Tremors (Ron Underwood, 1990, USA)

Tremors is the first entry in what may be one of the more unlikely horror comedy franchises to emerge from the 1990s. Perhaps due to poor marketing, the film opened 5th in its initial release and plummeted from there. Luckily, the film was released during the most robust period of the home video market and ended up becoming one of the most rented films of 1990. More surprising is that the film has spawned not only six sequels, but a TV series, video games, and more. Anyone who grew up in the 1990s will have memories of seeing this film on cable.

Positioned as a star vehicle for Kevin Bacon (whose days as a leading man seemed to be already numbered), Tremors features an ensemble cast including Fred Ward and country star Reba McEntire. There is not much to say about the characters - they are more like stock types. There is not much conflict between them. Mainly they are concerned about the giant sandworms beneath the ground of Paradise, Nevada, that are wreaking havoc on the local community. The whole film is a tribute to the monster movies of the 1950s, and the spirit of the film is quite goofy.

There's not much to say about Tremors - although the film's practical effects are a delight. It's an ideal film for a younger audience who wants to be introduced to monster movies but might be more frightful of gore. The film is something you could watch with a family and nobody would be offended. Overall, Tremors has not aged particularly well, though one can understand in retrospect why the film became a hit on the home video market. When the living room became the drive-in movie theater, Tremors was there with its giant sandworms. It's a nice nostalgic throwback.



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