Movies & TV / Columns

The Man Movie Encyclopedia: Tremors

August 21, 2018 | Posted by Caliber Winfield

Greetings, all.

As we head into our 2nd stop on the Man Movie Encyclopedia Summer Vacation, you’ll need something to read while on the drive! And what better than my memoirs of how I spent a previous summer vacation at a quiet little camp known as Camp Crystal Lake….

My Summer Vacation At Camp Crystal Lake

Alright, buckshots, welcome to the second stop on the Man Movie Encyclopedia’s Summer Vacation of Non-Stop Good Times! We first packed up the family car and headed for Mexico to see a mariachi player in Desperado. After such an action packed first stop, we decide to head north a bit, and take it easy in a sleepy little town called Perfection….


We open with two handymen named Val & Earl who apparently live out of their truck and live off the small payments they make from the odd-jobs they do. They then run into a college student, Rhonda, who’s out in the country doing seismology, and has a few odd recordings, hoping they aren’t anything to get too bugged out about. They head into a town called Perfection, population 14. It’s there we meet the local store owner, Mr. Chang, along with a conspiracy loving gun-toter named Burt, and his wife, Heather.
The guys have basically had it with their meager living, and decide to head on out to Bixby to try their luck. On the way out of town, they notice a local drunk named Edgar, hanging on an electric wire tower. They think he’s passed out, but it turns out he’s dead, died of dehydration, just chilling up there for days with his rifle. They bring him back to Perfection to have him examined by the local doctor, and wonder what kept him up there. Once again they attempt to leave, only to come across a sheep farmer who’s entire live stock has been eaten, along with the farmer, leaving only the head behind. They attempt to leave a THIRD time, only this time the road’s blocked with rocks, via an avalanche caused by the graboids. While they sit there in the truck, wondering what to do, they head back to Perfection, but get hung up on something first. Once they get back in town, they see a small graboid had attached to their truck, and they ripped it in half and pulled it into town.
Else where, a couple who have bought a nice piece of property and are building a house on it, end up being eaten alive. Including their car. Back in Perfection, everyone decides that Val & Earl should go to Bixby with a couple horses. Begrudgingly, they accept. Their attempt doesn’t go as planned, as a giant graboid shows up, and has other plans. They do their best to run from it, and end up in a ditch that’s encased in concrete. The graboid follows, and while it makes it through the concrete, the ordeal kills it good. While celebrating the death, they suddenly run into Rachel, the college girl, and also run into one of the other 3 remaining giant graboids. They hang out on a few huge rocks, before noticing that they can jump to other rock groupings, with her truck parked next to one. They end up escaping and getting back to Perfection. Once there, they figure out that there’s 3 more of the massive monsters left, and they’re on their way. Once they do show up, they do a bit of battle, with a few people barely escaping, and certainly not unscathed. They figure out if they just sit quietly, the graboids won’t know where they are.


As they sit inside Wong’s, figuring out how they can get up on an old jeep trail, as it’s on a mountain made of granite, the cooler starts humming and lets the creatures know where they’re at. They come busting through the floor, and pull Wong down, Quint-from-Jaws style, it’s old school monster movie action, love it. After that, everyone heads to the roof top. Up the road a bit, Burt and his lady, Heather, arrive back at their compound. While they’re in their bomb shelter, one of them breaks through the walls, only to eat about 5000 bullets.


It’s finally put down with a few blasts from an elephant shotgun, where each shell looks to be about as big as my forearm. After that, they lose another townie, as the creatures start to figure out the buildings, and which ones are easiest to knock down. They decide they need to head for the bulldozer, as it weighs about 30 tons, and they think they can’t knock it over.
Val makes a run for it, and makes it just in time. They hook it up to a wagon, and start pulling.
Before they make it, the creatures dug a trench that causes the tractor to go under. They escape to some near by rocks, and post up until they get the idea to go fishing. They attract one of the monsters by throwing rocks to the ground, and then throw out a pipe bomb, which the graboid gratefully accepts, and is then promptly blown to hell.
The final one doesn’t fall for that, and actually sends it back their way. With one bomb left, Val gets an idea, and runs to the edge of a cliff, throwing the last bomb behind the monster, so it mos def crashes through and splats on the rocks below. Pretty smart idea. After that, Val & Earl set off to find their fame & fortune.

1-Liners: 0
Guys Beat Up: 0
Guys Killed: 3
Swear Words: 30
Boobies: 0
Explosions: 4
Chase: 3
Broken Bones: 0
Fight/Shoot-Out At Motel?: No
Guy Get Girl? Yes
Guy Smoke?: Yes

Although it wasn’t a hit in theaters, it ended up tripling it’s box office returns in VHS rentals.

At one point, Burt and Bacon called one of them a “mother humper” and it sounded odd, like an overdub, but I couldn’t figure out what why. Well, turns out the movie had plenty of f-bombs, but that got them an R rating. So, they dumped them in exchange for the PG-13.

I think I’ve seen this movie poster more than any other, due to it being in just about every comic book ever during the time it was coming out, and then when it showed up on VHS. Which is suiting, as it’s a super bad-ass poster. That said, Tremors is nothing more than a fun throw-back to the monsters-run-amok movies of the 1950s, and it works perfectly in that aspect. The graboids are a cool monster, and the majority of the town are fun, interesting characters. This has a nice, old-school build, and good old, practical, special effects.
***3/4 Head-Butts out of 5

Any questions, comments, drunk-ramblings, feel free to send them my way, I always dig hearing from you, the beautiful people.
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