11 March 2001 | Wez-1
Has 'cult classic' written all over it.
This movie caught me by surprise: I worked in a video store, and one day we got a preview tape of this movie, prior to its video release. I hadn't heard much about it, so I watched it, and was quite surprised at how enjoyable it was. Since then, I have seen the movie about ten more times (at least), and still get a kick out of it.
Tremors is basically a landlocked variation on 'Jaws' and those 1950s giant bug movies: the isolated town of Perfection, Nevada (population 16), finds itself under seige by four monstrous, subterranean wormlike creatures, that hunt by sensing vibrations in the ground. The plot revolves around the townspeople trying to outwit and escape the creatures (dubbed 'Graboids'), which are tearing the town out from under them.
What really makes the movie work is the characters: all of them come across as real people trapped in an insane situation, and all have a lot of charisma, even though the film doesn't have tons of character development. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are a hoot as a pair of low-rent handymen who become reluctant heroes. The byplay between the two is a lot of fun.
Usually movies like this revolve around stupid people doing stupid things, just to raise the body count. Tremors is different: the characters react believably, and do smart things to try and escape and/or kill the Graboids. The creatures too are also fairly smart, and are not just mindless eating machines with no brains.
Given its premise, Tremors is not a gory or violent film (although it has a couple of minor gross bits), and has a very good sense of humor. The film-makers are aware of their far-fetched premise (a couple of key questions go unanswered), but they treat it with respect and a certain amount of affection.
Tremors didn't have much life in theaters, but has become something of a 'Midnight Movie' on home video, with definite cult possibilities. Check it out, and don't be surprised if you end up buying it.