughts on this movie? Well, let’s hear it!
33 thoughts on “NOT-SO-SECRET SANTA REVIEW SWAP BLOGATHON: TREMORS 1990”
YES!!!!! Love this film so much Ruth 😀
I LOVE your enthusiasm Tim! 😀
I first saw this at 10 years old and obviously loved it, so yeah its stuck quite well 😀
This film is totally awesome. A b-movie premise that works in not just being entertaining but also balancing it with humor and suspense.
Yeah, very entertaining from start to finish. I think the chemistry of the cast makes it work so well!
Aha, Tremors! I don’t think I have ever watched the entire movie at once, but the bits I saw were a lot of fun. Good stuff, Ruth, and a really cool concept for a blogathon. Wish I had joined in on the festivities.
Hey, I think you could still join Eric. Just click on the link to go to Nick’s post. You should check this one out.
I told it was awesome!!!
And you are right!!! 😀
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My son instantly fell in love with this movie the first time I showed it to him. Such a fun romp of a monster flick. The sequels, natch, don’t come as close, but they have their moments. Great look at this, Ruth :-).
Awesome Michael! My hubby had seen this and he enjoyed it too. It’s a fun romp indeed, I love it when they don’t take things so seriously. Is Fred Ward in the sequels? He’s my fave actor in the movie 😉
The sequels are good if you’re a thirteen year old boy, but other than that you can skip them. Props for being a good sport and being able to watch a cult classic like this and not bash it to pieces 🙂
Ahah, well I’m not 13 nor a boy so yeah, best to skip ’em then 😀 Well, if I enjoyed a movie, I don’t mind that it’s cheesy 😀
Had this on my to-watch list for awhile now, I think I’ll give it a go soon. Great review, I think I’ll enjoy it just as much as you did. 😀
Hi William. It’s quite fun to watch, I think you’d be entertained 😀
I still haven’t seen this film!! I generally don’t go for obvious B-movies, but you have convinced me to finally give this one a shot, Ruth!! Nice work!!!
Some B-movies are actually more entertaining than the bigger-budget ones as they don’t take themselves too seriously. Yes, give this a shot, Rodney!
Fred Ward should be in everything. I haven’t seen it in twenty three years but I remember the goofy fun and the two lead characters.
“Fred Ward should be in everything” Hear, hear!! He’s my favorite character in the movie, way more than Kevin Bacon.
Excellent selection and critique!
Say what you will about Burt and Heather Gummer. They are devotees of some awesomely fine firepower. From M-16s to H&K G3s, lever action rifles, pump action shotguns, hunting rifle caliber handguns, a flare pistol and a double barreled, 300 Nitro Express Elephant Rifle.
They do know how to party!!!
Also love how most are arranged on the basement’s pegboard wall. Like Tim Allen’s garage/workshop on ABC’s ‘Tool Time’.
Michael Gross and Reba McEntire steal every scene. When sharing time and scenes with veterans Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon in a surprising low budget but superbly executed update of a 1950s B-movie.
Hello Jack!! Ha..ha.. yeah The Gummers are very well-stocked and ready for battle! I knew you’d know the names of all the weapons they used, yes they sure know how to party 😀
My fave character there is Fred Ward’s, he’s far more charming than Kevin Bacon any day!
Like I mentioned earlier, this film was my favorite to watch back in my early teens. I was only living in the States for about a year when this film came out, didn’t see it in the theater though and I begged my dad to rent it for me when it came out on VHS. I remember watching it with my brother, sister and a few friends and we laughed our butts off. It’s a lot of fun and all the actors looked like had a lot of fun making it too. I’d stay away from the sequels, they were very low budget made for video movies and weren’t that good or fun.
Now that you brought this movie up, I might have to dig through my piles of BDs so I can watch it again, ha ha.
Hi Ted! Oh boy, those VHS days, I sure don’t miss ’em!!! Yeah I figure the sequels would be awful, plus it didn’t have most of the original cast anyway. Is there a BD version of this? I’d love to see the Behind the Scenes stuff 😀
I bought the BD a couple of years back but it’s one of those bare bone BDs so there’s no extras on the disc. The film wasn’t a huge hit in theaters so I assume the studio didn’t want to spend money on special features for the disc.
This is one I’m quite ashamed to say I haven’t seen. Looks like a heck of a lot of fun though, great write up Ruth!
Oh no need to be ashamed, I probably wouldn’t have seen it if it weren’t ‘gifted’ to me. But yeah, it’s a lot of fun!
Great movie and great review! This is one of the better campy “horror” movies.
Hi there, welcome to FC! Yep, campy but in a good way 😀
I really need to see this. The cast looks great, and it seems like a fun flick.
I’ve got to say, this was one of my favorite films growing up. After I saw it I was so scared to walk on the floor that I would jump from couch to couch to chair to get around the house. 🙂
Ahah, that’s too funny Chris! It’s quite a clever idea to have the monsters be underground isn’t it? I enjoyed the humor in this one too!
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