It’s Thursday, and you know what that means! It’s time for ScienceFiction.com’s Throwback Thursday, where we take a look at the great science fiction of the past.
This week’s throwback is ‘Tremors’, the 1990 horror movie that feels like the most extreme interpretation of “The Floor is Lava” game ever conceived.
Okay, I may be overstating it when I say great science fiction. After all, one of the main jokes in the movie is how the characters are constantly asking the scientist what is going on and her answer is always “why do you keep asking me?” Turns out seismologists don’t really know that much about unknown zoological creatures intent on eating everything. Who knew?
So, great, maybe not. But it is at the very least entertaining and probably Kevin Bacon’s best performance in his entire career. I’m serious. If you haven’t seen Kevin Bacon as a drawling cowboy with a wry sense of humor, you have never seen Kevin Bacon at his best. Turn off ‘The Following’ and get going on ‘Tremors’ now.
‘Tremors’ centers around a small town in Nevada that apparently has a population of about eleven people. There may be more, but they were all probably eaten either during or before the movie. Two handy-men for hire decide they need to get out of town and lead a better life elsewhere only to discover they can’t get out (corpses and rockfall barring their way). Earlier that day, a graduate student came into town talking about how the seismograph had been giving some strange readings.
It’s not too long before the group of unlikely townspeople put those two facts together and figure out that there are underground worms going around and sucking people into their gaping, Snarlacc-like maws. Naturally, everyone decides they need to somehow get out of town despite the only road being blocked up and the realization the monsters can’t move through the rock in the mountains. Unfortunately, any movement on the ground belies their presence to the man-eating worms and they have to go through a series of tense, if sometimes hilarious problem-solving sessions, in order to get out of their sandy valley.
It’s a horror movie in that it can have you on the edge of your seat, but it’s also funny with its ragtag cast of characters, ranging from dumb cowboys, a paranoid militia-like married couple, a useless teenager, and a graduate student. All in all, it’s a fun film even if it’s special effects are massively outdated. I would recommend everyone see it at least once.