Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Graboid Week: Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)

Ah, Tremors 2. The beginning of the straight-to-video Tremors sequels brings us a new location, new graboids, new wit, and a new bromance love interest for Earl Bassett. It's not as good as the first film, but this sequel from 1996 (damn, I never realized there was such a gap between the two) is actually quite good.

They're back!: Graboids have been attacking people at an oil refinery in Mexico and Earl and the new guy, Grady Hoover, are brought in to eliminate the creatures for a big payday. Things seem to go alright for the monster hunters at first until the graboids reveal that they've got something new up their sleeves.

The movie starts off in a fun way with the reluctant Earl going down to Mexico with the overzealous fan Grady as his sidekick. In the first movie, there were only four graboids total that had to be dealt with, but the numbers have grown exponentially in the second film. There are some funny montages of the buddies blasting away at several graboids with a very cool weapon - dynamite attached to remote-controlled cars.

Unfortunately, it's almost an hour before the movie decides to up the ante with the graboids. Michael Gross shows up first and brings his comedic genius back to the role of Burt Gummer, who is still just as prepared as ever for World War 3. Nice to have you back, sir, truly. Anyway, his return helps stop the film from slowing down completely before the new twist on the movie shows up at about exactly hour one. That'd be my only complaint about the movie is that it takes a little too long to get to the new action. This is a sequel, you know, so something different has GOT to happen.

Things get interesting when Earl and Grady run into one of the creatures that's acting all sluggish and making weird noises. Hmm, what's going on? Turns out the big bastards have EVOLVED. One worm can morph into three cute little graboid-like bipeds with frog legs. The absolute funniest part of the movie is when Burt returns to the refinery after being ambushed by dozens of the creatures and gives a hilarious monologue about how he was able to fend them off. I would include it verbatim here, but that means I'd have to go back and find it on my DVD and type it all out and stuff, and I can't do that right now because my pizza is getting cold.

Don't you just love the hi-techness of the seismographs they use? A blue screen with a little square icon for Grady and Earl's truck and a red oval shaped icon for the graboids. And it does that fast beeping thing when a graboid gets nearby. Whoa, dudes, that's up there in the technology field. Impressive.

That was my sarcastic voice, in case you didn't catch that.

Speaking of technology, how 'bout those graboids! Again, in the effects department the Tremors movies do okay. There's a bit more CGI here than the first film but only when the graboid-babies have to do acrobatic shit like hop on each other's backs and stuff. Oh, and the running. They run like raptors, did you notice that? And raptors are scary so that helps in making the graboid-babies a little freakier too. It also helps to show one of them chowing down on Julio's freaking LEG while Kate helplessly watches through the window. Yuck.

There was evidence of a budding romance between Rhonda and Val in the first film, confirmed at the end when they have their big, smoochy kiss, and confirmed again when Earl mentions in Tremors 2 that they got married. Seems Earl was left out of the love loop, which is sad. What, the older guy can't get the girls? Only the cute and funny friend? However, his chance comes around in the sequel when Kate Riley, the oil company's geologist, is introduced. Another woman in the role of the scientific expert. I like it. Kate's a cool woman whom Earl immediately likes and Kate likes back. There's a great scene where the two of them surreptitiously check out each other's butts. That's true love, y'all.

Oh, oh! I just remembered! The graboid-babies are dubbed "shriekers" in the third movie. That was bugging me all day. I like "graboid-babies" better, though. Makes them sound cuter, which they kinda are.

Anyway. So there's some graboids, some graboid-baby births, some exploding graboid-babies, some more games of rock-paper-scissors, and one big ass oil refinery explosion at the end. Not a bad follow-up to the highly popular creature feature from ye olde 1990 that manages to continue the story along and keep all the elements about the original that we loved so much. One and a half thumbs up.


  1. can't help it: I love it about as much as part 1, especially because of all the hilarious dialogue

    1. I know right??? I love part 1

  2. i haven't seen it in a while, so maybe it's time to dust off the dvd! i absolutely love the blog, you're the coolest!

  3. I'm surprised that this one was OK....
    Maybe I'll give it a chance.

  4. I sometimes prefer the sequel over the original, it is a damn fun film, and the new graboids are awesome!

  5. I really love these series. Though sometimes, I have nightmares over them, beileve it or not. It may sound a lottle weird, though. I just hope they make more Tremors movies. That woul be awesome!