When a tiny desert settlement is attacked by underground monsters, it’s up to Kevin Bacon and his friends to stop them. But as anyone who’s had to repeatedly endure that Kevin Bacon advert will attest, it’s easier to sympathise with the monsters.
This 1990 B movie is a nice throwback to the monster movies of the 1950s, which were called things like Cat-Women of the Moon, Attack of the Space Balls and The Twonky. I only made one of them up, there’s a prize for guessing which one. Tremors is entertaining enough and Kevin Bacon is great in the lead role, complete with cowboy hat and southern accent.
The commitment to 1950s nostalgia apparently extends to the poor quality of the special effects, making the monsters look like props found in skips behind the Doctor Who studios. That they appear flimsy enough to be snapped in half by a child means they don’t look menacing enough to drive the action, instead floundering around while the cast do their best to scream unconvincingly. So the effects are shonky, the plot is schlocky and Kevin Bacon isn’t a Yiddish word for Kosher reasons.
Is it ruined by the Kevin Bacon advert?
It’s only referenced when they suggest Tremors Bacon accompany the other Bacons to the cinema, and the response – “Negative, he’s deep underground” – doesn’t make sense.
Tremors survives despite the ad, with Bacon well cast and looking like a young Jamie Lee Curtis. He’s explained that while making the film he thought he was at a career low, but that was before he appeared in that Kevin Bacon advert.
Should I watch it?
Tremors is a fun monster movie throwback and there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes. It does its thing better than Ivan Reitman’s Evolution but not nearly as well as James Gunn’s Slither.