The perfect homage and satire of classic 50s monster B-movies, Tremors initially failed to set the box office alight. Like most cult classics it found a resurgence on VHS and ended up spawning multiple sequels, a prequel, a 2003 one-season TV show and a failed 2018 TV pilot starring Kevin Bacon, back as Val McKee.
Praised for its special effects work, the chemistry between Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward and a female lead character who's actually there to do something more than just look pretty and be damseled, Tremors remains a cult and fan favourite 30 years after its release in 1990. There's good reason why; it mixes humour and terror perfectly.
This movie gave me serious nightmares as a child, and watching it now it's easy to see why. The Graboids are more than just dumb monsters, they learn and evolve and attempt to outwit the humans at every turn. The creature design is equal parts phenomenal and terrifying. Emulating Jaws by not showing the monster initially and only what it could do, worked wonders for a creature that made you afraid to walk through the desert. Having fully practical effects meant each Graboid (and their little snakey mouths) felt tangible and a real threat to our heroes.
Substandard CGI-driven monster movies are ten-a-penny nowadays (thanks, Sharknado!) and Tremors is a movie that will no doubt be remade one day, but it'll never capture the heart, humour and horror that made the original such a classic.
Everyone seems to love Tremors (except my mother....!)
I would love to hear your thoughts on Tremors! You can get in touch on
or you can email me general hellos, feedback or suggestions:
verbaldiorama [at] gmail [dot] com
Thank you to patrons Simon E, Sade, Jardiel, Claudia, Simon B, Laurel, Derek and Jason, and new Patron Kristin for supporting Verbal Diorama.
My website is at https://verbaldiorama.com
Thanks to the following for their contributions to this episode:
Theme Music: Verbal Diorama Theme Song
Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe Facebook
Lyrics by Chloe Enticott (and me!)
Production by Ellis Powell-Bevan of Ewenique Studios.
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