Release year: 1990
Director: Ron Underwood
Screenwriter: Brent Maddock, S. S. Wilson, Ron Underwood
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, Robert Jayne, Ariana Richards, Tony Genaro, Victor Wong
Ratings: 4 Saturn nominations: Best Science Fiction Film, Best Supporting Actress (Finn Carter), Best Supporting Actress (Reba McEntire), Best Special Effects.
A small town is attacked from underground by an unknown creature. Val (Bacon) and Earl (Ward) had just packed their car to leave town, but now they are stuck in town with seismologist Rhonda (Carter), trying to survive long enough to find a way out.
Like an affectionate throwback to the creature features of the 1950s, Tremors is a genuine monster movie with a giant worm bursting through ground to attack people in an isolated area. The story is played straight, yet with humour. But rather than aiming for cheap laughs, the humour comes from smart and witty dialogue and a great chemistry between Bacon (Footloose, 1984) and Ward (Escape From Alcatraz, 1979), whose quotable banter seems natural and is just as entertaining as the giant worm monster. There is also great support; Carter (How I Got Into College, 1989) as the smart seismologist but especially Gross (Big Business, 1988) and McEntire (One Night at McCool’s, 2001) as the gun-happy couple fully prepared for another World War. But it is not just the brilliant script that makes this one to last, it is also the terrifically executed special effects. Perfectly proving that sometimes less is more, Tremors gets more out of a picket fence being pushed up than several monster movies gets from CGI. With the camera as point-of-view of the worm, the dirt being pushed aside to show the speed the monster approaches at and off course, the worm itself, enormous and slimy, the effects of Tremors still holds their ground next to today’s more advanced effects. Underwood keeps the action tight and frantic, never watching any of the 96 minute long running time. After making us care for the characters he jumps right into an exciting last half, where the pulse is kept high with effectively edited scenes of the people trying to survive several attacks, that are clever enough for it never to feel like repetitions. Tremors manages one of those rare things, where the tone between humour and horror is balanced perfectly, which is a ig reason this is still, and will continue to be, enjoyed by a constantly growing fan base.
In an interview for ‘The Following’ in The Telegraph (22/1 – 2013) Kevin Bacon said that prior to the film’s release, he felt that the film was a career low: “I broke down and fell to the sidewalk, screaming to my pregnant wife, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing a movie about underground worms!'”.
If you want to watch this 1990s classic yourself, you can purchase it by clicking the image:
Picture copyrights: UIP