Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Ron Underwood|
|Produced by||Gale Anne Hurd
|Written by||Brent Maddock
|Music by||Ernest Troost|
|Editing by||O. Nicholas Brown|
|Distributed by||Universal Studios|
|Release date(s)||January 19, 1990|
|Running time||96 minutes|
|Followed by||Tremors 2: Aftershocks|
Tremors is a 1990 dark comedy monster film about a group of people from a small Nevada town fighting subterranean worm-creatures dubbed "Graboids". It was directed by Ron Underwood, and stars Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire. The film's exterior scenes were shot near Lone Pine, California, an area which has long been used as a movie location.
It was followed by two sequels Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, one prequel Tremors 4: The Legend Begins and the television show Tremors: The Series.
The handymen team of Valentine McKee and Earl Bassett live in Perfection, Nevada, a decaying ex-mining town with only 14 residents, among them survivalist couple Burt and Heather Gummer and the namesake owner of Walter Chang's General Store. A new arrival is Rhonda LeBeck, a college student from Mesa State University who is conducting seismology tests around the town; Earl unsuccessfully promotes her as a possible girlfriend for Val.
Val and Earl tire of their hand-to-mouth existence and set out for Bixby, the nearest "real" town. En route, they discover Edgar Deems, the town drunk, dead at the top of an electrical tower with a loaded rifle clutched in his hands. Puzzled, Earl and Val haul his body to Jim, the town doctor, who announces that Deems died of dehydration. On their second try at leaving, the duo come to the property of sheepherder "Old Fred" and find that he and his flock have all been horribly butchered. Panicked, Val and Earl race back to Perfection, now thinking that a murderer is on the loose. They warn two road-construction workers they meet, but soon after Val and Earl leave, something underground kills the workers and causes a landslide, blocking the only road out of town.
Val and Earl discover the town's phones are dead, and head for the police in Bixby, only to be thwarted by the landslide. The sight of a gore-clotted hard hat in the rubble sends them back to Walter's store, where they find something wrapped around their Jeep Gladiator's back axle: the severed body of a malodorous creature the general size and shape of a python. The townsfolk hunker down for the night, unaware that the "snakes" have attacked Jim and his wife, killing them both and pulling their car underground.
The next morning, Val and Earl make an attempt to bring help, this time on horseback. Passing by the doctor's place, they discover the buried car and hurriedly ride on. Their many questions are partially answered when one of the attackers erupts out of the ground: each "snake" is one of three "tongues" employed by an enormous burrowing worm-creature, eventually dubbed a "Graboid". Thrown from their horses, the two men run for their lives, jumping a concrete aqueduct blocking their path. Their pursuer rams headlong into the aqueduct's wall, killing itself. The duo's glee is short-lived, as Rhonda joins them and realizes from her readings that there are three more of the creatures in the area. They realize the creatures find them by the vibrations of noise and movement, but cannot tunnel through rock. One of them promptly appears, and, proving to possess infinite patience and very keen hearing, traps the trio overnight on one of a cluster of residual boulders. Rhonda finally has the clever idea of pole vaulting from boulder to boulder, staying out of the Graboid's reach. They reach her small truck and once again escape back to town.
They are met with disbelief, but only until a Graboid appears in the middle of town and disables Val and Earl's truck. The humans retreat into their various homes or back in the store, but a Graboid bursts up through the store's wooden floor and kills Walter. Everyone else scrambles up onto their roofs.
Meanwhile, the Gummers return to their home after hunting the "snake-things" and contact the others via CB radio, but the noise of the couple's vibrating tumbler tempts a Graboid into smashing into their basement "rec room." The Gummers kill it with their vast arsenal of firearms, but another of the monsters disables their GMC Jimmy without exposing itself to their weapons. Back in town, the Graboids start attacking the foundations of the buildings, knocking over the trailer of a resident named Nestor and then dragging him down. Realizing that the town is being dug out from under them, Val and Earl come up with the idea of escaping on the enormous town bulldozer. Noisy diversions are improvised and distract the Graboids long enough for Val to reach the vehicle. Everyone is collected, and they set out for the safety of the unburrowable rocks of the mountain range which overlooks the town.
Unfortunately, the Graboids dig a pit-trap in the bulldozer's path, wrecking it. The humans use Burt's home-made explosives to drive the noise-sensitive creatures away long enough to reach the safety of an isolated boulder, where Earl has another idea: tricking the Graboids into swallowing one of Burt's bombs. This works once, spectacularly, but on the second try the last surviving Graboid spits the explosive back onto Burt's pile of remaining bombs, sending the humans scattering. Val, Earl, and Rhonda are left stranded yards from the boulder, with the Graboid blocking their path to safety. Val has one last bomb, and one last idea: he lets the Graboid chase him to the edge of a tall cliff, and "stampedes" it with the bomb, sending it roaring through the cliff-face and plummeting to its death. The group triumphantly returns to town, and Earl pushes Val into approaching the clearly-interested Rhonda romantically. As the credits roll, they kiss.
|Kevin Bacon||Valentine McKee|
|Fred Ward||Earl Bassett|
|Finn Carter||Rhonda LeBeck|
|Michael Gross||Burt Gummer|
|Reba McEntire||Heather Gummer|
|Victor Wong||Walter Chang|
|Robert Jayne||Melvin Plug|
|Ariana Richards||Mindy Sterngood|
|Charlotte Stewart||Nancy Sterngood|
|Richard Marcus||Nestor Cunningham|
|Sunshine Parker||Edgar Deems|
|Conrad Bachmann||Jim Wallace|
|Bibi Besch||Megan Wallace|
The film was hailed by critics for its diverse cast and as of April 2009, Tremors holds a "fresh" rating of 88% at Rotten Tomatoes based on 23 critic scores. The film was also parodied in an episode of Spongebob Squarepants where the dubbed "Alaskan Bull Worm" goes around Bikini Bottom eating large chunks of the city(literally). The film grossed $17 million at the box office. 
Tremors is a 1990 dark comedy monster film about a group of people from a small Nevada town fighting subterranean worm-creatures dubbed "Graboids".