Tremors (US-1990; dir. Ron Underwood) remains one of my favourite monster movies. With perfect casting, a beautifully structured and often witty script, great physical SFX, likeable characters and a general air of affable terror, it captures the essence of a particular kind of monster movie — monstrous but not horrendous, thrilling but not threatening … the sort of monster film you emerge from feeling exhilarated but not traumatised. I’m not against being cinematically traumatised on occasion, but sometimes there’s value in well-constructed, humanistic bonhomie, too.
Naturally the film’s success led to a series of sequels (four to date) of diminishing effect, most of which lost the essential spirit of the first. There was a TV series, too.
Now there’s a rumour that we might be in for a fifth film, re-located to Australia. Makes sense to me, as an Australian. There’s a lot of desert and other “outback” openness on this island continent — and there’s nothing a Graboid on the prowl likes better than open, desolate space … with dinner walking around in it.
Dump a few travellers in the middle of the Australian landscape and they’re dinner. Maybe these Graboids have taken to prowling the long stretches of highway between eastern Australia and Perth. Maybe all that space has allowed them to grow very very big. The possibilities are endless.
Did I mention that the rumoured name of the new film is Tremors: The Thunder from Downunder?
If you’re one of the sad people of the Earth who don’t know what a Graboid is, here is a rather detailed maquette, though it doesn’t illustrate their full giant-wormy length:
Oh, and yes, they evolved…