Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)

The Worms have turned.

Those supersucking desert creatures are back --- and this time they're south of the border. As the creatures worm their way through the oil fields of Mexico, the only people who can wrangle them are veteran Earl Bassett and survivalist Burt Gummer. Add to that team a young punk out for cash and a fearless scientist, and the critters don't stand a chance.

The Shriekers!
After the huge love and deserved critical praise for Ron Underwood’s 1990 film, Tremors, this in spite of poor box office and lead man Kevin Bacon disowning the film at the time, sequels were always likely. And so it proved.
Fred Ward and Michael Gross return from the first film and are joined by Christopher Gartin, Helen Shaver and Marcelo Tubert. Underwood hands over the directing reins to S.S. Wilson and co-produces instead, while music is by Jay Ferguson and cinematography by Virgil Harper.
In spite of adding some new beasties into the mix, it all feels very same old same old, only without the funny script and any sense of peril. What made Tremors so strong was that even as it had its tongue in its cheek, homaging 1950s creature features with a proud sense of being, it was still scary and suspenseful. The characters there gave a believable sense of danger and fright, here it’s just done for laughs, we never once think the principal players are remotely scared of the Graboids and their offspring.
Story has advanced for Earl (Ward) and Burt (Gross), where this time it’s Earl who is romancing (Shaver under used but lovely) and Burt is all on his lonesome as his Mrs (Heather played by Reba McEntire) has left him on account of his love of war and weapons, a joke which grows old very fast here. Still, when the action isn’t of the budget CGI kind, it’s well staged and good fun, though Wilson’s comic sequence shooting is flat, while Ward is a strong enough actor to carry the film to keep it above average.
Passably enjoyable for fans of creature feature movies without ever being an essential viewing choice. 5/10

MCA/Universal Pictures, Stampede Entertainment by S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Ron Underwood.
Stars: Fred Ward, Chris Gartin, Helen Shaver, Michael Gross.

Genres: Action, Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Keywords: small town stranded graboids giant worm oil refinery seismograph double barreled shotgun metamorphosis remote control car hunt

04/09/1996

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