Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)

DVD Cover (Universal)
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Connections: Tremors

Earl Bassett, now a washed-up ex-celebrity, is hired by a Mexican oil company to eradicate a Graboid epidemic that's killing more people each day. However, the humans aren't the only one with a new battle plan. --IMDb
Fred Ward
Fred Ward
Chris Gartin
Chris Gartin
Helen Shaver
Helen Shaver
Michael Gross
Michael Gross
Marcelo Tubert
Marcelo Tubert
Review by Chad
Added: March 29, 2007
Ahh, sequels. The studios love them, the fans (usually) hate them, and the unwashed masses simply eat them up. Very rarely does a sequel live up to the original, but that never stops them from trying. Tremors 2 certainly doesn't compare to the original, but as far as sequels go, it's surprisingly good and brings a couple of new tricks to the table along the way.

Following the events and the subsequent media exposure after the initial events in the little town of Perfection, Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) has moved on to do... well, not a whole hell of a lot. He still lives in the small Nevada town, but instead of still living the life of a handyman, he now raises ostriches to make ends meet. When a young man named Grady (Christopher Gartin) shows up and introduces himself as Earl's biggest fan, Earl brushes it off - until Grady reports that there is a new batch of graboids that is feasting on people down in Mexico. Earl isn't too keen on battling these beasts again, until he discovers that he could earn $5,000 for each confirmed kill. With the knowledge of how these things operate, killing them off isn't too terribly difficult and the pair manage to earn themselves a sizable chunk of change. Earl also meets a female scientist (Helen Shaver) that he takes a liking to, and it seems like all is good for our heroes... until things change.

The graboids have a new trick up their sleeves, as they now pop out little "shriekers" that can run around on land. As if that wasn't bad enough, they can also detect body heat, so simply climbing atop a rock or a water-tower just isn't going to cut it this time around. Earl calls up his buddy Burt (Michael Gross) for backup, but will Burt's massive amount of firepower and explosives be enough?

This sequel doesn't match up to the original in very many categories. The leading duo of Ward and Gartin isn't quite as effective as Ward and Bacon was, the pacing of the film is a small step down, and the storyline gets just a wee bit more implausible when certain revelations are made. However, that's not to say that it's a bad film; on the contrary, it was actually pretty good, certainly better than it had any right to be with all things considered.

The success of this movie can largely be attributed to Fred Ward and Michael Gross. These two men reprise their roles from the original, and neither had lost a step by the time the first of three sequels had rolled around; in fact, there are moments where they outdo their performances from the last one. Honestly, their performances easily bumped my final rating up a few points: this movie wouldn't have been nearly as good had they not starred in it.

Introducing a new "breed" of creatures certainly kept things interesting, although I would have liked to have seen a little more of the graboids (aside from watching them explode, that is). It could easily be argued that the writers should have stuck with what worked in the original, but I'll disagree with that; after all, the first movie pretty much explored everything that could have been done with these beasts in a desert setting, and sticking solely with them would have made for a lot of rehashed scenes and recycled actions.

It's a small step down from the original, but that's it: a small step. Nobody could reasonably argue that it outshines the original, but if you enjoyed watching the graboids terrorize the small town of Perfection in Tremors, chances are pretty damned good that you'll enjoy watching the shriekers terrorize Mexico as well. 7/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 03/29/2007, 11:07 AM
Eh...how about a big fat 'No'. This sequel is inferior to the original in numerous ways. What made the original film work was the chemistry between Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward. Taking Bacon out of the mix was rather harmful to the sequel. Ward still does what he does, and he does it well -- and Michael Gross is still as over-the-top as ever, but Bacon's absence was strongly felt and I couldn't enjoy the sequel nearly as much. 5/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 10/26/2007, 03:28 PM
It's just not Tremors without Bacon. I definitely enjoyed it though, considering how much it made me laugh. The only thing I didn't like was the Helen Shaver character. Yes, we get it. There needs to be a love interest. But she's the same character as Rhonda, just with less acting ability and no contribution to the plot whatsoever. 6/10
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