Rewind to 1990 and Tremors – starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward and with Gross in an eccentric supporting role – is a wonderful and refreshing throwback to the classic age of giant monster movies. It wasn’t a huge box office hit but it gained a big enough cult audience to spawn a couple of low-budget sequels and even a prequel. Why the title has been resurrected now, over a decade after The Legend Begins and Syfy’s thirteen-week TV series, is anybody’s business – a general paucity of original ideas in Movieland and a tendency to play safe and ‘stick with what the audience knows’ probably figures highly in an equation which brings back Bert and assorted shriekers and assblasters, this time in a new South African setting.
Our Bert is eking out a living – still in Perfection, Nevada, location of the first movie – uploading survivalist video clips onto t’interweb. Bert is joined out in the wilderness in short order by a cocky stranger from Florida who promises to help him improve his online profile and become a ‘global brand’ and then a South African businessman seeking the help of the famous ‘monster hunter’ in tackling an outbreak of assblasters (let’s not go there) in and around a small village in the Cradle of Mankind. What follows is ninety-odd minutes of that vintage Tremors concoction of tongue-in-cheek wit, icky slapstick gore and an assortment of outlandish monsters including the giant subterranean carnivorous graboid worms which started the whole thing off in the first place. As the series has developed new creatures as it’s grown, Bloodlines does the same with the introduction of snake-like tentacles which can now thrive and survive independently of the graboids. Elsewhere the film revisits familiar beats from the first film – graboids attack the village and its (few) inhabitants and, trapped out in the wild Bert and co take to high ground to avoid sound-sensitive graboids which have set up a colony in nearby caves. Fortunately, Bert has access to a helicopter full of deadly missiles...
Bloodlines is great fun and the new location at least adds a dash of something different to what’s essentially a remake of the film which started it all. But it’s hard to shake off the feeling that this has been done before – several times – and there’s no real reason to do it all again other than to rake in a bit more cash from a tried-and-tested franchise which really had its day ten years or more ago. You’ll enjoy Tremors 5 - Bloodlines for what it is –just don’t expect the earth to move for you.
Extras: Behind the Bloodlines, deleted and extended scenes, out-takes
TREMORS 5 – BLOODLINES / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: DON MICHAEL PAUL / SCREENPLAY: BRENT MADDOCK, JOHN WHELPLEY, SS WILSON / STARRING: MICHAEL GROSS, JAMIE KENNEDY, LAWRENCE JOFFE, NATALIE BECKER / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 12TH