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Project 4-12 is the fifth episode in Tremors: The Series. An old man is found in the desert and has more to him than meets the eye when he tells the Perfectionites that his mutant pet is on a rampage. It is up to Burt and Tyler to kill it.

In Universe Perspective

From the Survival Journal of Burt Gummer:

I knew something was wrong with Cletus Poffenberger when I found him wandering in the desert. Like the mad scientist he is, he was raving about a monster on the loose.

When Rosalita's hired hand Harlow was attacked by a mysterious creature, we realized that Cletus wasn't kidding around. Harlow said the beast resembled a giant porcupine with a rhino's horn, so it wasn't a member of the Graboid family.

Cletus and I set out to hunt down the creature, which Cletus called "4-12" — in a tone of voice most people reserve for chihuahuas named Munchkin.

While we searched, Cletus revealed that, 30 years back, he'd worked as a biochemist in a top-secret compartmentalized skunkworks laboratory buried in the desert near Perfection. The lab was run by the Proudfoot Corporation for the good ol' federal government.

Cletus's project was 4-12, a killing machine intended for use in the Vietnam War. After creating a DNA-splicing chemical called Mixmaster, Cletus blended the genes of several dangerous animals to design his monstrous masterpiece.

When the feds decided to disappear the lab, Cletus fled with his baby, 4-12. The two of them had been living as pals in the desert ever since.

Supposedly, 4-12 was docile as long as Cletus fed it a certain type of cactus bud. Since Cletus hadn't been able to locate any cactus Prozac lately, 4-12 was off its meds and on a rampage.

While Cletus was spilling his guts (so to speak), 4-12 was lunching on the guts of a Road Hog who'd pulled into town. After some strategic maneuvering, Tyler, Jodi, Nancy, Rosalita, Harlow, Cletus and I reconvened at the scene of that assault. 4-12 was absent, but I deduced that it was combing the area in a standard military search pattern, as it'd been bred to do.

Sure enough, it returned right on schedule. Instead of heading straight for me and my gun, however, it ID'd a juicier target of opportunity — Chang's Market, where the others were hiding.

No one was killed, and the market only ended up with one significant hole in the wall. I've seen worse. The women fled to safety; we men nearly got pinned down.

Just in time, El Blanco arrived and swallowed 4-12 whole. A regrettable instance of premature celebration transpired before the Great White Graboid vomited 4-12 back up — alive and intact.

Tyler, Cletus, Harlow and I made a tactical retreat to Tyler's shed. We had mere moments before 4-12 broke in. While Cletus tried to negotiate with it (he's a mad scientist, remember), the rest of us got busy. We jury-rigged a passable flame-thrower just in time. Big, bad 4-12 came through the wall and got himself a face full of Nevada napalm.

With 4-12 fried, Cletus faces an even lonelier existence than he'd had before. But I think he'll be fine; living without a companion — be it a mutant porcupine or a wife — builds character, and forces a man to improve himself, body, mind and soul.

Witness my sterling example, if you will.


The story is of the Perfectionites' first meeting with Cletus Poffenberger. When Project 4-12 escapes and runs wild in the valley, Cletus, Burt and Tyler hunt down the beast. After a long hunt, Burt is forced to kill 4-12 with a homemade flamethrower, much to Cletus' sadness.


Michael Gross Burt Gummer
Victor Browne Tyler Reed
Christopher Lloyd Cletus Poffenberger
Gladys Jimenez Rosalita Sanchez
Marcia Strassman Nancy Sterngood
Lela Lee Jodi Chang
Lorin McCraley Road Hog
Branscombe Richmond Harlowe Winnemucca
J.D. Walsh Larry Norvel