Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who else loves a great "B" movie?

I remember going to see "Tremors" in the theater.  At the time, I wasn't to big on liking a particular actor or the subtleties a movie could have.  I was only 13, how much could I know?  I thought fart jokes were hysterical.  Ok...I still think they are.  But who could have known that my love for this movie would mature along with my cinematic tastes?  For those of you who have seen this gem, you will agree with my following review.  For those have not seen this yet, go and rent it already!!!  Better yet, just go buy it.  You'll thank me later.

Some people just don't understand when a film maker goes out to make a "B" movie.  It doesn't happen that way because of budget or lack of talent in the cast, it just is made in a certain way that would classify it as "B".  This movie has cheesy dialogue, silly monsters, stock characters, and all sorts of Kevin Bacon.  Everyone involved in this production knew what kind of movie they were making.  They spent the entire movie reveling in it's cheese.  They never once took it too seriously.  Every caricature is played with gusto.  Every one liner delivered with tongue firmly in cheek.  In fact, whenever I try and describe a movie as "B" on purpose, this is one I bring up.

This movie is about a couple of cowboys named Valentine and Earl (played by Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward respectively).  They live in a small town called Perfection (I know, right?!) with a gaggle of other characters:  The Asian shop owner (Walter Chang), the cute mother/daughter pair, the dimwit, the bratty kid who mysteriously has no parents, and the two survivalists (played to perfection by Michael Gross and Reba McEntire).  They are all in trouble when a mysterious underground beasty starts eating them up one by one.  Oh and of course there is the geeky-pretty geologist who just happens to be around to offer the smarts when needed.  And for Bacon to fall for.

The whole movie is one big joke.  It is a throwback to the old school monster movies.  There is a bit of speculation in the movie about where these critters came from.  In the end, it doesn't really matter.  The laughs and the silly deaths keep coming regardless.  One of my favorite lines?  As Valentine and Earl saddle up to ride out of the canyon to help, Chang comes up to them and says "Here is some Swiss cheese and some bullets."  It is these throw-off lines that make this movie sparkle.

The monster in question is dubbed a "Graboid" in the movie.  You see it comes out of the ground and pulls you under.  Clever name, I know.  The effects on this were one of the last in my recollection to use old school techniques.  There is not a lick of CGI in this film.  This, of course, just adds to the cheese factor.  In all honesty, the creature looks pretty cool.  It has the right amount of slime and other worldliness to make it a classic monster movie villain.  It's pretty cool to see the puppetry that was used to make these things come to life.  I was impressed.  It all takes place in the desert in broad daylight so they really couldn't fake anything.

Did you know that this was directed by Ron Underwood one year before the release of City Slickers?  This movie actually has some of the same type of humor.  Is it Oscar material?  Heck no.  Is it a cool monster movie?  Yes indeed.  There have been a number of sequels that just never lived up to the fun that was the first movie.  In my opinion, it is a lost gem that needs to be seen.  This is how you make entertainment.

8 out of 10 stars

1 comment:

Peter Noss said...

Nate, I am in complete agreement with you. I always have to watch this if it's on while I am channel flipping. The cast is having fun and pull the audience in with them. I never fail to be entertained by this 'B' movie.