Saturday, September 29, 2018

Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (on DVD)

Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell
[DVD Tremors]

This straight-to-DVD movie is the latest film in the Tremors saga, which started with a feature film back in 1990, and has grown to include six movies, TV-movies, or straight-to-DVD movies, plus a short-lived 2003 13-episode TV series on the SciFi channel. I would put this close to the kitschy level of the Sharknado TV-movies that the (now) Syfy network continues to air, but the Tremors films actually try to take themselves somewhat seriously. The one unifying factor in all of them is the presence of Michael “Family Ties” Gross as Burton Gummer, a gun-toting, reactionary, conspiracy-theory-spouting anti-government militant. He also seems to be the go-to guy for fighting back against an increasingly varied bunch of mutated, predatory life forms. The Tremors monsters, frequently nicknamed “Grabboids”, are 25′-long underground burrowers, that surface to grab onto their victim and suck them below the sand or soil. They have added aerial versions (“Assblasters”), that fly and emit concussive blasts. The creatures primarily live underground, and track their prey by the sound vibrations of their movement on the surface of the ground (i.e. the “tremors” caused by footfalls and other movements).

In this latest installment, Gummer and his estranged, opportunistic son, played by Jamie Kennedy (introduced in the 5th movie), are roped into going to the frozen wastelands of Canada’s Nunavet territory, where a new version of the grabboids has cropped up — they’re normally a desert-based lifeform but now apparently don’t mind the cold. Multiple different groups of people, with differing motivations, are all threatened by this new version of the monsters, and in the process of fighting them, Gummer is infected with grabboid venom — requiring the rest of the humans to work together to capture a grabboid in order to procure some of its venom to create an antidote. The acting is comical and all-over-the-place, and the use of a frozen, snow-covered environment would have been an interesting variation of the typical Tremors concept. Unfortunately, other than a few scenes in a snowy setting at the beginning of the film, the rest of this movie could have been set anywhere in the northern U.S. or Canada where there are woods and hills. Still, this one is kind of entertaining, in a “traffic accident — you can’t look away” kind of way. If you like cheesy, over-the-top monster movies, this one is for you. But…it will make a lot more sense if you watch some of the earlier Tremors productions first! (Note: the 4th Tremors film was a prequel, also featuring Michael Gross, set during Wild West days.)

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try any of the other Tremors movies or TV-movies (1990-2018), or short-lived television series (2003 – 13 epsodes), all with Michael Gross.]
[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official Early Man web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you seen this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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