It recently came to my attention that the first photos from the fifth installment of the cult series Tremors have been released, so me and my brother went back and watched the first four films in celebration. We grew up watching the films about the huge underground monsters known as Graboids, and I thought it would be a good idea to recap the first four films before looking at what we can expect from the next film.
Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are "handymen" living in a tiny isolated town called Perfection. Rhonda (Finn Carter) is a university student who investigates earthquakes. She shows the pair some unusual readings on her seismographs, despite a lack of earthquakes in the area. Earl and Val, after doing a particularly distasteful job involving sewage, finally decide to move to Bixby, the larger town separated from Perfection by a range of mountains. However they are stopped by a blocked road, and soon find that large underground creatures are picking off the townspeople one at a time. The road is blocked and as they try to escape via horse, Val and Earl are stopped again, although they manage to kill one of the four creatures. They eventually get back to town, with Rhonda in tow, and hole up on their roofs as the creatures arrive. One goes to the house of Burt (Michael Gross) and Helen, who, with their huge arsenal of guns, are ready for it, and kill it. Back in the town, Val and Earl are able to get to a tractor and trailer, and escape with the other people from the town. They collect Burt and Helen and head off to the mountains, but the graboids set a trap for them and they are stranded on rocks, which graboids can't break through. They are able to use Burt's homemade bombs to kill one of them, but the other one chases Val, Earl and Rhonda and Val has to trick it into falling off the side of a mountain. They go home, and Val gets together with Rhonda.
Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)
Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) is living alone on a farm in the middle of nowhere, when he is approached by Senor Ortega, who is in charge of a large Mexican oil ranch, which is under attack by a force of graboids. Senor Ortega arrives with Grady Hoover, a cab driver and nobody who is obsessed with graboids. Senor Ortega offers Earl $50,000 per graboid to go hunting for him, so Earl and Grady set off to Mexico as partners. They arrive and are met by Kate, who works at the ranch. The Mexican army gives the pair all the equipment they could need, and they kill 14 graboids, before finding out just how many more there are. Earl decides to call in Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) to help out. He arrives with a huge number of explosives and sizeable guns, and they set about hunting again. Earl and Grady find a graboid in pain, and refusing to move. They wait for help, as their truck is broken, and find the graboid dead, with it's insides almost totally gone. They realise that something else has come out of it. Quickly they find out that small creatures with infra-red sight have come out, and they multiply by eating. They name them Shriekers, and quickly are forced to find Kate and Burt and get back to the refinery. They hole up there, and eventually trap the whole lot of Shriekers in the refinery, and blow it up. Earl starts a theme park based on graboids with Grady, and marries Kate.
Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2000)
Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) returns to his home town of Perfection, where he has implemented various graboid defences across the town, and especially in his home, despite the creatures being extinct there for eleven years. Many of the residents from the first film still live in the town, like daughter of Walter Chang, Jodi (Susan Chuang), as well as some new faces, like Desert Jack Sawyer (Shawn Christian), who makes a living off of scaring tourists into thinking they are being attacked by graboids. When Burt discovers three graboids in the town area, he is too late to save someone on one of Jack's safaris, but gathers and alerts the town quickly. The government arrives with a team, who admonishes him for killing so many of the endangered species, and tell him he is not allowed to kill these three. Instead they entice him into going hunting to capture and contain one for them. He goes out with Desert Jack, but is eaten by a graboid instead. He calls Jack from inside the graboid, and Jack makes it follow him into the concrete under Burt's house, killing it. Burt escapes with Jack's help, and they go back to searching for graboids. One of the government team walks up to them, covered in fire extinguisher liquid, and tells them the whole team was killed by Shriekers, who came from one of the other graboids. He dies, and the team realise they need to move quickly before the Shriekers multiply. The third graboid traps them overnight, not evolving into Shriekers because it is albino, barren. They escape it and find the Shriekers have shed their skin, and are able to fly by lighting gas from their butts on fire. They name these Assblasters, and find that they lay eggs which turn back into graboids. They kill one, at the cost of Burt's friend Miguel. Then they escape to Burt's house, and are forced to blow it up. They get to a junkyard, and make a potato gun with flaming arrows to kill the last assblasters. Burt allows the "Great white" graboid, named El Blanco, to live, so that housing developments cannot be built in the valley.
Tremors 4: The Legend Begins
Tremors 4 takes place in 1889, in the town of Rejection, before it was Perfection. Hiram Gummer (Michael Gross) is a mine owner, who arrives from Philadelphia when his mine is closed, four men having been killed in it by something. Hiram, who is a snobbish man, goes searching in the mine, and loses several men to the graboids. They kill one with guns and pickaxes, then camp out on the rocks. Back in town, Hiram tells the villagers to leave, and does so himself. Back in Carson City, he realises his mistake and goes back, arriving with a wagon of guns just as they are about to leave. They stay and fight, using a mixture of punt guns, post hole digging and a steam engine to defeat the other three graboids. At the end, Hiram re-opens the mine and uses the profits for the good of the town.
So that was the first four films, if you haven't seen any of them, I would recommend the first two, and it's better to watch the third to understand the story. However the fourth is a useless prequel which adds nothing to the story and is terrible. Now, the fifth film, entitled Tremors 5: Bloodlines, is set to star Michael Gross, as all previous films have, but back as Burt Gummer in the present, fighting graboids in South Africa.
The giant, man-eating Graboids are back and even deadlier than before, terrorizing the inhabitants of a South African wildlife reserve as they attack from below-and above.
Burt is joined by what is described as a tech savvy follower, named Travis (Jamie Kennedy), and the film is set to show another new evolution of the graboids. We have a couple of set photos from the film, which filmed in South Africa in September and October, and is set to be released this October.