— Limited Edition —
Genre(s): Horror, Adventure, Comedy
Arrow Video | PG13 – 96 min. – $59.95 | December 15, 2020
Date Published: 12/25/2020 | Author: The Movieman
Arrow Video provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
Note: The screen captures in this review were taken from an old Blu-ray
and only here to add graphics to the review.
THE MOVIE — 3¾/5
Plot Synopsis: Repairmen Val McKee (KEVIN BACON) and Earl Bassett (FRED WARD) are tired of their dull lives in the small desert town of Perfection, Nev. But just as the two try to skip town, they happen upon a series of mysterious deaths and a concerned seismologist (FINN CARTER) studying unnatural readings below the ground. With the help of an eccentric couple (REBA MCINTIRE, MICHAEL GROSS), the group fights for survival against giant, worm-like monsters hungry for human flesh.
Quick Hit Review: Tremors is a movie that was a box office non-story back in 1990 pulling in only $16 million off of a small $10 million budget. However, the film gained plenty of momentum to cult status resulting in an astounding five sequels and a short-lived television series that aired on SyFy. Personally, while I have seen a couple of the sequels, and despite actually owning this on Blu-ray, never got around to checking it out. Well, all these years I got the chance and… it’s an all around entertaining, creature feature with no excess fat and a straight-forward story.
What drives the film, besides some of the fun creature/monster attacks, which still holds up so well 30 years later, is the ensemble cast of characters, most notably Kevin Bacon as Val and Fred Ward as Earl, not to mention series regular Michael Gross as gun-nut Burt Gummer, with the actor playing quite against type versus his fatherly role on Family Ties. The rapport between these characters, and mix of comedy in between the horror, really drove the film and clear to see how the film has stood the test of time and has a strong fan base.
Tremors was scripted by S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock (both would each go on to direct a couple of the sequels), as well as the film’s director Ron Underwood. Wilson and Maddock, as I found out watching the documentary included in the 4K release, came onto the scene with Short Circuit, and similarly, despite being in different genres, have similar heart with their respective characters.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 5/5
This Limited Edition release comes with a small and large two-sided poster, six double-sided lobby-sized postcards. The two-discs is housed in a clear HD keep case. All of these side-slides into a sturdy outer-case. The Blu-ray disc is exclusive to this release and only contains bonus material, the feature film is only on the 4K Ultra HD disc.
Disc 1 (4K UHD):
Making Perfection (31:07) is a retrospective documentary newly made by Universal Pictures and features new interviews with Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross, Ariana Richards, Ron Underwood, S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock and others. Like seeing these especially when they can get a wide array of participants, each one recollecting their work on the picture.
Digging in the Dirt: The Visual Effects of Tremors (20:59) – New featurette about the film’s extensive visual effects with the former crews of Fantasy II Film VFX and 4-Ward Productions VFX.
Music for Graboids (13:35) – This newly made featurette covers the music score and interviews with composers Ernest Troost and Robert Folk.
The Making of Tremors (44:15) – Archive featurette from 1996 traces the production of the film through interviews with the filmmakers and special effects teams.
Creature Featurette (10:26) is a compilation of on-set camcorder footage showing the making of the Graboids.
Deleted Scenes (5:02) includes four scenes including the original opening scene.
Pardon My French (16:18) is an assembled compilation of overdubs recorded for the network version of the film. Pretty amusing.
Electronic Press Kit – Short featurettes produced by the studio to promote the film on its theatrical release in 1990. Includes a featurette and profiles on the cast.
Trailer Gallery: Theatrical Trailer 1 (1:58), Theatrical Trailer 2 (1:55), Radio Spots (4:21), TV Spots (1:23), VHS Promo (1:19) and Tremors Franchise Trailers (6:34).
Image Galleries: Production Stills, Behind The Scenes, Laserdisc Image Gallery, Screenplay Drafts, Storyboards and Posters & Video Artwork.
Disc 2 (Blu-ray):
ArcLight Hollywood 2015 Q&A (1:11:11) – In celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary, there were two Q&As held featuring 16 cast and crew members. As it was filmed in the audience, the audio isn’t the best but still interesting to watch if you’re a big fan of the franchise.
Gag Reel (9:54) was assembled for the film’s wrap party. Included optional intro and commentary by S.S. Wilson.
Early Short Films:
VIDEO – 5/5
|Arrow Video releases Tremors onto 4K Ultra HD, presented in the original theatrical 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a new 2160p high-definition transfer. The picture was culled from the original 35mm camera negative and scanned in 4K resolution, then graded and restored with the approval by director Ron Underwood. No mention exactly what was done or the condition of the negative, but as it stands, this looked incredible, detail is sharp and well defined throughout and colors have a natural appearance. The original film grain and noise has been retained giving as close of a theatrical look as possible, heck maybe even better considering it is in 4K resolution.|
AUDIO – 4½/5
|The movie comes with three options, all DTS-HD Master Audio tracks. The first, and default is 2.0 stereo, the second 4.0 and last 5.1, the first two were remastered from the original sound materials. I chose to watch the majority of the film with the 4.0 track, switching a few times to the other two, to hear the difference and felt all were good, though I think the 4.0 is better balanced. The dialogue levels come across quite nicely and there is some fine depth for those action sequences when the Graboids attack.|
OVERALL – 4½/5
Overall, Tremors is a hell of a fun and all around entertaining creature-feature that has a solid ensemble cast led way by Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward and Michael Gross, the latter a mainstay with the franchise. This is a good time and simple flick, not overcomplicating with some contrived background to the Graboids. As for the 4K Ultra HD set, it’s another homerun for Arrow with amazing video and audio transfers and a fantastic array of bonus materials. If you can find a copy at a reasonable price (at the time of this writing, it is OOP), it is well worth picking up.