- Cletus: "We made a big breakthrough in the lab... enormous to tell you the truth"
- Burt: "What kind of breakthrough?"
- Cletus: "We created a compound that allowed us to blend DNA from different species... Called it Mixmaster"
- Burt: "Mixmaster?"
- Cletus: "30 years ago there wasn't a gene splicing tool that could come close to it" (And still can't)"
- — Cletus and Burt discussing the Mixmaster in Project 4-12[src]
"Mixmaster" is a chemical compound used for DNA splicing that was seen in Tremors: The Series.
During the research and experimentation that went on in the secret lab in Perfection Valley, an incredible breakthrough was made in the genetic division; a mutagenic compound was developed that allowed the blending of DNA from different species. The scientists named this compound Mixmaster. The compound was truly amazing as it could combine non-human DNA from any and all species. Its ability to do so was literally without limits except for human DNA, which was unaffected by it. This was the sole limit placed upon it by its creators. It could combine DNA in ways that were impossible naturally. It could even combine DNA across kingdoms, producing animal/plant hybrids. It could also cause atavism, reverting organisms to earlier, even prehistoric forms.
Proudfoot quickly saw the potential in Mixmaster for military applications, especially since the war in Vietnam was going so badly, and instructed the scientists, including Cletus Poffenberger, to develop hybrid animals that could be used for combat. Creatures like Project 4-12 that could be used to hunt the Vietcong at night and route them out of the tunnels in the provinces by day. However these endeavors never bore fruit as the government closed down Proudfoot's operation when it was discovered they were selling their inventions to the enemy and the lab and everything in it was either seized or destroyed. Mixmaster, or rather a barrel of it, was left behind most likely forgotten and managed to survive the lab being buried for many years.
This was however not the end for Mixmaster, which quickly made its presence known in Perfection Valley in the episode Ghost Dance where it infected a food preserving bacteria experiment that had been shelved creating an even more deadly strain. It was theorized by Cletus that this happened because the canister's container either became damaged or eventually broke causing Mixmaster to come in contact with the microbe and blend it with another bacteria that was also stored in the lab. There was also a gene bank in the lab that contained samples from many different species which would allow the chemical to create a number of exotic creations. The microbe creation eventually escaped through an air vent into a mine where it began to feed off the surrounding moisture and the moisture of any animal that came near.
The microbe was eventually contained by the people of Perfection, but as Cletus explained that wasn't the end of it. This was because all living things shed dead cells and the microbe cloud was no different and the mine floor would be littered with these cells. As a result any insect that would ingest those cells would end up having Mixmaster in its DNA which would then travel up the food chain into larger animals depending on what ate what. While the natural barriers of the valley would ensure the safety of the outside world the valley itself would now find itself home to any number of hybrid animals has Cletus put it such as crickets with scorpion tails or Gilla monsters with bat wings. Cletus and Burt believe that 99% of the creatures created by Mixmaster will die off at birth, but 1% will survive and the valley faces these mutations that do survive. The compound has also been shown to infect Perfection's water table as water stolen from the valley contained the compound. Its creations carry it in their blood and if killed so they bleed, it can spread that way too. The people chasing the Giant Shrimp faced this problem as the Shrimp was out of the valley and they had to kill it without letting it bleed and spread Mixmaster through the resevior it was heading to.
Here are just a few of the creations of Mixmaster:
- As there is no mention of Mixmaster in Tremors 5, it's likely that the problem it presented died off over the decade between Back to Perfection and Bloodlines.
- Graboids are unaffected by Mixmaster, as El Blanco did not mutate despite living in a valley satuated with it.
- Despite the overall unique chance Mixmaster could have given the 5th and 6th films to include monsters other than the Graboids, it was completely ignored.