This is the second sequel to the classic comedy/horror film, Tremors. I first presented this post in 2014.
Burt Gummer becomes the star in the 2001 sequel, Tremors: Back to Perfection, which takes us back to the town of Perfection, Nevada, site of the first movie. It’s a reunion of sorts for actors from the original, reprising their roles as Miguel, Nancy Sterngood, her daughter Mindy, and obnoxious teenager Melvin Plugg.
After hunting down Graboids and Shriekers around the world, Burt returns home to his fortress on the hill. Perfection has become a tourist mecca for Graboid fans, with shyster Jack Sawyer offering staged tours and scaring the crap out of visitors. And Melvin, now an obnoxious adult, is a land developer attempting to buy out the long-time residents in order to develop the valley. Burt, though happy to be home, does not like what has happened to Perfection.
When a real Graboid pops up and eats Jack’s assistant, the tourists tear ass out of town. Who you gonna call? Right. Good old Burt, who thought he was done with the monsters for a while, uses his tracking equipment to determine that there are three Graboids in the valley. But before he can set out to kill them, some government agents, along with a paleontologist, show up and say that the Graboids are an endangered species and must not be killed. They even threaten eminent domain to move the residents out, which gets Burt’s right-wing blood to boiling.
Jack proposes a deal: if the government gets one live Graboid, the townsfolk can kill the other two and stay put. They set out to capture one, but the creature swallows Burt. Jack lures the monster to Burt’s compound, where it crashes into the bunker walls and dies. Using a chainsaw, he cuts Burt out of the Graboid’s belly. (I’m not making this up!)
Jodi Chang, who now runs the general store, joins Miguel, Burt, and Jack on their hunt, which soon turns up the traumatized paleontologist. Before dying he tells them that the agents were killed by Shriekers from the second Graboid. They follow the Shriekers toward a box canyon but are trapped by the third Graboid, an albino that they name El Blanco, which pins them down for the night.
Finally dodging El Blanco they enter the canyon, only to find that the Shriekers have shed their skin and evolved into yet another form, this time winged creatures that are capable of jet-propelled flight. How do they accomplish this? Seems that chemicals inside them react when they blow huge farts. (I’m not making this up!) One of the creatures kills Miguel but then dies when it crashes into a fence.
These new monsters, which Jodi dubs Ass-Blasters (I’m not making this up!), chase the three survivors to Burt’s compound, and one breaks in before they can arm themselves. Burt traps it in a room, and they escape, but it occurs to Burt that the room was full of MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat). If they’re like the Shriekers, they will multiply after gorging themselves. Reluctantly, Burt blows up his entire compound.
All this time, Nancy and Mindy have been hiding on the roof of the general store. They contact Burt and the others via walkie-talkie and tell them something that they—especially Burt—did not want to hear. Seems that, unlike the Shriekers, eating food would render the Ass-Blasters comatose, and easy to kill. Oh, the irony!
With no conventional weapons at hand, Burt, Jack, and Jodi head for the junkyard to see what they can improvise. And therein lies the balance of the story—which you can check out, if you’re interested.
If I had to rate the Tremors films, this would be at the bottom…you can probably guess that from some of the goofy plot points, and my commentary. Still, it’s a fun flick, and harmless—not counting all the folks who were eaten—and worth a look if you’re into the series, or comedy-horror films in general.
Next week I’ll talk about the prequel, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins. Sneak preview: for me, this was the best of the sequels.