le 5 février 2016
TREMORS [1990 / 2015] [25th Anniversary Special Edition] [Blu-ray + Digital HD ULTRAVIOLET] [UK Release] They Say There’s Nothing New Under the Sun! But Under the Ground!
Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward star as two country handymen who lead a cast of zany characters to safety in this exciting sci-fi creature comedy. Just as Valentine "Val" McKee [Kevin Bacon] and Earl Basset [Fred Ward] decide to leave Perfection, Nevada, strange rumblings prevent their departure. With the help of a shapely seismology student Rhonda LeBeck [Finn Carter] they discover their desolate town is infested with gigantic man-eating creatures that live below the ground. The race is on to overcome these slimy subterranean worm monsters and find a way to higher ground, in this cult classic co-starring Michael Gross and Reba McEntire. The 25th Anniversary Special Edition of this iconic movie includes a Digital HD Copy of the movie for your Digital Collection.
FILM FACT: The creature designs for Tremors were done by Amalgamated Dynamics. The full-scale graboid, that is seen after Valentine "Val" McKee digs it up, was cast in lightweight foam. It was placed in a trench, then buried, and dug up again to achieve the desired "used" effect. Burt Gummer's elephant gun, was an 8-gauge Darne shotgun, was rented from a private collector for use in the film. It "fired" dummy cartridges custom made from solid brass rod stock.
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, Robert Jayne, Charlotte Stewart, Tony Genaro, Ariana Richards, Richard Marcus, Victor Wong, Sunshine Parker, Michael Dan Wagner, Conrad Bachmann, Bibi Besch, John Goodwin, John Pappas and Tom Woodruff Jr. (Grabboid monster) (uncredited)
Director: Ron Underwood
Producers: Brent Maddock, Gale Anne Hurd and S. S. Wilson
Screenplay: Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson
Composers: Ernest Troost and Robert Folk (uncredited)
Cinematography: Alexander Gruszynski
Video Resolution: 1080p [Color by Deluxe]
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 DTS, Italian: 5.1 DTS, German: 5.1 DTS, Spanish [Castilian]: 5.1 DTS and Japanese: 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: Japanese, English SDH, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Icelandic, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish and Japanese
Running Time: 96 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘TREMORS’  is one of those rare motion pictures that fails during its theatrical run but finds new life on video. Examples of this can be found dotted throughout the VHS/DVD era of cinema post-1983, but few are as dramatic as in this case. It's not hard to see why ‘TREMORS’ ultimately became a massive cult film success. It's a decent monster film with tolerable special effects and a fair amount of tension during the action scenes. It also has a strong sense of humour and never takes itself too seriously. Horror/comedies often tread too far to one side or the other of that fine line; ‘TREMORS’ walks it like a tightrope. We jump when we're supposed to jump and laugh when we're supposed to laugh and not the other way around. Perhaps the biggest question about this film is why it took a video release before the public embraced it? With three sequels and a short-lived television series, and I had forgotten just how fresh and exciting ‘TREMORS’ was. Currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release, of this monster film has been given the high-definition treatment with a new Blu-ray release and ‘TREMORS’ has come out smelling fresh as daisies.
The ‘TREMORS’ franchise series deals with the small Nevada town of Perfection and its killer earthworm infestation. The giant subterranean monsters that stalk the land surrounding Perfection are called Graboids and they propel themselves through the dirt and snacking on as many desert-dwelling bumpkins as they can wrap their prehensile tentacles around and shove them down their palate. Eventually, the townspeople realise these underground giant worm aliens "vision" is based on movement and vibrations from the ground. This sends the townsfolk to the top of their houses to avoid making any noise. With the help and ammunition from Burt Gummer [Michael Gross] and Heather Gummer [Reba McEntire], the townsfolk seem safe, but when the aliens start destroying the houses, they all decide to make a run for the hills, which ends in one final showdown...
Kevin Bacon playing Valentine "Val" McKee and Fred Ward as Earl Bassett, lead the cast, and two boisterous handymen determined to finally leave this dirt trap of the small Nevada town of Perfection. Unfortunately, the day the two finally work up the drive to leave town is the day the Graboids decide to make their presence known. Soon, Valentine and Earl find themselves trapped in Perfection with the rest of the town’s residents and forced to hide on rooftops or on top of giant rocks for fear of their footsteps in the dirt causing vibrations that will alert the Graboid’s sharp ears.
