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Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004)

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Ranked #3,147
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Connections: Tremors

A prequel to Tremors, this movie tells us about how the town of Perfection, Nevada became founded and how they defended it against the Graboids with the help of Burt Gummer's ancestor, Hiram. --IMDb
Michael Gross
Michael Gross
Sara Botsford
Sara Botsford
Billy Drago
Billy Drago
Brent Roam
Brent Roam
August Schellenberg
August Schellenberg
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Review by Chad
Added: March 30, 2007
The Good News: Tremors 4 is a whole hell of a lot better than Tremors 3 was.
The Bad News: That's not saying a whole lot.
The Worse News: Comparisons aside, Tremors 4 isn't all that great.

Instead of continuing the storyline, the third (and as of this writing, last) sequel decides to take the prequel route and sends us back to the year 1880, back when the little town of Perfection - excuse me, Rejection - was still a relatively new mining town. One day, Juan Pedilla (Brent Roam) comes back to town and reports on an incident that occurred down inside the mine which cost all of the other miners their lives. The odd thing about this is that he didn't see what killed everyone. I wonder what it could have been...

This incident forces the prim and proper Hiram Gummer (Michael Gross), the owner of the mine, to pay a visit to this sleepy little town in order to assess the situation. What he and the rest of this posse find is that there is an infestation of "dirt-dragons" and that nobody in the town is very handy with a firearm. Enter Black Hand Kelly (Billy Drago), an outlaw who just so happens to be one of the quickest draws in the west. He agrees to help the town fight off the monsters, but will his help be enough?

For the record, I really hate prequels due to the simple fact that they rarely work (in my opinion). The writers have two choices with this scenario: they can come up with a story that logically ties in to the preceding films (in terms of the actual releases), or they can come up with something that only has loose ties to the original stories. If you logically tie the films together, then you wind up with a story that is worthless from the start as you'll know from the moment you pop the DVD into your player that the events that you're about to witness won't matter; if you're watching a prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, do you really think that they're going to kill Leatherface? If not, you know that he's going to go on to kill more people in later movies, so what's the point? On the other hand, they could have come up with something that has little or no connection to the original stories, but again I ask: what would be the point of that?

That's one of the many issues that I had with the film, as we all knew right from the opening credits that the graboid problem would persist after this movie; defeating them here would do nothing in the grand scheme of things, so watching this was akin to cinematic masturbation. I could have overlooked that and watched it as just another monster movie had the film had something else going on for it, but that wasn't the case: Tremors 4 is nothing more than a simple retread of the original set in the wild west, but it lacks the great acting, smart writing, and perfect action-to-story ratio that made the original so enjoyable.

On the positive side, the CGI "magic" wasn't used nearly as heavily this time around, and as a result, the beasts looked a whole hell of a lot better. The problem with that was the fact that this was apparently a very low-budget production, and as such, we rarely actually get to see just how good said beasts look. In fact, the movie runs for about ninety-five minutes, and I'd be willing to wager that there's only about twenty combined minutes in which we're seeing monsters, monster attacks, or some combination of the two. A good horror film can make that work; a mindless direct-to-video monster flick with little in the way of storyline can't.

Once again, I find myself saying the same thing: avoid. Michael Gross is once again great in his role (watching him as the polar opposite of the character we've come to know was fun, I'll admit) and Billy Drago steals the show a couple of times, but as I've also said before, those two men couldn't save the movie. 3/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 04/02/2007, 11:52 AM
Never saw this one. Never will.
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