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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tremors (1990) - Ron Underwood



Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward star in this early 90's drive-in masterpiece. When I was seven my dad and I went to the drive in movies to see this and I couldn't have been happier. It was great. I remember being scared and hiding my eyes during a scene when a Graboid (that's what the antagonists are called) pulled a station wagon underground. I don't know why that one scared me but it did. I caught this movie on AMC this week and was not disappointed. 

A small desert town falls victim to giant earth dwelling worms that terrorize anything that touches the ground. It's like that game you played when you were a kid. Ground is lava. A Seismologist is researching in the area and figures that the worms are tracking humans based on the sounds of the vibrations they make on the ground. This means everyone has to stay quiet and find higher ground. Now, Bacon, Ward, and the Seismologist have to try to find a way to keep this little town safe. While figuring out just what is going on. 

The worms or Graboids, as they would come to be called, are actually really neat. The effects creator Tom Woodruff Jr. did a fantastic job with the creatures. He went with a practical design instead of something more fantastical or ridiculous. Woodruff had worked on Terminator and Aliens before this. This was a huge factor in the movie and it worked out really well. 

This flick is a classic b-movie that pays homage to the giant-monster movies of the 1950's. It does a great job of mixing comedy, adventure, and a bit of horror. Plus it's a Kevin Bacon movie so it's always good to have knowledge of it in case a spontaneous game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon breaks out.  

I recommend this movie to anyone that hasn't seen it. It's fairly family friendly and acts as a good introduction to 90's horror comedy. The sequels that followed weren't the best but they served their purpose. This is definitely the best feature of the lot. 


  • S.S. Wilson said that he got the idea for the film while he was working for the US Navy in the California desert. While resting on a rock, he imagined what it might be like if something underground kept him from getting off the rock.
  • Although Tremors (1990) 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.
  • For the scene in which Rhonda had to get out of her pants to escape the Graboid about to eat her, actress Finn Carter intentionally didn't rehearse the scene. That way the response she gives to having to depants in front of Kevin Bacon in less than 5 seconds was authentic.

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