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TANKED MATINEE TREMORS MARATHON!

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TANKED MATINEE TREMORS MARATHON!

Thursday, 04 April 2013 08:15

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     I wish to preface this Marathon Review by saying that this started out as having a drink and re-watching one of my favorite goofy sci-fi films.  My life was then transformed when I saw Netflix had all of the sequels as well, I figured “what the hell” and went for it.  What follows is the culmination of just a shade over six hours of viewing and the gruesome murder of two six packs and a little bit of moonshine.  Follow me on this journey of soul searching, finding the meaning of life, and farting on the couch and I mean a lot of that!  I proudly bring you a Tanked Matinee Marathon of the Tremors films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tremors (1990):

     I began my journey with this classic.  I grew up with this movie, so I know what to expect; so I start my viewing right with a concoction that I love.  You take a can or bottle of orange soda drink about a quarter and fill the rest with whipped cream vodka; it tastes just like a dreamsicle.  It has been many years since I have last seen this film and I am struck right off the bat that it was from 1990; I really thought it was 80’s born.  Also I had totally forgotten that the owner of the convenience store was the late Victor Wong from Big Trouble in Little China; that’s awesome.  Also when you look at Kevin Bacon, he looks crazy young, considering it’s been twelve years since his debut in 1978’s classic Animal House.   For those of you who are not familiar with this film it revolves around a small town in the desert called Perfection and two friends Earl (Fred Ward) and Val (Kevin Bacon). 

     When the two friends decide to get out of town, something strange starts happening to the inhabitants, they start dying in strange ways.  At first the only thing we see is dirt shifting and things being pulled underground.  But it quickly escalates into people getting dragged underground to their doom.  One of the best parts of the film occurs when a woman trying to escape the fate of her husband hides in a car.  The ground beneath the car starts to collapse and the car is pulled under from the rear and the last thing you see is headlights in the sky and then they go dark.  The first glimpse we get of one of the creatures we get is when Earl pulls up in his truck and something looking like a giant dick with a face and teeth is wrapped around his axel.  The best part of this is Walter Chang immediately offers to buy it from them for 15 bucks and turns a profit within an hour, crafty Asians. 

     The creature itself appears a little later and it is still one of the coolest monsters I have ever seen on film; it’s like a worm mated with a bird and then developed dick monsters for tongues.   We learn that the monsters are tracking people by vibrations, and Earl and Val accidentally kill one when it smashes into a concrete wall.  At this point I have moved onto my first love, beer.  To be exact, an old favorite from college that I drink first because it can lay heavy; Purple Haze.  From this point on, people in the town are picked off by the creatures and they get a little smarter with each kill.  After devising a plan to escape town, the people go to Burt (Michael Gross) and Heather’s (Reba McEntire) compound.  These two are gun nuts who have already killed one of the Graboids.  They are thwarted by the remaining Graboid, but finally realize that they can trick the worm and run it through and over a cliff; the end.

     This is a great film for parties but may not interest people who can’t handle a little bit of the ridiculous.  The most impressive thing to me about this film is how they made a monster film and only showed the monster a handful of times.  Also, I love the fact that they never once even try to explain where the creature comes from.  I think that’s one of the reasons why I love this film so much.  There is also a loosely tied love story between Val and a graduate student studying seismographs and there is some rock pole vaulting.  But who gives a shit when you have dick monsters!  Let’s move this right along to the sequel made five years down the road.

  

 I Give You....Penis Snake!

 

Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1995):

     I am splitting my time between an unsatisfying Mcdonald’s hamburger and a very satisfying Magners Cider, and I prepare for an unsatisfying film.  Right off the bat we see Fred Ward who had grown out his hair and aged WAY more than the five years between the films.  A cab shows up at his ostrich farm (yeah I know) with a Mexican looking to give him a job; a fun role reversal.  The Graboids are back and this time they are vacationing in Mexico at an oil refinery, which evidently is the only thing making noise in Mexico.   They offer him a crazy amount of money for each one killed, even more for a live one (because that’s a good idea).  The cabbie turns out to be a huge fanboy of Earl because of what happened in the first film, so naturally he is qualified to go along.  At this point we learn that Val married the girl from the first movie and will not be returning because Kevin Bacon is totally famous now.

     The movie goes to Mexico ,where we meet the staff of the refinery; Helen Shaver and two Mexicans (which seems perfectly reasonable).  We move into a montage of Fred Ward sitting in the back of a truck getting Graboids to eat dynamite and blow the hell up.  Following this is the obligatory call to Michael Gross saying they need his input as well.  This whole marathon starts to seem like a bad idea, because this film is not going anywhere; when suddenly it does.  One of the monsters starts making strange sounds and in the night mysteriously bursts open, leaving a gaping hole in the worm.  They find out that if the worm lives long enough it metamorphoses into a little walking Graboid.  And the cool part is that they seem to be mostly puppet work, very little CGI, not what I expected for a sequel.  I’m almost through my Purple Haze and the movie is getting interesting.  The Mexicans are quickly dispatched with a surprising amount of gore and our core cast is left.

