I like monster movies and creature features like Godzilla, Jaws, Them, The Blob and The Thing. Many of these films I’ve seen as a child and some of them may have been PG or rated R, but I turned out fine. The result is that gory scenes don’t bother me unlike most of my friends and family. But there’s one particular franchise that I continuously watch and enjoy, Tremors.
This series of movies revolve around giant underground worms that travel under loose soil and hunt their prey by sound. These worms later evolve into other interesting creatures as part of their life cycle. This franchise has now become a cult classic continuing to entertain fans for almost 30 years. The first film came out in 1990 and starred Kevin Bacon and Burt Ward. Interestingly, Bacon thought of the film as a low point of his career, but he’s wrong and we fans can’t wait for him to come back; but behold, Syfy will be rebooting the series with him in it!
Even as a child, I’ve always liked monster movies, and I first saw Tremors in a newspaper ad where a gigantic pair of jaws ready to snap up the people above ground. I didn’t get to see the film but saw it later on home video. It wasn’t what I expected it was a cool, fun and entertaining film just the same. The large head with teeth in the film poster and home video cover was actually the head of one of the monster’s three tongues. The monster was actually a giant worm they later call Graboids. Never saw the trailer when I was a kid so I had no idea what the monster actually looked like. But there’s this feeling I get sometimes when I see such images that something would be a great film. Much like when I first saw the book cover and synopsis for Jurassic Park. What makes Tremors work is that the film utilizes the same technique that made the film like Alien work. You don’t reveal the whole monster immediately.
They did at about a third in, but the film kept the suspense going right until the end. The film spawned several sequels that show the Graboid’s life cycle. Tremors II: Aftershocks first showed how the Graboids became small bipedal creatures called Shriekers after consuming enough food. Tremors III: Back to Perfection showed us how the Shriekers transform into flying creatures called Ass-Blasters after maturing. The Ass-Blasters carry eggs that they can spread through great distances. The eggs lay dormant for 300 years or until they sufficiently warm up like in Tremors IV: The Legend Begins, set in the wild west that featured the Graboids smaller larval forms. The fifth installment, Tremors: Bloodlines is set in South Africa featuring a larger, different species of Graboids.
The franchise initially starred Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward and Michael Gross. By Tremors 2, it was Ward and Gross; then Gross carried on the succeeding sequels as the main star of the show. Tremors: The TV Series also starred Michael Gross but was cancelled after only one thirteen-episode season. As mentioned, Tremors fans have been waiting for Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward to come back to the series as veterans Valentine McKee and Earl Basset.
“This is the only character I’ve played that I’ve ever thought about revisiting. I just got to thinking, ‘Where would this guy end up after 25 years?’ Andrew Miller has a fantastic take on it, and we hope to create a show that will be fun and scary for fans of the movie and folks that have yet to discover it. Let’s kick some Graboid ass!”
— Kevin Bacon, Deadline article
It’s strange that Bacon would say this since he has considered the film as a career low for years. People change though, and he may have heard what a cult classic the first film has become. And now he’s back in a soft reboot TV series, also from Syfy.
“It’s great. It’s a super cool idea. They went and made a bunch of sequels to the movie. I want to put those aside because, first of all, I wasn’t in them. But what I was really interested in was taking this guy and, 25 years later, seeing what happened to him, to his dreams, and to his life. Andrew Miller, who’s writing the script, came up with this really, really interesting take on it, and I think it could be a lot of fun… You never know. It did become a real classic. It was also at a time when the VHS was exploding. Movies took on a life of their own. The last thing you wanted, at that point in our industry, was to have a movie go straight to VHS. Tremors did not perform at the box office, but it did great on VHS. When I came up with the idea and reached out to Blumhouse about looking at it again, I looked at the movie, and I don’t look at my movies, at all. I went back and put it up on my screen at home and went, ‘Wow, this is a really good movie!’ I just didn’t get it when I was there and in it. I wrote it off ‘cause it wasn’t a hit, and I really needed one. But, I think it’s a really good movie. It’s unusual, and it’s funny.”
— Kevin Bacon
Not much has been said about the whole plot, but it may disregard the sequels after the first film. The Graboids ae back to terrorize the small town of Perfection, Nevada and the town now pins their hopes on Val McKee (Kevin Bacon), the original hero despite his battle with age, alcoholism and other personal problems. Aside from Bacon, he’ll be working with Shiloh Fernandez in a role much like Bacon’s in the first film; Megan Ketch as classic character Mindy, and Emily Tremaine as Val’s daughter Emily McKee. No news yet whether Michael Gross will be reprising his role as Burt Gummer, but he announced last year that the Tremors 6 film was in the works where he’ll be starring alongside Tremors 5 co-star Jamie Kennedy.
IMHO, Burt should be in it. Michael Gross has carried the franchise for quite some time, and he deserves some mention. Though it’s mentioned that Earl has a company in Perfection, there’s also no news if Fred Ward will also be reprising his role as Earl Basset. As far as modern reboots go, they’re often hit and miss, but we’re really hoping this reboot will bring this cult franchise to the mainstream. So, worm fans out there rejoice, a new can is about to be opened.