The Complete Collection
review by Bobby Blakey
The horror genre is known for not only a variety of insane films, but for a ton of sequels. While it is no surprise that the 1990 flick Tremors starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire spawned more chapters, but I doubt anyone thought it would last this long. Now after 4 sequels, and a short lived TV series. Now a sixth chapter of the film franchise is here with Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell along with a 6 film collection bringing them all together.
If you have never had the chance to enjoy the graboid fun franchise it follows the adventures with Graboid-hunting Burt Gummer as he battles the ominous, giant man-eating monsters in a fight for survival against each destructive generation of the deadliest creatures on Earth. This series is the perfect example of a secondary character rising up to be the franchise star with Michael Gross. While starring in the first two chapters, Gross was still a secondary character, but the one constant with Bacon not returning after the first chapter. Since then Gross has starred in every chapter including the original TV series as its front man.
The original film is so much fun and felt fresh at the time of its release in 1990. The use of practical effects and overall fun just works and still holds up today. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward were great leading the charge in this chapter, but it’s the Graboid’s themselves that stole the show making fans want to see more of them in action. In the 1996 sequel Tremors 2: Aftershocks star Fred Ward takes the lead as he is brought back into the action. This entry not only offered up more of the same fun, but began a tradition of evolving the Graboids into new variations with these additions known as Shreikers and able to walk above the ground. This one kept mostly the same practical effects and served as a good follow up to the fun original.
In 2001 the third chapter Tremors 3: Back to Perfection pushes Gross to the forefront and head of the franchise with his character Burt Gummer now famous for his Graboid hunting returning to his home to see the infestation isn’t over yet. This chapter once again added a new variation of the Graboids with the “Ass blasters” that have the ability to fly. This was the first time CGI was used with some of the creatures and while they don’t always hold up still manage to be a lot of fun. Gross is perfect in the role and it is clear he loves playing it. This chapter pulled no punches in the fun or creatures to offer up a decent chapter to the fun franchise.
With the fourth chapter Tremors: The Legend Begins in 2004 they take the film into the prequel area all the way back to the old west with Gross returning as lead once again, but as his ancestor Hiram Gummer. This chapter doesn’t quite live up to the fun of the previous 3 films mostly due to the change to Gummer’s character. While there is some Graboid action it is few and far between not only taking away the reason to watch these films in the first place, but all the excitement. When doing a prequel you would think this would offer up some sort of explanation to the Graboids outside of what we had already learned, but it really doesn’t. Instead it is more about the birth of the town of Perfection which isn’t something I cared all that about.
I honestly thought this chapter was the final nail in the coffin to the series, but in 2015 Gross returned to the role of Burt Gummer for Tremors 5: Bloodlines co-starring Jamie Kennedy. This entry continues the story, but was clearly meant to reboot the franchise and does a fun job at doing so. The story is simple and once again adds yet another new variation of the Graboids, but this time using mostly CGI. While I prefer the practical effects, I will say that the designs of them this time around are way creepier. The banter between Gross and Kennedy works great making for a great team that clearly looks to move forward with them returning for the latest entry Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell.
This latest chapter finds Burt Gummer and Travis at a remote research station, where they must go up against Graboids that have been converted into living weapons. This recent entry offers up more of the same from the previous outing with both Gross and Kennedy returning. They once again have evolved the Graboids to a new level and bring everything fans love to from the franchise to the mix. You can check out our full review of Tremors” A Cold Day in Hell here.
This is a must have collection for any fans of the long running Graboid franchise so be sure to grab your copy of Tremors: The Complete Collection along with Tremors; A Cold Day in Hell when they hit Blu-ray and DVD on May 1st from Universal Home Entertainment.