Thursday, October 6, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Films: Tremors

Day #5


When a small town (pop. 14) in Nevada is attacked by gigantic subterranean worms the locals must work together to make it out alive.

Fright Factor:
1 / 5  Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Gore Factor:
2 / 5 Sacs of Goo

Should you watch it?

Yes, of course you should. It’s Tremors!

Here are some of the many reasons why I love Tremors:

  • While Val, Earl, and Rhonda are the primary characters, there are a total of 10 main characters who get a lot of screentime and lines. And 4 are Women: a geologist pursuing her PhD, a competent survivalist, and a mother and her young daughter.
  • Additionally 2/10 aren’t white and actually get a lot of screen time/lines AND aren’t just walking stereotypes.
  • While Valentine and Earl aren’t homosexuals, they are very intimate friends and are far from the usual male stereotypes you usually see in media (especially in a mainstream movie from 1990). These two live together, work together, spend all their free time together, take turns making each other breakfast every morning, try to help each other be better people, and they both would rather risk their own life than to see anything bad happen to the other. In short, while not a romantic couple, they are still a really cute couple.
  • The closest the movie gets to sexualizing someone for no reason is when when Rhonda gets her jeans tangled in some barbed wire and a worm is heading towards her, so she’s gotta pull a lizard and ditch her pants and boots to get away. And even then she’s got practical underwear on (not lingerie or anything) and they give her a new pair of pants/shoes pretty much immediately afterward.

    And YES, the scene would have been INFINITELY better if Earl had been the one to have to ditch his pants. I will gladly admit this, because it is the truth. Think about it: Val yelling at him to get out of his pants. Rhonda offering to sterilize the wounds on his legs afterward, but Earl insisting that Val do it because he's embarrassed. It would have been genius.
  • Speaking of Rhonda, she’s a fantastic character and, what’s more, she avoids so many of the stereotypes of the genre. She wears long jeans and a tucked in button-up shirt and when you first meet her she has that goofy white zinc sunblock on her nose (because she’s practical!). As she’s fighting these things, her and the guys actually get dirty and sweaty instead of doing that thing that horror movies like to do wherein the leads always need to look as attractive as possible. She’s really intelligent, but unlike the brainy characters in other movies, she doesn’t magically know everything. She does need saving a couple of times, but that’s true of every single character in the movie. Plus she saves others more often than they need to save her.
  • The movie is rated PG-13, but aside from some cursing and some light gore (fake monsters filled with goo, scattered remains, etc.) there’s really nothing graphic that happens in the movie, so it’s one you can watch even with people who don’t like things to get too scary/gory.
  • The worms are actually incredibly capable adversaries. Pretty much anytime you start to wonder why they don't just try such-and-such a move...BAM! They'll do it. They make those heroes have to get really creative in order to survive.
  • It features a wonderfully motley crew of stars, such as: Kevin Bacon (Footloose, Stir of Echoes), Fred Ward (Escape from Alcatraz, Big Business), Victor Wong (3 Ninjas, Big Trouble in Little China), Ariana Richards (Jurassic Park), and even country music singer Reba McEntire!
  • And did I mention that there is some great dialogue and some fantastic lines? Because there are!

Really, the whole movie is just a lot of fun. The idea of creatures attacking you from the ground beneath your feet is so wonderfully unique. There’s excitement and laughs and monsters and lots of memorable moments and great characters.

“So what if we make it back to the rocks? We’ll only last for 3 days!”

“Well I wanna live for the 3 days!”

No comments:

Post a Comment