It may not be perfection, but it sure looks fun.
1990’s Tremors remains a ridiculously entertaining creature feature that has a blast with giant monsters, charismatic characters, and a playful approach to a localized apocalypse. It’s gone on to spawn five sequels — technically four plus one prequel — in the nearly three decades since, and not a damn one of them has come close to capturing the original’s spirit.
The very first sequel is the best in part because Fred Ward returned for it, but since then the films have all been headlined by Michael Gross. All of that was about to change thanks to the announcement by the Syfy channel of a new series that not only ignored all of the sequels but that would also see the return of Kevin Bacon‘s Valentine McKee. All was right with the world for a while there, but then despite having filmed a pilot and presumably begun pre-production on further episodes, Syfy abruptly pulled the plug and canceled the series.
I don’t have proof yet, but it seems pretty clear to me that Michael Gross is somehow responsible.
The show’s premature death was met with massive disappointment from fans of the original film, the franchise, and Bacon, but it appears to be a done deal. As bad as the news was, though, at least we only had a vague idea of what we’d be missing. That mercy ended today with the unofficial release of the show’s trailer. It sets the scene for the world and for Val, and it unsurprisingly looks like a ton of fun.
Check out the trailer below (before Syfy yanks it offline).
TREMORS series — trailer from Valentine McKee on Vimeo.
The trailer makes it pretty damn clear that the sequels don’t exist in this world and that the Graboids have never returned. It also looks to follow the initial setup of 1996’s Tremors 2: Aftershocks which started with the other half of the original film’s duo, Earl (Ward), living in town, barely scraping by, and clinging to memories of his adventure with monsters. This time around it’s Val, though, who’s left sitting in the desert.
He becomes convinced the creatures have returned, and while no one believes him the trailer offers up a terrific tease of a sequence featuring two characters trying to remain silent. That’s right, Tremors is the original A Quiet Place. It’s then followed by someone attempting to use a rocket-propelled grenade launcher against the beast only to see the shell fall harmlessly to the ground. (This, by the way, feels like a direct provocation against Gross’ gung-ho, NRA-loving character of Burt Gummer — another motivation for him to sabotage the project.)
Glimpses of the Graboids themselves are limited to a single and very brief shot at the end, and it’s there where I see the only real flaw with the show. CG Graboids can suck it!
The pilot was directed by Vincenzo Natali who’s best known for films like Cube and Splice but who has actually done some of his best work on television. He’s directed episodes of Westworld, Lost In Space, American Gods, Hannibal, and more, and his eye for action and striking visuals is clearly on display in this trailer. Was the actual episode itself any good? Who knows.
As of now, we’ll never see it, but curiously, IMDB lists this credit as a TV movie — not an episode — so there’s every chance Syfy may simply air it as a one-and-done movie. As bad as they apparently think it is, I think we can all agree that they’ve aired far, far worse.