Schlocktoberfest XI – Day 17: Tremors 2: Aftershocks

SchlocktoberfestXI

 

Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)

Trailer:

*Spoilers Throughout*

 

What‘s This About: Those darn Graboids are back and wreaking havoc at a Mexican oilfield. The only person who can stop them is Fred Ward because Kevin Bacon was too busy on better projects.

This is a left-over from last year‘s Schlocktoberfest X: Decayed of Schlock

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • What was the last flick Fred Ward headlined? Remo Williams?

  • The film starts in Chiapas, Mexico. This film might be implying that the graboids originated south of the border. Graboid them by the pussy! They’re bringing in graboids, some I can assume are nice sandworms.

  • Why would anyone pick their professional name as S.S. Wilson? SS? 

  • Poor Mexican dude is being pursued by a graboid in an oil field and is hopping from barrel to barrel like Q-bert. 

  • Wait. That was it? The graboid knocks down the barrel he was on, the dude falls and the graboid eats him. End of scene. That was anti-climatic and boring and the only purpose it served was to show that the graboids still exist.

  • I’m assuming Fred Ward is talking to some livestock or a horse when he’s referring to something called Wildfire.

  • Nope. It’s a ostrich. At last he wasn’t referring to his wife.

  • It’s been decades since I last saw the first Tremors but did the events actually get public attention outside of the town? This Mexican businessman comes to Fred Ward because he owns the oil field that has a graboid problem and thinks the only person who can help kill graboids is Fred Ward. If the graboids made media attention, wouldn’t it also garner scientific and military attention?

  • They even made a Graboid video game?!

  • The Mexican businessman says that besides the $50,000 he will give Earl to kill the graboids he will also have cooperation with the Mexican army and unlimited access to supplies and weapons. So if the army is somehow involved, albeit the Mexican one, shouldn’t they have a better handling of this creature problem than an ostrich wrangler in Nevada who got lucky in killing them a few years back?

  • The cab driver who brought the Mexican businessman is a graboid/Earl Bassett fanboy. He even volunteers to help Earl hunt the Graboids. He’s already showing signs of being super annoying and reminds me of Matthew Lillard mixed with Vince Vaughn.

  • How does this cab driver, Grady, not know what “Rock, Paper, Scissors” is? Is that game a regional thing?

  • The Businessman, Señor Ortega, is offering double if they are able to capture a graboid alive. Maybe he wants to put it in a zoo.

  • Oh good, this film is giving Fred Ward a love interest. I was worried about Earl’s love life.

  • Weird thing is, Earl was hired to hunt the graboids. But the Graboids are predators and will pretty much attack willingly the moment they feel motion by anything. Shouldn’t be tough to hunt them down, right?

Tut tut looks like rain

  • Doofus Grady barges in to show them a large noisy chain with tin cans attached to it that they can attach to the truck to lure the graboids. Ingenius!

  • Meanwhile, there’s a Mexican scientist that gives them a seismic tracker to locate the graboids. 

  • That rickety truck they’re driving is making more noise than those chains ever will.

  • Earl is using a remote controlled truck with dynamite attached to it! This movie is ripping off every Andy Sidaris flick!

  • How many graboids are there? Well enough to have a country-western song montage for, that’s how many!

  • Wait. They get $50,000 each per graboid?! Grady says they’re already up $300,000 so that means they killed 6. That montage showed at least 9 explosions so is his math off or did some of those explosions fail?

  • How are they supposedly proving their kills? I don’t see any pelts or anything that they can show Ortega.

  • Dimwit Grady is on the ground picking up the umbrella he dropped. For some reason the graboid missed Grady by a yard!

  • But it snagged the chain and is pulling the truck into the ground! Just like the barrel pulling scene in Jaws. But way sillier.

  • This actor that plays Grady has not been in other movie or TV show that I’ve ever seen.

  • After the chain breaks they notice on the seismic tracker that about 6–8 graboids are racing towards them but it’s OK because they hightail out of that area super quick. Easy-peasy.

  • Enter Michael Gross who played paramilitary enthusiast Burt Gummer, just like his role on Family Ties. This flick didn’t have enough money to get his wife who was played by Reba McEntire again.

  • So the love interest for Earl, Dr. Kate Reilly, is studying a fossil by just staring at it and suddenly realizes it’s a fossil of one of the graboids tusks or something. She determines its precambrian meaning it’s one of the oldest known lifeforms on the Earth. She determined all this just by looking at it.

  • Earl is upset that the graboids are not aliens. I’m just glad this movie/franchise is keeping the science fiction “grounded.”

  • Burt also got clearance from the Mexican army to get whatever weapons and explosives he wanted. This explains a helluva lot about Mexico.

  • “Is there such a thing as low explosive?” Ahh, errr, yeah he’s kinda right. Is there?

  • Are they supposed to share the bounties now with Burt or is Ortega now going to give Burt $50,000 each as well? Nevermind, he’s probably doing this just for the helluva it.

  • There hasn’t been a graboid attack since the first 4 minutes. This movie is kinda boring when the monsters are the ones being hunted. 

  • This is a very stupid nitpick but Burt is wearing a baseball cap that just says “Atlanta Hawks” on it. No logo. Who makes or sells a basketball team hat without an official logo?

Huge fan.

  • You would think that a gun nut like Burt Gummer would want to shoot the hell of it a graboid instead of using the RC bomb method.

  • This is the second instance of Earl and Grady cleaning the Graboids guts off his truck. If they’re using RC bombs why are they detonating the explosives so close to their vehicle?

  • Why did they invite Burt down to kill graboids? I thought they needed more firepower or paramilitary expertise that only someone like Burt Gummer can provide. Instead they just added another fella that’s doing the exact same thing as they are. They could’ve hired any lowly Mexican to drive RC cars around and press a detonating button.

