In the town of Perfection, Nevada, population 14, things are really shaking. Literally. Without warning a new species surfaces from deep underground: enormous, carnivorous worm like monsters. Thanks to Rhonda (Finn Carter), a seismologist from the local University, the townsfolk start to realize what they are up against and band together for survival. Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) are two handy-men just about to leave town for better prospects elsewhere. Burt (Michael Gross) and Heather (Reba McEntire) are gun hoarding survivalists. Walter (Victor Wong) runs the only general store for miles. They and others in town devise ways to outsmart the beasts they christen Graboids. Turns out the Graboids are great at sensing movement while lurking under ground but completely blind when above ground. With supplies running out and the sun beating down, options are running out. The people have to get above rocky mountain ground or eliminate the Graboids before they all become lunch.
The Production: 3.5/5
Tremors did absolutely terribly in theaters but was given a second shot at success by the early video rental market. It found its fans and they have demanded 6 sequels, a short lived TV show and several cancelled video game adaptations. It’s spawned a small cottage industry of fan conventions, tchotchkes, and apparel. It’s a fun and perfectly paced movie with well defined and motivated characters, monsters whose movements underground are indicated by clever earth shaking effects, shocking and funny death scenes by both villagers and Graboids alike, and even a cameo by John Goodman.
3D Rating: NA
How much do you like or hate film grain? That will determine how well you like the look of this new 4k transfer of Tremors. It was shot in 35mm film in 1990 as a moderate to low budget film, and it is littered with grain. Grain as far as the eye can see. Every shot. Indoors, outdoors. Dark interiors and out in bright sun. Lots of grain.
Sure, it’s also sharp, colorful, and beautifully captured, both in the cinematography of the original film and in this sparkling transfer. If you can get past or even appreciate the film grain you will loooooove this transfer. It is full of detail down to pores on actors faces and the subtle HDR pass and wide color gamut helps it look way better than when I saw in theaters back in 1990.
If all you can see is the grain then you are not going to be as pleased.
I like the look and recognize it’s showing us exactly what was on the film negative, good and bad.
I reviewed the 5.1 DTS-HDMA track, there are also a stereo and a weird quadrophonic mix to choose from. I suspect I would have seen this in the theaters in stereo only so the 5.1 is a nice upgrade from the last time I saw it. I don’t believe I have the previous Blu-ray release but I’m told that’s significantly softer IQ wise and not quite as well balanced as this track manages. The sound has been cleaned up but we’re still talking about 1990 era mid budget recording, so don’t go in expecting sustained bass rumbling. What we do have is nicely separated audio tracks which flow around the listener and moderate use of surround channels. The music is great too, one thing the film doesn’t get too much credit for, with a solid Hollywood orchestral recording led by Ernest Troost for the main theme and most tracks, alternating in country picking on tracks like “Val & Earl and Rhonda” and “Pole Vaulting”. Sublime.
Special Features: 5/5
I tried valiantly but still only got through a small portion of the extras before I had to move on and write this review up. For the true fan with time on their hands you should pack a lunch because it’s going to take you hours to get through all of these.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
New 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Ron Underwood and director of photography Alexander Gruszynski
60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing by Kim Newman and Jonathan Melville and selected archive materials
Large fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank
Small fold-out double-sided poster featuring new Graboid X-ray art by Matt Frank
Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards
Limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank
DISC 1 – FEATURE & EXTRAS (4K UHD BLU-RAY)
4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
Restored DTS-HD MA original theatrical 2.0 stereo, 4.0 surround, and remixed 5.1 surround audio options
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
New audio commentary by director Ron Underwood and writers/producers Brent Maddock & S.S. Wilson
New audio commentary by Jonathan Melville, author of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors
Making Perfection, a brand new documentary by Universal Pictures interviewing key cast and crew from the franchise (including Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross, Ariana Richards, Ron Underwood, Brent Maddock & S.S. Wilson, among many others) and revisiting the original locations
The Truth About Tremors, a newly filmed interview with co-producer Nancy Roberts on the film’s rocky road to the screen
Bad Vibrations, a newly filmed interview with director of photography Alexander Gruszynski
Aftershocks and Other Rumblings, newly filmed on-set stories from associate producer Ellen Collett
Digging in the Dirt, a new featurette interviewing the crews behind the film’s extensive visual effects
Music for Graboids, a new featurette on the film’s music with composers Ernest Troost and Robert Folk
Pardon My French!, a newly assembled compilation of overdubs from the edited-for television version
The Making of Tremors, an archive documentary from 1995 by Laurent Bouzereau, interviewing the filmmakers and special effects teams
Creature Featurette, an archive compilation of on-set camcorder footage showing the making of the Graboids
Electronic press kit featurette and interviews with Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire
Deleted scenes, including the original opening scene
Theatrical trailers, TV and radio spots for the original film as well as trailers for the entire Tremors franchise
Comprehensive image galleries, including rare behind-the-scenes stills, storyboards and two different drafts of the screenplay
DISC 2 – INTERVIEWS & SHORT FILMS (BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE)
Extended hour-long interviews from Making Perfection with Ron Underwood, Brent Maddock, S.S. Wilson, Nancy Roberts and creature designer Alec Gillis
Outtakes with optional introduction and commentary by S.S. Wilson
Three early short films by the makers of Tremors, remastered in high definition, including S.S. Wilson’s stop-motion horror/comedy classic Recorded Live (1975)
This disk set is the ultimate expression of love towards a film that fully deserves it, and whose fan base has grown and grown ever since it’s first disappointing release. Not only does this box set contain a excellent extras directly on the UHD, plus a ton more on the Blu-ray, but it is accompanied by a 60 page booklet with essays and excerpts from the original press kit, full color post cards, an anatomical poster of the Graboid, and advertisements for Walter’s Store and the town of Paradise itself.
At $60 it’s a steep investment, but if you love this movie as much as many of us do, it’s well worth it. Highly Recommended.
Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.