|Stampede! Wake up Earl! Wake up! Get outta the way! Stampede!
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Tremors II: Aftershocks is a 1996 monster film and the sequel to Tremors (1990), in which the character of Earl Bassett, returning from the first movie, is hired to deal with a subterranean Graboid infestation at a Mexican oilfield. It was directed by S.S. Wilson and stars Fred Ward, Christopher Gartin, Michael Gross, and Helen Shaver.
In Chiapas, Mexico, we see a Petromaya Oil Field worker climbing over a pipe to try to escape a furious Graboid underground. When reaching the end of the pipe, the worker sees his van over on the other side of a group of oil drums, which he then runs over to try to escape to safety. But, he is not quick enough and the Graboid comes in and devours the worker whole.
Back in the U.S., six years after the events of Tremors, Earl Bassett is still living in Perfection, Nevada grimly running the small ostrich farm which is all that remains of his attempts to cash in on his encounter with the Graboids, gigantic burrowing worm-predators that hunt by sound. Hustling young cab-driver Grady Hoover brings a Mexican oil company executive Señor Carlos Ortega to the farm. Ortega tells Earl that a new Graboid infestation has broken out in his company's fields, and he wants to hire the reluctant Earl as a Graboid hunter. Learning he will be equipped by the Mexican army and paid $50,000 for each Graboid destroyed, Earl grudgingly accepts and takes on Grady as his assistant.
They travel to the oil refinery, and after meeting the operation's skeleton crew (geologist Kate Riley, for whom Earl feels an immediate attraction, her assistant Julio, and chief engineer Pedro) they begin their hunt. At first, their plan works quite well, bagging them several Graboids: they drag along, noisy chain behind their truck, thus attracting Graboids to them. After locating each approaching Graboid with their onboard seismograph, the pair steer a remote-control toy car strapped with TNT towards the target creature, which pulls down the car and gets blown up by remote detonation. Then the "bait" chain gets snagged by a passing Graboid, which takes the truck on a wild drag through the countryside before finally snapping free. The seismograph further reports to the stunned hunters that a dozen more Graboids are swarming in the ground around them. They beat a temporary retreat, and Earl summons reinforcements: Burt Gummer, a paranoid survivalist in Perfection who also survived the first Graboid invasion. Burt's wife has left him, and Earl's call snaps him out of a deep depression. He arrives at the refinery in an enormous 'Federalè' army truck loaded with tons of high explosives and supplies, including mounds of concentrated military field rations.
Earl, Grady, and Burt resume the hunt, the two teams quickly getting into a semi-friendly competition with Burt killing the one that dragged their truck and taunting them about it. Grady asks why they invited Burt then the seismic goes off and they see a Graboid that's moving away from them. Grady assumes it's something else Earl doesn't think so. Grady asks if they should follow it so they do. Earl and Grady follow it up a mountain when turn they see the Graboid up in the air and it drops on top off their truck a startled Earl backs the truck up and crashes the truck down a hill. Earl goes for Burt's gun but Grady has an idea and takes a car and dynamite. he finds the Graboid still there. Earl and Grady are confused about why it's not doing anything. Grady tries to get it to swallow it but it does not think it's sick. Grady runs over and hits it but still does nothing. Grady says they caught themselves a live one and that's 100,000 dollars and he jumps with excitement but Earl tells him that they wrecked their truck so they can't take it with them. Earl calls Kate at the factory and tells her they wrecked their truck and tells her to get Pedro's big truck out there because it has a crane on it she says it's gonna take him hours to get there so there gonna have to wait. Late at night, Earl and Grady are sitting on top of their truck relaxing when they hear Burt's bombs go off then he calls them saying they‘re tied but Grady tells him it's not because they caught a live one. A shocked Burt asks how they did it but Grady says it's a secret and turns the radio off and then they hear the Graboid roaring which scares them. Grady thinks somethings trying to eat it when they go see what's wrong they see the inside of its body completely empty. Grady says something ate it. Earl disagrees and says something came out of it. Earl tries to call Kate but the radio is dead then they hear another Graboid roaring which scares them again.
