Thursday, November 7, 2013
My Favorite Era: Tremors (1990)
Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward play Val and Earl, two handymen aching to leave the small desert town (by small, I mean 14 residents, most of whom get eaten over the course of the film) of Perfection, Nevada. The cute seismology student (Finn Carter) in the area begins noticing strange things and on their way out of town, Val and Earl find a local guy up an electrical tower, dead. A few more folks get eaten and before you know it, naming the town Perfection comes off as even more ironic than it already was.
Two things make this a great film. First off is the cast and the eccentric characters they play. Bacon and Ward are solid as the leads with an easygoing sense of comic timing. Finn Carter is pretty good as the seismology student and Victor Wong is fun as usual as the owner of the general store.
Best of all are Michael Gross and Reba McEntire as the Gummers, a married couple of survivalists who are just funny as hell. Gross walks away with the movie (and the franchise, to be fair) with his funny performance and the best scene of the film has the Gummers facing off against a giant worm using most of their huge arsenal. It's quite entertaining.
The creatures are also cool, huge ugly things that are hard as hell to kill. Any good monster movie has to have something unique that the viewer hasn't seen before and in this case, the filmmakers knocked it out of the park. Another cool thing is that we never find out exactly what the hell the things are or where they came from. It adds a nice little bit of mystery as all we get is speculation. At the end of the day, the film knows it's not that important.
Tremors is just simple, unpretentious fun with a good cast, great monsters and a fantastic pace. It's really one of the better monster movies of the last twenty five years. First sequel is pretty good too.