Also included in the cast is Rhonda LeBeck [Finn Carter] as a college student in town studying the unusual seismic activities and starts to record some very strange readings underground that are caused by the Graboids presence and Reba McEntire and Michael Gross act as a pair of gun-loving survivalists whose militia training and ammo hoarding behaviour help ensure the town’s survival. Well unfortunately a few people go missing and a few dead bodies are discovered, and then the alien Graboids stick their ugly heads up from the ground and start attacking the townsfolk.
Like all redneck kaiju type films, ‘TREMORS’ effortlessly combines low-key country humour with monster film spectacle. While some horror comedies tend to pick an area that they will direct most of their efforts and leaving the other genre to shrivel up and fall off like a Doberman’s tail during docking. ‘TREMORS’ pays equal respect to both the scary and the silly, and jokes come as fast and appreciated as jump scares with the characters going from classic comedy banter to survival mode within seconds. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward’s chemistry is the thing of any kind buddy movie legend and with the two bickering like an old married couple as they attempt to stay alive without looking like total pansies in front of the hot college student in their presence.
The film’s special effects are appropriately down-to-earth and managing to work around the film’s relatively low budget and use the creature’s subterranean nature to the film’s advantage. Despite this subdued approach to effects, the film never feels like anything but a Hollywood blockbuster. Blissfully large in scale and featuring monsters with a real bite, the films effects fire on all cylinders. Taking a page out of the book of Steven Spielberg’s ‘JAWS.’ The Graboids are gradually revealed throughout the film with each new scene offering an increased glimpse at the creatures’ true nature. It's a credit to the way the film was assembled that we never once question the reality of the creatures. There's never an instance when we're pointing at the screen and laughing at something that is obviously a bunch of rubber monsters, especially when there's a lot of action during the film's final third as the characters become the hunted. The film as a whole is like that: a little action, a little gore, and then a joke to ease the tension.
There's a lot of action during the film's final third as the characters become the hunted. They have bombs and guns at their disposal, thanks to the Michael Gross and Reba McEntire characters, and a recognition that while Graboids can collapse houses, they can't get to anyone who has reached the safety of a rock outcropping. The dilemma: how to achieve the safety represented by the nearby mountains which don't seem so near when there's a massive, smelly, ugly thing giving chase from beneath, poving he's good for more than a smile and a quip, Valentine "Val" McKee puts his life at risk in a suspenseful sequence where we're sure he's a goner. The movie as a whole is like that: a little action, a little gore, and then a joke to ease the tension. One aspect I loved about this film is that none of the characters are as stupid and brainless as we're initially led to believe. Instead, once they learn about these ferocious creatures, they start planning and thinking, which most people automatically do in the same situation in the event of this catastrophe on this scale, which is what see happening in these types of films. The dialogue is hilarious, and is still quoted today amongst us cult film fans. The acting is fun and at times over-the-top, but oddly, never cheesy. Most of these actors are remembered for their roles in this film and for very good reason.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Universal Pictures UK has released this Blu-ray with a stunning 1080p encoded image, with an even more spectacular 1.85:1 aspect ratio and it looks pretty dang smooth with a crisp image and stunning vivid colours that pop out off the screen during the many scenes of the film that take place under the bright desert sun. The colours are pretty great, they shine vibrantly throughout, with the blacks running fairly deep and the flesh tones are also very natural. Luckily this release has been given a far more superior image transfer than its inferior 2010 release and definitely far superior than the inferior DVD version of the film. For the most part, though, the image is totally impressive than it was when the film was released twenty five years ago. That is why this film is amongst one of my favourites as is cult film fans among you and this upgraded image makes it well worth owning this 2015 Blu-ray remastered release and well worth the wait.