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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Tremors 1990 * * * Stars


I remember seeing 1990's Tremors on opening night back in the day. It was one of those few January-released films that the critics and audience members actually embraced. Star Kevin Bacon dons a cowboy head covering and a southern accent, with signature long hair and Jerry Springer slant in tote. Country music singer Reba McEntire, well she plays a gun-toting housewife with an itchy trigger finger, some restraint, and a fetish for the automatic. Michael Gross, well he goes unrecognizable sans the Family Ties days as another foot soldier bent on giving the slimy antagonists the heave-ho. "That's how they get you, they're under the ground". You don't say Kev. 

So yeah, Tremors is a southern-fried Creature Feature, made for the midnight movie circuit in broad daylight and saddled with a sort of sun-drenched, Warner Bros. 70s flavor. Clocking in at 96 minutes, Tremors is also cultish and fun, as its viscid violence and quicksand perishing are only taken seriously when they have to be. Hey, below the surface wormy monsters can creep you out on occasion. I'm not kidding. 

As something about a bunch of Nevada townies who are forced to fend off desert life forms that adhere to the sounds of people walking, running, and talking, Tremors makes you chuckle one minute and cringe the next. That's the point right, for it's a black comedy horror pic, cloaked with the tongue in cheek and the tongue bitten off. "That's one big mother." Um, you ain't kidding my brother.

Slimy soft bodies and humorous tragedy aside, Tremors has characters in it that are quirky, likable, Mayberry types and not just selfish, faceless dolts just waiting for the tentacle slaughter. How refreshing, how reassuring, and how trendsetting. That's why I feel Tremors was the first scary pic to be devilish without being veritably apprehensive. "Shake and quake". '

Written by Jesse Burleson

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