Tremors 5: Bloodlines
It’s Tremors! I’m a Tremors fan, but I just mean the original movie. I’m pretty sure I saw one of the other sequels once, but it left little to no impression. All I really recall is that it had two guys who were fulfilling the role of the two heroes of Tremors - not playing the same characters, but obviously rehashing the same thing. Pretty disappointing. But I was sad when I got into this movie and realized how much mythology I had missed.
The original Tremors is a great movie, highly recommended. Horror comedy about giant worms tunneling underground and sucking people under. But I discovered by watching this movie, that since the first film, we have learned much more about the graboids’ life cycle, and it turns out there are other variations on them. There are flying creatures and walking creatures too. Seems like that’d make those intervening movies interesting, but I strongly suspect they were actually direct-to-video garbage nonetheless.
So to this film: This is the story of Burt Gummer, who was a survivalist nut in the first movie, but has now become a famous reality show star, having cameras follow his graboid-hunting exploits. He is called away to Africa this time due to reports of graboids there, which he believes to be impossible. Then for the rest of the movie they run around trying to kill them, and (spoilers? Nah) finish off the last one with a completely impossible death-trap. There’s some interpersonal junk too.
This movie falls flat. It’s supposed to be funny, but it isn’t really. The biggest problem I think is the character of Burt Gummer. He’s just not very interesting to build a movie around. He gets wacky at one point when he’s trapped in the burning sun for hours, but even wacky, he’s just not interestingly wacky. It may just be nostalgia (I haven’t seen the first movie in at least 10 years), but I think the same character was much more fun in the first movie. Maybe it’s just the fact that somebody like this doesn’t fit as a main character. He’s just too unlikeable.
Aside from that, there’s no particularly exciting monster chases. There’s a scene where his cameraman (the other main character) is walking through a pitch-black cave that he knows is the nest of the graboids, and his only source of light is flares, which only give him short periods of light. This could’ve been unbelievably nerve-wracking, but it’s just not presented in a scary way at all. He kind of fumbles along, comes across a single monster at one point and manages to avoid it easily, and that’s that.
There’s also hacky writing, like incredibly obvious foreshadowing (for example, this girl who for some reason uses a car battery to electrocute the ground to make worms surface for fishing bait... hmm, wonder if that will have any relation to the giant killer worms at any point???), and really cardboard characters and relationships doing everything exactly how you would expect. And broken physics - a car that’s lit on fire will somehow explode if a flaming arrow hits it. It’s the arrow that pushes it over the top into explosion territory. Just not good.
2/5 Graboid Eggs.
My Movie Idea:
This is a vague one, but this movie got me thinking about the idea of humankind’s place in the world. The Earth is a safe place for us. I mean, we have completely mastered it, we are the deadliest thing here by a mile, and as a society, nothing here poses any threat to us (except us...). So what if that changed? Aliens are boring, so the best I can think of is just digging a hole that breaks into an underworld that we never knew existed, and all these subterranean creatures come storming up onto the surface. Not smart ones, just wild animals, but animals so
dangerous that life on Earth completely changes. How different would the world be if you spent every day fighting for survival rather than punching buttons for a paycheck?
In the end, the philosophical idea is interesting, but the reality of it as a movie is nothing new at all: it’s every zombie movie, every alien invasion, all kinds of other things. I just had fun thinking about it, though I don’t know how to make it a special and different movie.