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Tremors turns 30, the most perfect B movie creature feature ever made


Added 01-19-20 02:10:03pm EST - “The film faltered at the box office but amassed a huge cult following over the years” - Arstechnica.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Arstechnica.com: “Tremors turns 30, the most perfect B movie creature feature ever made”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

It's been 30 years since the release of Tremors, an unabashed love letter to the B-movie creature features of the 1950s that remains as fresh today as it was three decades ago. The film is sheer perfection, and ranks among my personal favorite films of all time. As Ars' own Nathan Matisse wrote last year, "If B-movie horror with flashes of comedic brilliance and a few edge-of-your-seat scares interests you, viewers likely can't do much better than Tremors."

Writers S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock came up with the initial idea for Tremors in the early 1980s while making educational safety videos for the U.S. Navy. They climbed a desert boulder for a shot, and pondered what they would do if, for some reason, they were stuck there due to some outside force they eventually dubbed "Land Sharks." A friend of theirs, Ron Underwood, was a documentary director for National Geographic, and helped them develop a believable creature for what would become the script for Tremors. Wilson and Maddock hit the big time with their 1986 film Short Circuit (directed by John Badham), which enabled them to finally bring Tremors to the silver screen.

There's also a grad student, Rhonda (Finn Carter) who is spending the summer monitoring her university's seismology equipment. She soon picks up on some very strange readings, right about the time Perfection's residents start dying under mysterious circumstances. Eventually everyone discovers the culprits: four giant subterranean creatures that Walter dubs "graboids," since they "hunt" by sensing vibrations and shooting snake-like protrusions out of their mouths to grab their prey. From then on, it's humans vs. graboids in a battle of wits to determine the survival of the fittest.

Tremors debuted in theaters on January 19, 1990, and grossed a mere $3.7 million opening weekend, eventually eking out $16.6 million domestically against its modest $11 million budget. Both Maddock and Wilson criticized the marketing of the film, with Maddock calling the theatrical trailer "cringeworthy." (It actually is pretty bad.) Critics generally liked the film, praising the performances and how well the film walked the tonal tightrope between horror and humor.

Tremors really took off with its release on home video (and, subsequently, DVD and streaming), gaining a substantial cult following. Numerous bad sequels followed, all straight-to-video/DVD . In style and tone, they had more in common with the Sharknado franchise than the original film. There was Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996), Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001), Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004), Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015), and Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (2018). A seventh installment, Tremors: Island Fury, is rumored to be in development. There was even a short-lived SyFy TV series in 2003, set just after the events of Tremors 3, that was abruptly cancelled after just 13 episodes.

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