|Stampede! Wake up Earl! Wake up! Get outta the way! Stampede!
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Tremors is a 1990 comedic/dark comedy monster film about a group of people from a small town in Nevada fighting subterranean worm-like creatures dubbed "Graboids". It was directed by Ron Underwood, and stars Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, and Reba McEntire. It was followed by two sequels Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996), Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001), a prequel Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004), and the television series Tremors: The Series (2003).
The handymen team of Valentine McKee and Earl Bassett live in Perfection, Nevada, a decaying ex-mining town with only 14 residents, among them survivalist couple Burt and Heather Gummer and the namesake owner of Chang's Market, Walter Chang. A new arrival is Rhonda LeBeck, a college student conducting seismology tests around the valley; Earl unsuccessfully promotes her as a possible girlfriend for Val.
Val and Earl tire of their hand-to-mouth existence and set out for Bixby, the nearest "real" town. En-route, they discover the dead body of Edgar Deems, the town drunk, who climbed an electricity tower and stayed there until dying of dehydration. This puzzled Earl and Val as they haul his body to Jim Wallace, the town doctor. On their second try at leaving, they come to the property of sheepherder Old Fred and find that he is decapitated and his flock has been horribly butchered. Panicked, Val and Earl race back to Perfection, now thinking murder is on the loose. They warn two construction workers, Carmine and Howard, they meet, but soon after an underground creature kills the workers and causes a landslide which blocks the only road out of town.
Val and Earl discover the town's phones are dead, and head for the police in Bixby, only to be thwarted by the landslide. The sight of a gore-clotted helmet in the rumble sends them back to Walter's store, where they find something wrapped around their truck's back axle: the severed body of an odorous creature the general size and shape of a pythondae. The townsfolk hunker down for the night, unaware that the "snakes" have attacked Jim and his wife, killing them both and pulling their car underground.
The next morning, Val and Earl make a fourth attempt to escape. this time on horseback. Passing by the doctor's place, they discover the buried car and hurriedly ride on. Their many questions are partially answered when one of the attackers erupt from the ground: each "snake" is one of three "tongues" employed by an enormous burrowing worm-creature, eventually dubbed a "Graboid". Val unsuccessfully fires at the creature but the pair start running as he runs out of ammo. They eventually come to a deep, concrete trench and fail to jump across, however, the Graboid has worse luck as it dies by ramming head-first into the concrete wall. At this point, Rhonda appears on the opposite side of the trench and the three examine the beast more thoroughly and come to the conclusion that three more of the animals still roam the valley.
The three return to Rhonda's main test site in order to find her car, but end up becoming trapped on a boulder for the night by the same Graboid that latched onto Val and Earl's car earlier, they also figure out that Graboids hunt by sound. In the morning they make their way to Rhonda's car by pole-vaulting across a line of residual boulders and narrowly escape Stumpy in the car.
On their return to the town, they explain their ordeal to the rest of the townsfolk, minus Burt and Heather, as well as the true nature of the creatures and decide to escape the town by heading west to the solid granite mountains and walk to Bixby since the Graboids can't penetrate the rock. After a series of encounters with the creatures, resulting in Walter's death, everyone proceeds to climb to the roofs of their buildings. After returning to their home, Burt and Heather contact the town through Walter's CB radio but are too late to stop a Graboid from entering the basement, in which they were residing. After a hail of bullets, pellets and a flare is brought down upon the creature Burt eventually kills it with two rounds from an elephant gun.
Later on, the Graboids figure out that they can sink the buildings of the town and tip over the mobile home Nestor was hiding on and then eat him. Before they can succeed in tearing the town out from underneath it, Earl and Val come up with the idea of using the town's bulldozer to tow an old semi-trailer to escape the town and head to the mountains. En route, however, the bulldozer collapses into a pit dug by the animals. Burt introduces his home-made pipe bombs at this point and Rhonda theorizes that they can be used to scare the Graboids away while they run to some rocks in the distance.
Sometimes after getting to the rocks Earl comes up with a plan to get the creatures to swallow a live bomb, it succeeds with the first Graboid but the second one, which happened to be 'Stumpy' spat it back out before it exploded. Although no one was injured all but one of the bombs were detonated as well, the only one left was in Val's possession and he along with Earl and Rhonda were thrown off the rock where the Graboid trapped them. Val then took the bomb and sprinted towards the nearby cliff, Earl and Rhonda soon followed. Val then tossed the lit bomb behind the approaching predator which sped up in fear, Val remained in place until just the right moment then jumped out of the way and the Graboid threw itself through the cliff face and fell to its death.
Afterwards everyone returned to town and Val and Earl once again prepared to leave for Bixby. After Rhonda photographed the two Val finally gained the courage to approach and kiss her ending the film.
- Fred Ward as Earl Bassett
- Michael Gross as Burt Gummer
- Kevin Bacon as Val McKee
- Reba McEntire as Heather Gummer
- Finn Carter as Rhonda LeBeck
- Bobby Jacoby as Melvin Plugg
- Ariana Richards as Mindy Sterngood
- Tony Genaro as Miguel Sanchez
- Charlotte Stewart as Nancy Sterngood
- Richard Marcus as Nestor Cunningham
- Victor Wong as Walter Chang
- Sunshine Parker as Edgar Deems
- Michael Dan Waggner as Old Fred
- Conrad Bachmann as Jim Wallace
- Bibi Besch as Megan Wallace
- John Goodwin as Howard
- John Pappas as Carmine
- Tom Woodruff Jr. as Graboids (uncredited)
- According to Burt in the TV series, he's lived in Perfection for 17 years at this point.
Tremors was re-released on Blu-ray on November 9, 2010.
|Tremors • Aftershocks • Back to Perfection • The Legend Begins • Bloodlines • A Cold Day in Hell • Shrieker Island|