Repairmen Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are tired of their dull lives in the small desert town of Perfection, Nev. But just as the two try to skip town, they happen upon a series of mysterious deaths and a concerned seismologist (Finn Carter) studying unnatural readings below the ground. With the help of an eccentric couple (Reba McEntire, Michael Gross), the group fights for survival against giant, worm-like monsters hungry for human flesh.
Release Date: January 19, 1990
Director: Ron Underwood
Producer: Gale Anne Hurd, S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock
Cast: Reba McEntire, Fred Ward, Charlotte Stewart, Victor Wong, Michael Gross, Kevin Bacon, Finn Carter, Bobby Jacoby, Tony Genaros
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"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.
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 horror movies of old, "Tremors" never tries to explain exactly what these creatures are: Oversize 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.January 19th, 1990 · Details