Iconic FX: Tremors (1990)

I love Tremors for the simple reason that it knows exactly what it’s trying to be. When campy movies commit 100% to the camp, they spin gold. Clear vision plus insane production value equals a really fun story world. Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr pulled no punches in creating the perfect nightmare creature. They took just enough inspiration from actual animals for the graboids to feel real, but paired those elements with the proper level of otherworldly insanity. The result is something that believably transports you to a new world, which is often a difficult achievement in goofier pictures. 

The graboid monster meets this writer’s key requirement for greatness: It’s so well done that I can vividly imagine myself trying to escape its clutches – so much so that I’ve run through the events of the movie about a million times over, wondering how I’d fit in with the rest of the main characters. And maybe you’re wondering the same! To see where you’d fit into the Tremorverse, use this handy guide: 

 

Am I Earl (Fred Ward)? 

How to tell: 

You’ve been around the block a few times. A horde of ferocious sand worms would catch you off guard, but it probably wouldn’t be the craziest thing you’ve ever seen. Even so, you’d keep those crazier tales to yourself. 

Best plan of attack:

If the more daring members of the crew want to make reckless decisions, you let them. We know you’re a hero at heart, but if someone expresses their desire to try to run a graboid off a cliff buffalo jump style, just reap the benefits of their hard work. 

Advice moving forward:

Retire. Please retire. Rest knowing you’ve passed on your expertise to your partner in crime. You’re young enough yet to write a new chapter in your story – preferably somewhere with less sand. 

 

Am I Valentine (Kevin Bacon)? 

How to tell: 

You need to be taken down a peg in order to be your best self. You hold yourself in such high esteem that you never fully commit anything or anyone – seeing it all as just a little bit beneath you. Maybe kingdom animalia throwing an abomination your way wouldn’t be the worst thing. 

Best plan of attack:

Really soak in this terrible moment. It will build your character. Maybe let the monster bite you a couple times before destroying it. You could use the attitude adjustment. 

Advice moving forward: 

Stay planted for a little while longer. Sure, staying in a deserted town with a graboid infestation sounds scary, but not as scary as making your next big life move without the emotional maturity to back it up. 

 

 

Am I Rhonda (Finn Carter)? 

How to tell:

You’re not entirely sure how you got here. You thought your chosen field of study would be slightly more glamorous. But hey, you’re no complainer. There’s work to be done. 

Best plan of attack:

Stay calm. You’re the brains of this operation, whether or not anyone else realizes it. If you lose your head, other people will lose their limbs. And heads. And organs and stuff. That monster is gnarly. 

Advice moving forward:

Write a book. Leave this town. It has nothing left to offer you. And resist Kevin Bacon, as impossible as that may sound. 

 

 

Am I Heather (Reba McEntire)? 

How to tell:

You’re secretly looking forward to doomsday to show off your high-level emergency preparedness. 

Best plan of attack:

Aim for the head, literally and figuratively. Whatever the problem is, attack it at the source. 

Advice moving forward:

Girl, you gotta share. This disaster could’ve been mitigated at least a little bit if you’d spread around some pieces of your arsenal to the townspeople. 

 

Am I Melvin (Bobby Jacoby)? 

How to tell:

You’re more of a worm than the literal giant worms. 

Best plan of attack:

Fake an injury so the stronger members of the team take pity and carry you. 

Advice moving forward:

Take a long, hard look in the mirror. You know what you’ve done. 

 

Hopefully this was helpful! Enjoy your long journey into the beauty that is the Tremorverse.