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Universal Pictures UK has released this Blu-ray with a very impressive soundtrack that is presented in a stunning audio experience of a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and uses the various speaker channels to their full extent. The ambient noises of people screaming, rocks falling, and the aliens attacking are all loud and flow nicely from the surround speakers, especially with the rushing and grumbling of the earth coming at you from all sides of the room as the Graboids attack. The music score is also great and never drowns out dialogue or the sound effects. When the aliens pop out of the ground, and gun shots go off, the bass rumbles and the speakers pack a powerful punch and is a solid audio presentation. The Blu-ray is well worth an upgrade for anyone that already own the inferior DVD.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: The Making of ‘TREMORS’  [480i] [1.33:1] [53:38] Here we have a lengthy behind-the-scenes documentary divided into ten chapters which are "How It All Began…;" "Building Perfection;" "The Mechanical Effect;" "The Cast;" "Photography and Editing;" "The Creatures;" "The Miniatures;" "The Cliff;" "The Ending" and "Creature Featurette." You can either Play All or watch them individually. What you get to see is in-depth interviews with the filmmakers, who are Ron Underwood [Director]; Brent Maddock [Screenwriter/Producer]; Steve Wilson [Screenwriter/Producer]; Tom Woodruff, Jr. [Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.]; Alec Gillis [Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.]; Dennis Skotak [4-Ward Productions, Inc.]; Robert Skotak [4-Ward Productions, Inc.]; Fred Ward [Actor] (archive footage); Kevin Bacon [Actor] (archive footage); Reba McEntire [Actress] (archive footage) and S.S. Wilson [Screenwriter] (archive footage). You get to see loads of behind-the-scenes shwing the tricks of the trade, especially with the Graboid monster, but what makes me laugh is how Americans whoop and cheer when an effect has been seen to work, which I find a very strange situation. We also get a lot of talking about different aspects of the film with Ron Underwood [Director, as well as the casting of the actors, seeing the monsters in action, the editing, and much more. We also get to see the rare “Original Ending” that was not in the film released in the cinema. If you are a fan of this film, be sure to check this out, as it is a must view. Additional Music by John R. Graham. This is a MCA UNIVERSAL Home Video Production.
Special Feature: TREMORS Featurette  [480i] [1.33:1] [3:52] This is a long promotional film from Universal Pictures, where we get to see lots of excerpts from the film, lots of behind-the-scenes filming, also of very short interviews with the cast on the set, that includes Kevin Bacon; Michael Gross and Reba McEntire. The unknown narrator makes it well worth viewing. This was actually quite funny. This is more of a Universal Pictures studio promo feature to promote the film ‘TREMORS.’
Special Feature: Kevin Bacon Profile  [480i] [1.33:1] [2:54] This is basically an extension of the “TREMORS Featurette,” but where we concentrate on the actor Kevin Bacon and his involvement on the film, and we especially see Kevin actually in action in excerpts from the film ‘TREMORS’ and we also see in depth interviews with Kevin throughout the promo. This is more of a Universal Pictures studio promo feature to promote the film ‘TREMORS.’
Special Feature: Michael Gross Profile  [480i] [1.33:1] [2:22] This is basically an extension of the “TREMORS Featurette,” but where we concentrate on the actor Michael Gross and his involvement on the film, and we especially see Michael actually in action in excerpts from the film ‘TREMORS’ and we also see in depth interviews with Michael throughout the promo. This is more of a Universal Pictures studio promo feature to promote the film ‘TREMORS.’
Special Feature: Reba McEntire Profile  [480i] [1.33:1] [1:56] This is basically an extension of the “TREMORS Featurette,” but where we concentrate on the actor Reba McEntire and his involvement on the film, and we especially see Reba actually in action in excerpts from the film ‘TREMORS’ and we also see in depth interviews with Reba throughout the promo. This is more of a Universal Pictures studio promo feature to promote the film ‘TREMORS.’
Finally, this Universal Pictures UK release of ‘TREMORS’ was not a box office success upon its originally theatrical release. It took time and cult fan enthusiasm for the film like this to gain as much attraction as it eventually ended up achieving. Thanks to a solid performances and some genuinely funny comedy, the film managed to achieve a timeless feel that makes it a perfect catalogue title to release on Blu-ray, which helps with the stunning camera work is pretty spectacular as it mixes in some good horror film puns and even pays homage to Sam Raimi's 'Evil Dead' now and again. ‘TREMORS’ is, after all, the type of popcorn entertainment that was meant to be purchased and enjoyed with a six-pack of cheap beer and a big bag of sweet popcorn. People remember ‘TREMORS’ fondly because, while the film has enough edge-of-the-seat moments, it also gives viewers an opportunity to relax. The characters are all likeable; there are no uncomfortable factions, power-struggles, or two-legged villains. The humans don't do stupid things in the name of greed; survival is their lone goal and ‘TREMORS’ remains a fresh and engaging experience. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom