Tremors, 1990 (Film Review)

Tremors, for many is considered as a cult classic. It’s one of those films i recall every film-aficionado had in their VHS/DVD collection growing up. For many, owning it was considered a sign of good taste. Today we take a look at 1990’s monster horror comedy outing.

Before there were films about not making any noise, before there were films about not being able to look at anything – there was a film about not causing any vibrations. A concept much like a kind of floor-is-lava game but in movie form. Except instead of lava, its sand with giant worm things in it. 

Before he was so saturated in mobile phone advertising, Kevin Norwood Bacon had a fairly consistent gig as an actor, director and musician (directing 3 films, acting since 1978 and performing across 6 albums as part of The Bacon Brothers).

Tremors film review crazydiscostu nerd blog

Kevin Bacon plays Val McKee, a hired hand (handyman/repairman) who lives and works alongside pal Earl Bassett (played by Fred Ward). The duo are all set to skip the backwater desert town of Perfection, Nevada, when a series of mysterious deaths put a halt to their plans. Joined by the surviving inhabitants of the town they fight for survival against giant worm monsters beneath the desert sand.

The special FX aren’t exactly flawless but they add to the charm to a film that has aged surprisingly well. The practical FX, at least where the Sandworms (this is the Dune definition) are concerned, are also fantastic and look real enough to get the job done. There are few lingering shots of the worms (for the most part and without going into spoilers) but when they are on screen they look good.

There’s a expertly-cultivated sense of unseen threat, much like Jaws (1975) as the characters do their best to avoid the worms. In this case it’s significantly more light-hearted.

The franchise has spawned a prequel, 5 sequels (Tremors 2: Aftershocks,1996, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, 2001, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, 2004, Tremors 5: Bloodlines, 2015, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell, 2018 and Tremors: Shrieker Island, 2020), and a series in 2003.

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I know i say this a lot on the blog, but it’s worth mentioning again – the antidote to the current climate of preaching Hollywood, social justice infused narratives in film, diversity quotas and inclusivity-centric messages is simple. The focus should always be to entertain.

Tremors is entertaining. It’s an enjoyable and quirky stroll through a different world. It’s a fun-filled jaunt within that vein of horror comedy, in the tone of Ghostbusters or Gremlins. I recommend this slice of nostalgia.

Tremors is currently available on UK Netflix. You can watch the trailer below :

tremors cover poster vhs dvd 1990 crazydiscostu film review

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