Tremors (1990) Directed by Ron Underwood. With Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire
For a film that is essentially a tongue-in-cheek homage to the 1950’s B-movie monster flick, Tremors has done alright for itself. With three sequels and a spin-off television series emerging in its wake, Ron Underwood’s film has achieved the kind of cult status that overshadows many of the films it lovingly tips its cap to. Heading the cast are Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward, two travelling handymen on the lookout for work wherever they can find it. Unfortunately for them, all they find is a small community terrorised by giant underground man eating worm-like creatures.
Bacon and Ward make a likeable bickering old couple, but the show is stolen by Michael Gross and Reba McEntire as two survival enthusiasts with a ready made fall-out bunker -able withstand everything from atomic blasts to tornados, only they didn’t compensate for giant killer-worms. Most of the laughs spring from the comic timing of Gross, familiar to American audiences as the father-figure of the much loved sit-com Family Ties. His character went on to feature heavily in all the subsequent Tremors-related releases which can be attributed to his excellent, but limited screen-time here
This is the kind of film that works best as a low-rent piece of entertainment. It embraces its inspirations and makes light of itself, while combining some creative special effects with fun ideas. It won’t make the earth move but then again, unlike its gargantuan gribblies…it never intended to. 3.5/5