Director: Ron Underwood
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, and the great Victor Wong
'Tremors’, or ‘Attack of the Phallic Hand Puppets’, is by all accounts the quintessential example of how a silly idea made it big.
Set in a valley in the Nevada desert it tells the story of how the two stupidest guys in the valley come up against a group of slimy, blubbery worm monsters that eat pretty much anything that moves (I’m not going to mention Vagina Dentata, oops, I guess I just did).
Basically imagine Jaws in the desert, without the memorable soundtrack but just as quotable dialogue. Some of these wonderfully comic quotes are;
Have you ever seen anything like this before?
Well sure Earl, everybody knows about them, we just never told you.
If it comes to starvation, I’m just gonna walk right out there holding
one of these with the fuse lit, and let them take me… BOOM!
Hey that’s not a bad idea.
I wish a stampede up your ass.
After Val and Earl’s various attempts to leave town it becomes a battle to survive, as the subterranean monsters head into town, forcing the residents to take refuge on the rooftops. All of a sudden the bright idea comes along to escape on, wait for it, a bulldozer. The slowest transport known to man. “Yay, now we’re safe.” "Evening."
In the early scenes the monsters are dumb and therefore easy to defeat, one actually kills itself by going head first into a concrete wall (Something for ‘Monsters Funniest Home Movies’). During the film the monsters get progressively smarter, given a week they would have learned to ride horses and catch people in nets (The reference is ‘Planet of the Apes’ if you missed it). The only problem is that even though these things get smarter, why does the last one accidentally jump off the side of the cliff?
Happy thought… Find a happy thought!
As far as horror movies of the 80’s go this is still unsurpassed in richness of character, if it wasn’t it wouldn’t have spawned a series of sequels and a short lived but highly entertaining television show.