film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Tremors: Shrieker Island 2020 * * Stars


"Dead ahead". So says the persona of Burt Gummer in Tremors: Shrieker Island. "Shrieker" is a sort of cinematic tribute album to the Gummer character (watch for the end credits). Played by Michael Gross, Burt is featured in every single film in the Tremors canon.

Anyway, Tremors: Shrieker Island is my latest write-up. It was released in October of this year and represents the sixth Tremors sequel with the original coming out roughly thirty years ago. 

"Shrieker" is directed by Don Michael Paul, a guy known for doing retreads (Jarhead 2, Kindergarten Cop 2, Sniper: Ghost Shooter). He fashions Tremors: Shrieker Island as fast cut, direct-to-video swipe. Minus Gross being loyal to the series, that's exactly what you get. 

So yeah, Tremors: Shrieker Island is the only installment I've seen other than the original Tremors. That being said, I can't help but to compare the two. 

1990's Tremors was loved by critics, gained a cult following, was fun, and came off like a nasty, B movie creature feature for the drive-in crowd. "Shrieker" is not as fun. Actually, it's slow in spots while feeling low budgeted and tongue-in-cheek strained. You don't see a lot of worm-like critters come from out of the ground. That was the novelty that made the original Tremors so unpleasantly effective. You also don't get much suspense or a sense of being in peril. 

In truth, I wanted to see a Tremors flick where some denizens were trapped in a deserted, southern-fried town and were at the mercy of some slimy, disgusting monsters. What can I say, I'm a purest. With "Shrieker", it's mostly military with a hunting party trying to off a bunch of Graboids for sport. I could care less about viewing that Alien vs. Predator redux coupled with shards of Kong: Skull Island

Bottom line: Tremors: Shrieker Island is so far gone from resembling the initial Tremors. In fact, there's not enough "degrees of separation" between it and Kevin Bacon to suffice. Natch!   

Written by Jesse Burleson

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