Tremors

Directed By: Ron Underwood

Starring: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, Finn Carter, Victor Wong, Bobby Jacoby

Synopsis: Giant subterranean monsters decimate an isolated Western town.

Thoughts: Tremors is 25 years old this year. Let that sink in for a moment. If you are like me and remember when this came out, you are probably feeling a bit older at the moment. If you are too young to recall the release, get off my lawn and pull up your pants.

Now, back to the movie…Tremors is essentially a Godzilla movie in a Western setting where the creatures live underground. It is infused with comedy and never takes itself seriously.

The cast is a big reason for the success of Tremors. Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon play the leads and work together in a “buddy cop” sort of relationship. Bacon has flirted with the horror genre throughout his career, going all the way back to his early days where he was a camp counselor in Friday the 13th. His works have included Flatliners, Hollow Man and the underrated Stir of Echoes as well.

You can’t mention the cast without pointing out Michael Gross and Reba McEntire as the right wing fanatics with enough firepower to take over a small country. Although the characters are over the top, it really works with the setting and storyline.

Director took the success of Tremors and turned that into a career directing family oriented films. It’s no exaggeration to say he peaked with his second film, helming Golden Globe nominee City Slickers. After that it went downhill in a pretty fantastic nature, including Mighty Joe Young and Pluto Nash. After Pluto Nash, Underwood focused on directing television episodes.

Although the cast is fantastic, the Graboids in Tremors are the real stars. Without a great monster a movie like this will fade into oblivion as time passes. Universal was smart to guard the look of the monsters as they promoted the movie, saving the reveal for the movie. Although this seems like such a basic principle, it’s amazing how often marketing campaigns get this wrong. Look no further than the success of Cloverfield at how anticipation and great marketing can propel a movie to success.

Tremors wasn’t a huge financial success at the box office, but quickly became a favorite on home video and with movie monster fans everywhere. It spawned 3 sequels and a television series, which is another indicator of its popularity.

Tremors is a great gateway horror film for young fans of the genre. There isn’t much that would scare younger fans and the deaths are not graphic. I look at this movie as a natural fit with other giant monsters like King Kong and Godzilla. Tremors is also readily available (and cheap) as a 4 pack with its sequels on both DVD and Blu Ray. There’s really no excuse for not checking out this flick.

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Comments
  1. emmakwall says:

    I love this movie! Nice review 🙂

  2. Fringe Void says:

    Well said. This movie truly nailed it. So much fun. Its sequels never lived up to the standard it set, especially with all those CGI creature effects.

  3. shnsjolin says:

    This is a great monster movie ans a staple in our house. I need to order the short lived television series, even though I know it won’t be very good.

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