  • A graboid shocks Earl while he’s driving around and makes Earl go in reverse too fast and they end up falling down a shallow cliff onto rock. With all those explosives in the back you’d think that this would be the only instance where a car falling off a short cliff would make it explode!

  • The graboid appears to be sick. Maybe it got Montezuma’s revenge.

  • Earl and Grady think they can capture it and bring it back to get the live bounty from Ortega. They just have to wait to be rescued.

  • They look back at the sick graboid and it appears that it’s dead because something either ate or burst its way out of it. Earl likens it to a caterpillar changing into a butterfly but the graboid had no cocoon or anything like that. Apparently Earl forgot all about child-birth as a metaphor.

  • In movies there’s always someone who can hot-wire a car when the situation calls for it.

  • The new graboid creature is basically a graboid chicken. It’s more cute than terrifying.

They call me the shrieker. I’ve been shrieking low and high…

  • Dr. Kate is trying hard to contact anyone using the CB radio but earlier Earl and Grady found all the radio station was destroyed by the Shriekers before they hot wired the car to escape. One of Kate’s assistant’s asked how the repeater towers could be down. I dunno Julio maybe because there’s a load of subterranean monsters crawling around?

  • Julio is now being eaten by a Shrieker because he chose to chat with Dr. Kate through a window.

  • Even though this was made in 1996, the effects are still animatronic puppets made by ADI and Tippet studios and it actually looks great, even in daylight.

  • They assume that there are roughly 24 Shriekers based on the fact that 3 came out of the one graboid and that there are 8 more graboids still unaccounted for. 

  • I wonder if Michael Gross is OK with the fact he’s more known by this character than Steve Keaton from Family Ties. Maybe he’s not OK with it and that’s why he made six Tremor movies to seal his acting legacy by being Burt Gummer: Graboid Hunter.

  • Burt managed to wrangle and capture one of the shriekers alive and brings one back. Upon seeing it up close Grady says: “Aw man it’s drooling?” Really? Thats what is grossing you out now?

  • Not sure what these folks are going to do with a live Shrieker?

  • Another one happened to still be alive under Burt’s car’s undercarriage.

  • Burt surmises that the flap of skin that extends out of it’s head is its heat-sensors and that’s how it senses prey.

  • Ah. The miracle of life. The shrieker barfs up 2 more baby shriekers. Dr. Kate concludes that they’re hermaphrodites. This movie is kinkier than I thought.

  • I gotta say, I commend this franchise in trying something new and not simply repeating the same ol’ from the first film but I really liked the whole idea of blind subterranean worm monsters instead of these little chicken-walker monsters.

  • Awesome! Burt fires this bad ass rifle that completely annihilates a shrieker into oblivion.

  • Hahaha. The gun was so powerful that it went through the shrieker, the concrete wall behind it, about half dozen oil drums AND the car’s engine they were supposed to escape in. They’re fucked now.

  • Ooof. The CGI effects were a bit shabby there. I’ve seen worse for 1996 though. Also bear in mind this was a direct-to-video feature.

  • This film ain’t too exciting I must admit. Our heroes are just sitting tight waiting for people to come back while the shriekers are just mulling around.

  • Now we’re watching Earl and Dr. Kate flirt with each other. 

  • Wait a minute…wait a minute. Dr. Kate admitted to Earl that she was a Playboy Playmate and Earl not only recognizes that she was Miss October 1974 but it was also the same centerfold he had hanging on his wall in the beginning off the film and was admired by Grady when he was in his room. This is ridiculous because this is exactly what happened to me when I met my wife!

  • Burt lures the shriekers into a garage and manages to trap them therein. Problem is there was a ton of food in there and whenever a shrieker eats it can then spawn new shriekers. So like Gremlins this is akin to the YMCA pool scene.

  • They are now covering Earl with fire extinguishing foam so the Shriekers can’t sense his heat. 

  • Earl suffers and dies from third degree frost bite before he can get to Burt’s truck with the explosives. Darn.

  • Just kidding. He successfully gets to the truck and sets a timer to the explosives. The others pull him out a window using a fire hose and they run away in time before the explosion. Typical Hollywood ending.

  • Kinda funny is that the amount of explosives in Burt’s truck is so much that they have to run like over 100 yards away to be safe from the blast.

  • Aw man, that was the explosion? I was expecting a lot bigger and bolder. That was lame. Shame.

Was it Entertaining:

Final Thoughts: Not too much to love or hate with this straight-to-video sequel to a very underrated monster horror classic. When the original Tremors came out on home video I watched the hell out of that movie and remember inviting friend after friend over to watch it and everyone loved it. It was a bona fide cult classic to me and a damn fine entertaining flick. I wish I could remember why I didn‘t bother seeing the sequel (sequels) since I really enjoyed the first one. Maybe it was because they lost Kevin Bacon but I highly doubt that since he wasn’t integral to why I liked the first one. Maybe it was because it went straight-to-video and at the time I was working at a movie theatre so for me to see this would require more effort perhaps. I really don‘t know. All I do know is, I clearly didn‘t miss much back then. This was a fine made film with really no technical flaws other than the less than stellar special effects for the shriekers. The story was lackluster despite them coming up with the new idea of the shriekers which if I‘m really being honest kinda loses the appeal of the subterranean monster aspect that made the Graboids so interesting. Having little monsters run around has been done to death and just didn‘t GRABoid my apeal as much as giant carnivorous worms. So while I didn‘t hate this, it could‘ve been better I suppose.

Score: 6 October 1974 Playboys (out of 10)

 

One thought on “Schlocktoberfest XI – Day 17: Tremors 2: Aftershocks

  1. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest XI: The Recap Kills | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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