Have you ever felt like your life wasn’t going anywhere? Like everything you do just doesn’t seem to make any move in advancing you to a better place. You work hard and persevere for whatever life throws in your way. But in the end you feel stuck and have made very little progress. Maybe you’ve lost a job and are having a real tough time in finding a new one. Maybe you’re having problems with your health, marriage or you’re just bored because playing video games as a profession seemed like a good idea when you were twenty pounds ago. Or maybe your son wants to play Hockey because he watched The Mighty Ducks. But you hate hockey and we live in Florida! The only ice we see is in our freezer that has been making weird noises for the past three days and you wife wonders why you… a web developer can’t fix it? We’re not discussing this right now! It isn’t the right time because the Giants are losing to the damn Dallas Cowboys! They’re losing every damn football game this stupid fucking season! DANIEL JONES YOU PLAY LIKE SHIT! Take your head out of your ass and focus! If you throw one more interception again and I am gonna… YOU THREW ANOTHER INTERCEPTION! No son! What do you mean you wish I made more money? Go get a new dad then! Wait… where am I?
So stress piles up pretty fast and we may feel like things are always at a very low point. But things could always be worse! You could be like my two friends Valentine and Earl from the movie Tremors!
Tremors is a 1990 film directed by Ron Underwood and stars Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, Reba McIntire, Victor Wong, Robert Jayne. I guess the writers S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock were both climbing large desert boulders and thought “what if there was something that wouldn’t let us off this rock?” They thought of a monster and called it “Land Sharks.” After pitching the idea for the movie they came up with something more convincing than underground sharks… which eventually was made in as 2011’s Sand Sharks. The creature known as graboids was designed by Amalgamated Dynamics. The movie received mostly positive reviews but lead actor Kevin Bacon felt that is was a low point in his career. Little did he know that Tremors would gain huge notoriety.
In the small podunk town of Perfection, Nevada. Two repairmen named Val and Earl prepare to leave this miserable place and all their worries behind. Little do they know that the entire valley is being swarmed by giant man eating worms and this little town of Perfection is in the middle of the feeding zone.
If anyone has ever had cable in their life and has spent enough time in front of the television just flipping through the channels. I would bet that Tremors is a movie you always notice is on. Tremors and The Shawshank Redemption are probably the two most popular movies I see on television today. They’re both right up there with the BET channel playing 2009’s Obsessed. But Tremors has to be the most popular horror movie ever made! I swear to God I’m not joking. Everyone has seen this movie and I don’t know a single person that hasn’t watched it. Which is why it is such a good movie.
A Good First Time Watch
Tremors is a horror movie that doesn’t exhibit a horror persona. Which is why so many people actually love this movie. Whenever someone, that hasn’t really ever watched horror; asks for a first time watch recommendation. Then Tremors would be the ideal movie for them. Most of us psycho horror fans blow our loads by recommending something like 1987’s Hellraiser or something completely hard core like 2015’s Baskin. But this is like an alcoholic giving a twenty one year old Mormon pussy a straight shot of fine grain Everclear. It’s just too much! But Tremors is a right dose of horror that won’t send people running to the hills… or whatever temple Mormons go to.
It’s uplifting and kind of charming. But still capable in being gross and creepy at times. The balance of gore and feel good attitude is a perfect concoction for people that aren’t necessarily hard core horror fanatics like you and me. But that isn’t to say the movie is a baby class kind of horror flick. The movie rules and delivers some exquisite creature feature goodness. Who can’t love the scene where the doctor is taken into the ground and then his wife bites the big one in her car.
The graboids are terrifying monsters that give the movie a feeling of inescapability. The idea that an animal tunnels through the and is drawn to the vibrations in the ground is truly terrifying. Imagine not being able to simply walk or it will give your position away. But then imagine that even if you get up off the ground, there are these crazy monsters that come out of the mouth of the monster and will grab you to your doom! But they’re smart as well. You can get on top of your house but they figure out how to make the building collapse so you have no place to go. A tactful monster is one I never want to discover!
The only thing I ever wonder is… are the monsters coming out of the mouth a separate monster? Or are they a part of the giant worm and act kind of independently. Maybe they’re a hive mind kind of thing? Or maybe they’re two different species that act symbiotically (I love that word) with each other. The tentacle monsters live in the graboids bodies and help bring food into the monster so they both can eat! That is kind of a cool thought that you’re being eaten by two creatures instead of just one.
Not only is this movie fun and full of good creature feature delight, but it’s a brilliant “heroes journey” kind of film. Valentine and Earl our two protagonists, are two down on their luck kind of guys. They’re nice and aren’t scum bags. But things don’t seem to be going their way. Valentine meets Rhonda and after getting to know her still feels he’s out of her league. Tremors gives us characters we can identify and feel remorseful for. Them doing well makes for great characterization and it is only strengthened by a well done supporting cast. I love Rhonda as the character that ends up being the brains behind the battle. Burt and Heather are total badasses that give us the means to turn the tide on the monsters. We have Melvin who is the jerk of the movie and we want to see die! Everyone in the movie exists as a functioning unit that helps the movie progress organically and not because “the script needed it to be this way.” But Valentine and Earl are the best.
They’re genuine friends and joke and commune with each other the way real friends would. I actually hope Valentine and Earl still hang out drinking beer and talking about killing some graboids on their front lawn! We want them to be the heroes and to overcome the challenge coming ahead. They’re just like us when we go through annoying and low points in life. But they persevere and plow through the tough situations. A bunch of man eating giant worms coming to kill us all? No problem for Valentine McKee and Earl Bassett my friend!
I love Tremors and I am proud to have it on my marathon! It needs to be honored, especially in a month where most horror movies we honor are only on one time a year. Tremors is ever present and will remain a cultural favorite to this day. It’s full of good heart and uplifting characters. The acting is great and the story is scary yet full of good natural comedy. I love the desolate small town atmosphere which gives us a good arena for the inescapability. There’s no where to go and the characters must rely on their brains to get out. The scares are fun and are balanced with some good human vengeance! My favorite scene is when Burt and Heather go complete American on the graboid that busts through the weapons room. It’s a movie that can keep us entertained and at the end, we feel good with the outcome. This is why I honor 1990’s Tremors on day twenty two of Horror Movie Marathon!