Grady looks over and sees Pedro's truck in the distance but he stops and thinks he's taking a leak but it's a long leak. Earl tries calling out his name but gets no answer. Grady suggests they go over and see what's wrong as Earl refuses but Grady says there are no graboids anywhere near them so it's safe to go. After a nervous nighttime trek across the open country, they find his truck's engine completely torn up and they can't find Pedro. When Grady looks at the back of the truck, he sees Pedro's hands. When he goes to the back, all that remains of Pedro is his severed arms. They panic and Earl sees a radio tower as they try going there to see if they can find a radio that's working. But unfortunately, they find the radio tower has been destroyed. Grady gets angry and kicks through the wreckage Earl calms him down by saying they get smarter. He then sees a car as they decide to try to hotwire it. Then they hear a noise as they think it's something big but it's something little. When it sees them, it screams and runs towards them and they shoot it. Grady says they should take it with them but Earl refuses they see more coming. Earl and Grady flee in the car when they drive away.
They return to the refinery and shoot two more of the beasts, but not in time to save Julio from being killed. Burt then reappears in a very bad mood driving his very battered truck; he was ambushed by the main Shrieker swarm and barely survived, running over most of them and wiping out the rest at the unprecedented cost of using up all his ammunition. On the positive side, one of the Shriekers was only stunned, leading Burt to "detain" it. Experiments with the now-caged Shrieker reveal two things: the aforementioned heat-seeking abilities, and that when fed enough, the creatures reproduce asexually.
Meanwhile, another previously-stunned shrieker drops off the underside of Burt's truck, parked in a garage, and finds his rations, which leads to an explosive regrowth of the population. After the humans play a deadly version of hide-and-seek with the new Shrieker swarm around the complex, (and Earl finds time to bond with Kate) Burt lures all the creatures into the building where he parked his truck and temporarily traps them there. Earl has himself covered with fire extinguisher residue, which allows him to enter the garage undetected and gather some bombs. However, the cold covering of the carbon dioxide only lasts long enough for Earl to activate a timed bomb and toss it on top of Burt's mound of explosives before escaping through a window. The humans flee to a relatively safe distance and the entire refinery is leveled by a massive blast, killing all the Shriekers and leaving a huge crater. As they survey the remains, Grady cheerfully points out just how much bounty money they now have coming to them: 28 dead Graboids making $1,400,000. Earl says that they should charge them for the Shriekers.
(The number of killed Shriekers is not given. It would include at least the two dozen Burt killed the night before, plus the several dozen killed at the refinery. It could easily be between fifty and a hundred.)
As the humans look on at the large crater that used to be the refinery, Grady says, "Well, we did kind of blow up the refinery..."
- Fred Ward - Earl Bassett
- Michael Gross - Burt Gummer
- Christopher Gartin - Grady Hoover
- Helen Shaver - Kate 'White' Reilly
- Marco Hernandez - Julio, Kate's Assistant
- José Ramón Rosario - Pedro, Chief Engineer (credited as "José Rosario")
- Marcelo Trubert - Señor Carlos Ortega
- Thomas Rosales Jr. - Oil Worker (credited as "Thomas Rosales")
Behind the Scenes
In an interview made in the year 2000, S.S.Wilson acknowledged that Universal wanted them to shoot the film "so that it would also fit in what's called the 1.85 format, the conventional aspect ratio". For those unfamiliar, 1.85:1 is also the aspect ratio of the first Tremors film.
At the start of the movie, Señor Carlos Ortega recognizes Earl by a Mexican newspaper supposedly recounting his actions from the first movie. The title reads in Spanish "Local heroes kill the Subterranean Monsters". However, the rest of the news has nothing to do with it. It corresponds to a newspaper printed in Madrid, Spain, reporting a case of corruption by Spanish ex-politician Roberto García Damborenea.
|Tremors • Aftershocks • Back to Perfection • The Legend Begins • Bloodlines • A Cold Day in Hell • Shrieker Island|