Tremors is a dearly beloved little creature feature that has been a favorite of mine, and probably MILLIONS of others, for years. Whenever it was on TV (and it played a lot on USA for a while back there), my sister or I would only have to yell through the house "Tremors is on!!!" and the other would come running. A few years ago, I got the Tremors "Attack Pack" DVD with all four movies in it (quick go out and buy it now) so they're all at my disposal.
The Graboid filled plot: An impossibly small and isolated desert town called Perfection is infested by huge, man-eating, worm-like creatures that travel underground. Two buddy handymen, a visiting seismologist, and a couple who collects every gun known to man are amongst the people who must rid their town of these monsters.
Oh, Tremors, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways and junk. As I sit here thinking about how to give a fair review, which to me includes also talking about any flaws in a film, I honestly cannot come up with anything that doesn't work, at least for me, in Tremors. Aside from one small shot where the effects are not as well done, Tremors is actually so well done that I can't think of hardly any nitpicks. The comedy, the creature effects, the acting, the logical actions of the characters, the characters themselves - they are all truly awesome.
Very much similar to Animals Run Amok, Creature Features are high on my list of horror movie awesomeness. And I think we've got possibly the best of best right here. Is it exaggerating to call Tremors a masterpiece of B movies? Methinks no.
Like I've said before, horror comedies always walk that fine line between genuine smart wit and cheesiness while having to still be great in the horror sense. In both of these aspects, Tremors excels. I'd say that's probably the best thing about the film overall, is how seriously it takes itself. There's none of those annoying fights about how this couldn't be possible, that creatures like this couldn't exist, whatever. The characters all take what is happening at face value, mostly with the help of the requisite expert in the field, Rhonda the seismology student, and do whatever they can to fight these monsters.
Sorry. That was harsh. You're okay, Melvin. Just a little annoying.
The awesomest thing about Tremors is of course what I believe Andre at the Horror Digest referred to as the bromance between Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl ( Fred Ward). These two actors work perfectly off each other and have such a funny but still lovable relationship. Their moments together are some of the funniest in the movie. Their little games of rock-paper-scissors? Cute. So cute. However, survivalist Burt Gummer runs a very close second to being the best thing about the movie, and he is the only character aside from the graboids to appear in all four movies. Thank you, Mr. Gummer. Without you, some of those sequels just wouldn't work.
"Damn, Burt, what's in those things?" (asking about the bombs)
"A few household chemicals in the proper proportions."
"Yeah, well, I guess when I'm your age, I'll forget what I eat too."
"You see, we plan ahead that way we don't do anything right now. Earl explained it to me."
"Stay on those residual boulders!"
If you still haven't seen Tremors, you are doing yourself a serious disservice. A wonderful comedy, and still an exciting monster movie at the same time, it is truly one of the best of its kind. And if you don't fall in love with Val and Earl, well then you're just weird.
Sidenote: Never liked how the poster shows the Graboid as having teeth like an alligator. Where did that come from?