Melvin Plugg is a former resident of Perfection Valley, Nevada. Melvin initially appeared as a minor supporting protagonist in Tremors, though he eventually morphed into the primary antagonist of Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (aside from Ass Blasters, of course). Melvin later again returned as a supporting antagonist in two episodes of Tremors: The Series: Feeding Frenzy and Water Hazard.
He is played by Robert Jayne in all the movies and the TV Series. Melvin, aside from Burt and Miguel, is the only character to be played by the same actor in all of his appearances.
His role has morphed from comic relief to that of a incompetent antagonist. He is disliked by Burt, Earl, Val and almost everyone else in Perfection. He is the only character, besides Burt, to be played by the same actor in both the films and the TV series. Burt often refers to him as a "Little Turd."
He was originally a lazy, somewhat obnoxious teenager who was fond of basketball and practical jokes. Val, Earl and Burt never liked him much, and he never got along with them. He grew to dislike the living conditions of Perfection.
Although Melvin appeared to live alone in the first film, this is implausible for a 17-year-old. The creators of the films stated that his parents were uncaring towards him and often abandoned him to go gambling in Las Vegas (a fact referenced in the original draft of the script).
This was partially the source of his bitterness toward the uncivilized valley. The town’s sign in the first film said that Perfection's Population was 14. Therefore, if his parents lived in Perfection, then Edgar Deems and Old Fred, living well outside of the town area, were likely not counted as part of the 14.
During the movie, he constantly annoyed the other characters, throwing basketballs at them and pranking them, pretending to be attacked by Graboids to the point that when a real Graboid attack happened, the others thought he was messing around again. After hearing Burt killed a Graboid, he cheered with everyone else while hiding on the roof of a shed. When Burt handed out guns to everyone, Melvin asked for one, but Burt told him "I wouldn't give you a gun if it was World War 3!" Later, Burt does give him a gun to get him to move, but gave it to him unloaded and enjoyed Melvin's anger over it. He later cheered the deaths of the remaning Graboids.
Eventually, even though he was sort of a lazy kid, Melvin got his act together, moved to Bixby and went to college. Melvin started working really hard once he hit his 20s, he got into real estate and has been buying and selling land not only in Perfection Valley, but in nearby Bixby as well. He soon became the head of his own realty company called "Melco".
In 2001, he returned to Perfection very rich at age 28 and claims residency both there and in Bixby. He owns much of the land in the valley, and wants to turn it into something more urban. However, the other residents refuse to sell out their land to him. While Burt and Desert Jack were hunting Graboids, Melvin came to Perfection himself to try to convince Burt to sell out and convince the rest of the residents. Burt was stunned to see Melvin and that it was him behind Melco. Melvin, now calling himself Mel, tried to get Burt to shake his hand and accept his offer but Burt had a counter-offer: a three-second head start. However, a Graboid showed up and Burt told him to be quiet, but instead Melvin loudly asked if it was a Graboid for real in the valley. His pager then went off attracting the Graboid despite Burt throwing it away. After his pager gets eaten and the Graboid begins its attack, Melvin cowardly flees in his truck, but travels into Perfection where he warns the resisdents of the attack causing Jodi (who only knows him as "that Melvin guy") to find Burt and Jack to see if they're safe. Later, after two of the Graboids are killed and all the Ass Blasters that came from one a dealt with, Melvin meets with Burt again, who's trying to attract the attention of El Blanco with a toy truck and ultrasonic watch. Melvin is initally ignorant of the situation until Burt warns him to get on the rocks with him as its not safe. After seeing El Blanco underground, Melvin quickly complies and demands Burt kill it after it eats the toy truck. However, Burt reveals that he intends to leave it alive. El Blanco is sterile and thus there is no threat of him spawning Shriekers so the town decided to let him live as he's protected as an endangered species. As a result, Melvin can't build in the valley as long as El Blanco is alive. Apparently, Melvin is so hated by the town that Burt tells him "the whole town agrees: between you and El Blanco they'll take him every time." Burt drives off leaving Melvin (who's truck is further away) stranded on the rock with El Blanco circling leaving him to curse out Burt, ending with "and I hate that hat!" as he had been earlier complimenting Burt's hat.
He is later seen at the end of the episode when he gets in a argument with The Biker, who gets eaten by El Blanco. Then he gets yelled at by Burt and they leave him on the rock, again.
He still sells or rents plots of land from a company called "Perfection Ranchettes" (a branch of Melco), and also owns the Bixby golf course "The Oasis", as seen in the episode "Water Hazard". Though better educated than most of his friends, his book smarts prove of little use when handling Graboids, Shriekers or Ass Blasters.
Just like in Feeding Frenzy, he is seen at the beginning of this episode yelling at one of his workers, Dwaynne, about the generator not working. Another one of his workers comes up with a large tank of water. Melvin and the worker leave, then Dwaynne is killed by something in the water.
Rosalita comes to see Melvin about a job, when they find the body of Dwaynne. Melvin calls the cops and Rosalita finds a shell by the shore. She asks Mevin if he knows what it is, but he doesn't.
He is later seen again when Twitchell and Casey are telling him that there is a Giant Shrimp called Jurassic Artemia living in his pond. Later that night, Melvin breaks a valve on a truck, and lets gallons of diesel flow into the pond.
At the end of the episode, Rosalita takes a check from Melvin (via blackmail), but it isn't told how much, but its indicated to be a lot.
- Tremors (First appearance)
- Tremors 3: Back to Perfection
- Tremors: The Series