“We decided to leave this place just one damn day too late.”
Perfection, Nevada population 14. A sleepy little desert town. Not much happens here. Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are the local handymen. It’s a lot in life they’ve grown tired of. But they need to make a living. They will do anything for a price and today is garbage day. First they need to put up some razor wire fencing. Then meet the new seismologist Rhonda LeBeck (Finn Carter). She’s a university student investigating earthquake activity in the area. The last straw is when the septic system hose blows. The guys are outta here. Or so they thought. On the way out of town, there is only one road, they find the dead body of Edgar. He died of thirst on top of an electrical tower. He’d been up there two or three days.
Back on the road they pass Fred’s place. They can’t find him home but all his sheep are torn to bits. Then they find Fred. Or at least his head. On the way back to town they pass a couple construction workers. They warn them about a serial killer running loose. Then they head back to town to warn the residents and call the cops in Bixby. But the phones are dead. Back on the road again they find that a rock slide has covered the road and the construction workers are dead. They get hung up on something for a minute. Then go back to town again. Hanging from the axle of the truck is something snake-like. It’s a piece of something bigger.
One by one the people of Perfection start to disappear. From something under the ground. Earl and Val borrow Chang’s (Victor Wong) horses and head out again for help. They next find the doctor and his wife… gone. And whatever it is, it’s now after them. It grabs the horses. Earl and Val run for their lives. They try to jump over a cement aqueduct. The monster crashes into the cement and kills itself. Rhonda walks up just then to see the dead creature. Now they have something to look at. And it’s not pretty. Because of the seismograph readings Rhonda figures there are three more in the valley. And here comes one now. The three of them are chased and get trapped on some rocks over night. Eventually they get back to town followed by two of the monsters that Walter Chang, the general store owner, christens Graboids.
Now with two of the Graboids after the remaining towns people and one more after the local survivalists Burt (Michael Gross) and Heather (Reba McEntire) Gummer. They need a plan. And they need it now.
Out of the blue came “Tremors”. Released in 1990 and directed by Ron Underwood it is the first movie in the Tremors series. It is a comedy monster movie like no other. And it’s got everything. Great actors, wonderful dialogue, an unusual plot, suspense, great special effects, and really great monsters. All packaged neatly with humor and non stop action. It’s on everyone’s gotta have list. It’s all the fun and adventure you need without leaving your couch.
One idea by the special effects crew, was for the worms to have an outer shell. When above the dirt, the shell would retract to reveal a slimier 'inner worm'. However, many production members started to giggle at the 'phallic' resemblance it had with a foreskin, so this was changed to the big worm sprouting several smaller worms from its mouth.
The film was Reba McEntyre's first movie roll. Ariana Richards who plays Mindy also played Lex in Jurassic Park. The fake scientific name for the fake Graboids is “Caederus Americana”.