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TREMORS

       

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday,Dec. 18, 2020

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: ‘Tremors’ is a goofy monster comedy but it has become so popular that since its initial release there have followed no less than six sequels and a TV series have followed. This review ran in this space last October, on the occasion of the most recent sequel being released. But at that time I had no idea that Arrow Films would release a two-disc Blu-ray edition loaded with bonus features. But it’s here, so here we go again. This review was published in the Deseret News on Jan. 23, 1990.

 

"Tremors" is a throwback to the old ’50s creature features — you know, "The Blob," "Them!" "Tarantula."

 

But "Tremors" recognizes that its premise — in this case giant sandworms that look like they were lifted from "Dune" — is ridiculous, so it makes the clever choice of presenting itself as both monster movie and comedy.

 

       

 

         Reba McEntire, Kevin Bacon, 'Tremors' (1990)

 

Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward ("The Right Stuff," "Remo Williams") are a pair of modern-day cowboys working as "handymen" in the Nevada desert near a small town called Perfection when they stumble upon the worms.

 

They join the town's few residents in trying to destroy the creatures, and when that fails they attempt to get into the rocky hills where the worms are unable to tunnel.

 

Among the townfolk are a pair of overzealous survivalists, well-played by Michael Gross (the father on TV's "Family Ties") and country singing star Reba McEntire, who have an arsenal in their bomb shelter.

 

       

 

There's definitely a campy tone to most of the laughs but Bacon and Ward are deadpan as they make wisecracks, resulting in a satisfying combination of humor and horror.

 

Like many of those monster movies of old, "Tremors" never tries to explain exactly what these creatures are: Oversized worms? Humongous snakes? Overactive shoelaces?

 

But it's funny enough and scary enough to while away 90 minutes, and, as you might expect, the special effects are first-rate as the monsters tunnel at high speeds, tracking their human prey.

 

"Tremors" is rated PG-13 but there is an abundance of profanity and enough violence, with accompanying glop-and-goo special effects, that you might want to steer young ones elsewhere.