Tremors (1990)

For all this week leading up to Halloween I will be doing 5 movie reviews on horror films startiing with this one first.

Hick handymen Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) can barely eke out a living in the Nevada hamlet of Perfection, so they decide to leave town — despite am admonition from a shapely seismology coed (Finn Carter) who’s picking up odd readings on her equipment. Before long, Val and Earl discover what’s responsible for those readings: 30-foot-long carnivorous worms with a proclivity for sucking their prey underground.

Tremors is sort of a present-day Western, with some really insane scinece fiction elements. The Tremors in the titles, refers to the shock effects caused by these worms tunneling underground.

I can really see why Tremors found a lot of really good exposure after it’s disasterous box office debut. It has some good elements that weren’t really caught by the genre at the time. What makes it most different is that it really does start off like a normal comedy, with some mildly funny jokes mixed in with little heartfelt moments. Then halfway through the film it turns itself sideways and becomes a totally different film with plenty of horror B-movie elements.

There are many elements that really do make this film a bag load of fun. Even just the fact that there is a bunch of giant worms as credible villains makes it worth while, but it really can’t sustain itself for too long.

There we’re an awful lot of satrcial takes on many reoccuring characters throughout this movie that were based on the conventional characters from horror movies. However, after awhile I found these little parodies to be lame and the jokes to be even more of somewhat overrun.

I also didn’t like the addition to the over-excessive use of the modernized blood and gore. I thought this movie would’ve really refrained from it, and keep to it’s natural roots but really just does this too much after a long time and becomes a little disgusting.

The whole nature of this film is really what makes this film the more enjoyable, is that it really doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are a lot of funny staged reactions, and the tenseful scenes mixed with some of the most obvious score music really do make this film all the while funny and joyful.

Tremors has a diverse cast that really does hit the button with many of their scenes. Kevin Bacon was really good and I thought it was nice to see that he could carry a movie so early in his career, but it’s mostly the side performers that make this a worth while. Fred Ward, really does an excellent job playing the witty but also more intelligent buisness partner of Bacon, and males this film a much funnier trip.

Consensus: Tremors is a different horror film with some good comedy, and a well-acted diverse cast. But, doesn’t quite stick with me as I thought it should’ve.


One comment

  1. I still have a huge problem after 22 years of considering the word horror in this movie. I understand of course blood, killing, monsters, and chase scenes all constitute a horror movie. I just find it hard to take it seriously as a horror movie when I am laughing at the whole time, even when someone is getting eaten by a giant worm I can’t help but laugh at them. How many movies do you see a car taken underground? Only to be found the next day because of the radio? The scene in the basement was one of the funniest moments in the movie, as the worm breaks into and they just unload every gun on the wall they can into the thing, and every one was loaded, while it was on the wall. I love the movie, to this day when I see it I watch it, which is what I did this weekend when I saw it on the Cinemax page on DISH online. This is one of the only movies I can agree with the self proclaimed movie nerd I work with at DISH, he hasn’t put up one con to me about the movie, which he always has something bad to say about every movie, maybe I will ask him if he thinks it’s a horror movie.

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