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Written By:

Sol Harris


Considering their straight-to-video status and their lack of Kevin Bacon, you’d be forgiven for writing off the abundant sequels to 1990 cult hit Tremors. Forgiven until now, that is, because we’re telling you that they’re well worth the time of anyone who enjoyed the first film.

Much like Inspector Clouseau, who debuted as a supporting role in The Pink Panther before taking centre stage in the sequels, the Tremors movies quickly honed in on Burt Gummer, the oddly loveable, survivalist gun-nut played by Michael Gross in the first film. Gummer is the lead character in all six subsequent movies (not to mention appearing in the short-lived TV-series).

The franchise took something of a downward turn after the original creators stopped having any involvement, starting with Tremors 5: Bloodlines. This also marked the introduction of Travis, the estranged son of Gummer, played by Jamie Kennedy. Travis returned for the sixth movie but is noticeably absent here – noticeably because of how blatantly his character has been re-worked into a ‘new’ character played by Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder. Contrived as it all feels, Heder is a welcome upgrade.

In Shrieker Island, humans are no longer the most dangerous game; Graboids are. A wealthy hunter has been shipping them to his private island, but inevitably, things go wrong and Burt is drafted to save the day. Coming from largely the same creative team as the previous two movies, this one features a more confident and playful feel than the franchise has had in a while. While it’s far from the best that Tremors has to offer, there’s plenty of Graboid action, a handful of great gags and a surprisingly emotional climax which ultimately renders Tremors: Shrieker Island much closer to perfection than you might think.

Sol Harris

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