As a child and teenager, no other franchise entertained me as much as the story of a desert settlement in Nevada terrorized by giant underground worms. In this article, I’ll share my personal opinion about the movie Tremors, but beware, there are spoilers.
Valentine McKey (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Basset (Fred Ward) are two smart but stinking lazy residents of the desert town of “Perfection”, in the state of Nevada. Just as they are about to leave the village for a better job in neighboring Bixby, they find their friend Edgar (Sunshine Parker) hanging dead in a high-voltage pole by the road. The local doctor informs them that Edgar sat on the pole until he died of thirst there. Val and Earl begin to puzzle out how this could have happened. From suicide to a robbery, they find any number of theories that could be used to explain his death. One is more moronic and senseless than the other.
Back home, they try to call the police after they find a farmer’s head in the mud on the way back. His sheep were also killed and partially eaten. The other villagers suspect an attack by coyotes, as one villager also reports that part of his cattle herd is missing. Val and Earl set out again for Bixby but after a few miles, find that the only road to civilization has been washed out by boulders and rocks, making it impassable. Upon their re-arrival in Perfection, they notice a snake-like creature that has wrapped itself around the rear axle of their truck, holding it in place.
With the only road out of town now impassable, Val and Earl head to Bixby on horseback for help. During a visit to the doctor, who is building a house with his wife, the two discover that someone, or rather something, has completely buried their car in the ground. Immediately they continue their journey, but it doesn’t last long. A short time later Earl is thrown from his horse. Only now do they learn that the people and also the animals in the area have been killed by a kind of “giant worm”, which lives underground and can move at breakneck speed. After a race with one of these monsters, which kills itself when it hits a concrete wall, the two friends meet seismology student Rhonda and begin to excavate and investigate the strange creature. In the process, Rhonda, who has set up seismographs all over the valley, discovers that there are another three of these worms. Promptly, the three are attacked again and manage just in time to climb onto a rock that offers them shelter.
After being forced to spend the night on the rock, Rhonda concludes that these subterranean creatures can sense sounds and vibrations on the surface and then immediately hunt for them. This also explains why Edgar couldn’t get down from his pole and eventually died of thirst there, or how the doctor’s car could be buried. Rhonda gives Val and Earl the idea that their car could be reached via “pole vault” by jumping from rock to rock using long sticks. This plan works and the three race Rhonda’s car back to Perfection.
Again there is speculation as to where these animals come from, what they do, and what they want. Walter Chang (Victor Wong), the owner of the resident store, ponders what to call them. Suddenly it dawns on Val that the worms are on their way directly to Perfection and have almost reached the village. Since they can’t expect help from anywhere outside, and even rifle bullets can only do so with difficulty, they decide to leave the village and cross the mountains to the next town. To do this, Val sets out to reach the bulldozer, hook up the semitrailer and use it to get the people out of Perfection after the worms have eaten Walter and another resident. As a distraction, they let a small tractor go off on its own, which the worms chase.
The plan seems to be working. However, just as you were getting to safety, the bulldozer tips over in front and falls into a hole previously dug by the worms. Once again, you manage to climb onto a saving rock at the last second. This time, however, the situation is hopeless: no more rocks to get safely into the mountains, no vehicle, no hope.
Finally, Burt gets the idea to get eaten with a live bomb, which results in the worm being blown up. Earl then gets the idea to kill the two remaining worms with the bombs by attaching them to a rope and dragging them along the ground until the worm eats them. At first, this plan works and kills another of these creatures. However, the last worm spits the bomb out again, so it lands on the rock where Burt’s remaining bombs are, which detonate immediately. Only Val has one, last bomb in his hand. He starts running and is chased by the worm. Both are moving towards a precipice. Val dodges at the last second, the worm burrows out of the ground and plunges into the depths, killing him.
The film ends with Val and Rhonda researching together from now on and starting a relationship.
Tremors Review Conclusion
When I first saw the origin movie “Tremors” when I was 10 or 11 years old, I was riveted: Everything looked so real: Animatronics for the monsters, practical effects, and a total abstinence from CGI vomit. They literally went all out on the effects here. Everything we see is real. Also in the following sequels you hardly have visual effects from the computer, here and there sometimes, to be able to represent certain details. However, the CGI is, compared to what we see in “Jurassic World – A New Age”, by lengths better and can still present itself today. In addition, we also have 2-3 longtakes where the camera just moves and moves without there being a single cut.
What I love about this film is the crude, black humor. Kevin Bacon and also Michael Gross have some brilliant oneliners on their lips and then deliver them fart-dry to the best. The dynamic between Val & Earl is also really well written. Two buddies who harmonize perfectly, make silly remarks and otherwise exhilarate and delight the viewer with their performance.
Author S.S. Wilson felt it was important to write characters in three dimensions, otherwise they would be forgotten (basic theme of today’s movies). That alone makes Tremors wonderful.
It’s much the same with sequels two and three, which build perfectly on each other. A lot of it is practical, so when CGI comes in, it’s only in doses and as a tool. I recommend anyway to watch the films 1-3 directly back-2-back, because this gives a round picture.
But now the question in the round: Are you interested in this kind of movies? How did you like them and: would you like to get reviews of the other movies? Write me all this in the comments and please leave a like if you liked this review. If not, then don’t.