Monday, October 20, 2014

October Horror Movie Challenge: Tremors (1990)

Directed by Ron Underwood, Tremors is a humorous monster movie about a pair of quirky handymen who live in the small desert community of Perfection. After stumbling upon some bizarre phenomena a couple of grisly deaths, the two discover a terrible local secrets: the desert is inhabited by worm-like creatures that travel underground, surfacing only to eat whatever they can grab with their tongue-tendrils.  Due to Perfection's isolated location, the citizens must find a way across the desert while avoiding these "graboids" who happen to be stalking them like landlocked sharks.

Tremors is a loving tribute to the monster movies of the 1950's. The film is cheesy and the acting is somewhat over the top at times, but that just makes it more entertaining. It doesn't hurt that the special effects are pretty good and the direction is equally solid.

As with most monster movies, Tremors lives and dies on its special effects. Thankfully, they are top notch. The graboids look great, like something from a more primordial era that's been lurking underground for centuries, waiting for the perfect time to surface and strike. Also, the tongue-tendrils are pretty cool too, reminding me of the Xenomorph's tongue from Alien.They also manage to make its underground travel look believable and cool.

The acting's not half bad either. While some of its definitely over the top, you can't help but like the characters. Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, and Michael Gross give great performances, creating interesting characters that you want to see survive these attacks. Especially Gross, who's Burt would end up becoming the main character of later films in the series.

While Tremors isn't particularly scary, its definitely entertaining due to its special effects and fun characters. If you're looking for a monster movie with a lot of hard, you could do a whole lot worse than Tremors.