    We learn that the walking Graboids (named Screamers) see with heat sensors on their beaks and move quickly.  They are also more intelligent and can reproduce from simply eating enough; the cast traps the monsters in a warehouse and allows them to reproduce.  Because Burt is a gun and explosive nut he has left a metric fuck-ton of explosives in the warehouse.  The monsters are blown the fuck up in the final act of film leaving nothing but a huge crater and a fun memory to tell their kids.  Oh yeah Fred Ward and Helen Shaver totally hook up after the film, and I’m assuming his ostriches starve to death.

    I would have to say that I was very surprised how much I enjoyed this film.  I thought I was screwed but they found a way to keep my interest alive.  I especially liked the use of gore in the film, both human and monster; it shows that care was put into this film.  Also there were little touches like when Burt fires a huge-ass gun at one of the Screamers the glass shatters near him because of the sonic wave the gun puts out.  Michael Gross does a good job as comic relief for the film and I was glad to see him back hunting Graboids.  I don’t want to say you can’t watch this movie without seeing the original, but it’s probably not a great idea.  Now let’s travel forward in time six years and, according to the title, back to Perfection.  I’ve got a bad feeling about this one, but a pretty good buzz so let’s do it.

 

 So Burt....Compensate Much?

 

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection:

     Oh shit, going into this one I know it’s going to suck.  Michael Gross, the comic relief from the previous films is the fucking star of this one.  The film starts with him in Argentina’s military outfit mowing down a huge CGI herd of Screamers for national TV.  We then follow him home to Perfection, where they have taken the fame from Graboids and ran with it, so to speak.  One of the cool things so far is that the surviving supporting cast of the original film is all back, which is always cool for fans.  The only additions are an Asian lady who is supposedly Walter Chang’s niece and a huckster who takes people on fake Graboid safaris.  The worms show back up yet again with no explanation and they use the tried and true methods of killing both types of creatures, when the totally expected happens.

     As you can totally guess there is a third stage to the life cycle of these creatures and this time they turn CGI and fucking fly.  I am very sad at this point because my Purple Haze is gone and I’m two into my Magners and I just realized there’s another damn movie.  I didn’t even get to the most sophomoric part of the film though; the creatures light their own farts to take off.  Are you kidding me? [I can corraborate this. I saw this movie a few years ago, and they do indeed ride flaming farts into the sky. This is were the series ceases to be horror. -editor] Also the name these creatures are given is “ass blasters;" please kill me now. [Actually, I take that back. This is where the series ceases to be horror. -editor] The cast discovers that you can blow these up if you pierce them with something flaming.  A few minutes later the creatures are put out of their computer generated misery and me out of mine with an ending.

    Even drunk this movie is a piece of flaming shit; the person I feel the worst for is the character who played Miguel.  He survived the first film only to be killed by a flying piece of CGI shit; he deserved better.  I cannot recommend this movie to watch alone but maybe with friends as part of this kind of marathon.  I can only imagine the next step that the creatures will take in part four will be they are aquatic and can drive speedboats after Michael Gross when he goes to Daytona Beach on spring break.  I am really not looking forward to the fourth installment because it says it’s going back to the beginning, which I thought was the first damn movie.  But let’s jump three years in the future and get disappointed.

  

 Yes that's the little girl from Jurassic Park!

 

Tremors 4: The Legend Begins:

     I have finished my cider and my beer and have slowed down because I decided if I stopped for dinner that I would never come back to this series.  I have switched over to a nice sipping apple moonshine and moonshine cherries nom-nom.  A few minutes in and to my great surprise this is set in the late 1800’s and is a western, who knew?  Also they forgot about CGI and went back to puppets, thank Crom!  Michael Gross is back again and playing his ancestor who owns a silver mine in the town of Rejection; he is a snobby rich coward.  The mine goes too deep and the Graboids are woken up and begin eating the miners; they terrorize the mine until one is killed with a pickaxe.

     These Graboids are smaller because they were just born; therefore not seen as that big of a threat. So Hiram Gummer hires a gunslinger to wipe out the worms.  The gunslinger is played by B-Movie great Billy Drago, and he teaches Gummer his love for guns before promptly dying in the first available Dust Dragon (as they are called in this installment).  Gummer runs away and leaves his mine for the town when this happens, but has a change of heart and spends all his money on guns and ammo.  Upon returning to the town of Rejection, he helps the town destroy the remaining worms.  The townspeople agree to never speak of this incident so people will move to the area and they rename the town Perfection, the end.

     This film is short, but sweet.  It is the equivalent of a team coming back from trailing by ten points to winning the game in the bottom of the ninth.  The filmmakers must have looked at part three and thought “WTF?!”, because they did the series justice with this installment.  This is not a great or even a good film but considering the shit I put up with during part three, I deserve this.  It’s not recommended unless you have already seen the previous films, but it ain’t that bad.  I’m to the point now where my odyssey is at an end, and it will be a bloody long time before I see any of these films again.  But at this point I’m a bit drunk, gassy as hell from the beer, and I think the proper thing to do is get some Taco Bell and play some Skyrim; I need to kill things while farting.  Thanks to all who joined me on this little trip, may visions of Michael Gross dance in your head, and pray the series is at an end!

 

 Well Billy HAD to know that was gonna happen!

Read 900 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 April 2013 12:51

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Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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