Sommerleigh Pollonais – Horror Head Writer
In Tremors: Shrieker Island Graboids are illegally taken to a new island resort by a rich playboy as a dangerous form of trophy hunting, and Burt Gummer steps up to save the day.
Can you believe there are seven of these Tremors movies?! They just quietly kept going until they had themselves a horror franchise of their own. I actually remember the first film fondly (try saying that seven times fast) but with the exception of maybe part two my mind completely blanks out on any of the other sequels. That said, I decided to check out the latest entry in this bizarre series (which includes a 2003 TV series that lasted one season) to see how things were faring with the Graboids. Turns out, it wasn’t half bad.
The first thing that struck me was how good Shrieker Island looked. I honestly didn’t expect much, considering Tremors is more of a B-lister in the horror world, but colour me impressed, the island(s) looked beautiful (shot in Thailand) and the special effects weren’t half bad considering the use of CGI. Director Don Michael Paul used his limited budget wisely so you don’t see much of the Graboids (those are the big underground worm things) and places his focus more on utilising the beautiful surroundings while limiting how many times you see the creatures. There are also a decent array of weapons shown here so the kills don’t feel too repetitive, and it adds a nice Predator feel (they even name drop the movie here) to this smaller budget flick.
Michael Gross returns as Burt Gummer. For those of you who saw the first movie, you’ll remember him as the gun nut and survivalist who was married to Reba McEntire’s character. He’s played Burt in six out of the seven films, and is basically the hero of the franchise. I can see why they keep bringing him back too, as his one-liner dropping, cynical loner with a heart of gold, is most definitely one of the main strengths of the movies.
Here he’s joined by an almost unrecognizable Jon Heder, who’s most famously remembered as Napoleon Dynamite. Here he plays Jimmy, the leader of a group of environmental scientists who get caught up in the craziness when billionaire hunter Bill, portrayed by genre mainstay Richard Brake (Doom, 31, Supernatural), and his group of friends decide standard hunting wasn’t cutting it. You see Bill has illegally bred Graboids in a lab so he can hunt them for trophies. This goes about as well as expected and it’s up to Burt and Co. to save the day.
As I said before, I had no idea Tremors was popular enough to become its own franchise. That said, this movie was better than your average SyFy movie-of-the-week fare. Not much better, but entertaining enough to watch while you’re maybe doing your laundry or waiting for your dinner to finish cooking. It’s in no way memorable (a one-and-done viewing for me) and the one-liners get old fast, but I think fans of the series will enjoy it much more than I did. And as Part 7 in a franchise, it wasn’t half as bad as I expected.
Sommer’s Score: 5.5 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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