Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)

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Connections: Tremors

The giant, man-eating Graboids are back and even deadlier than before, terrorizing the inhabitants of a South African wildlife reserve as they attack from below-and above. --IMDb
Brandon Auret
Brandon Auret
Natalie Becker
Natalie Becker
Emmanuel Castis
Emmanuel Castis
Michael Gross
Michael Gross
Zak Hendrikz
Zak Hendrikz
Review by Crispy
Added: August 09, 2016
Ever since I was a kid, I've loved the Tremors franchise. Hell, if we ever got to Tremors 13 I'm sure I'd get excited about it. Still, I'm a realistic man, and after the last two entries were basic Syfy channel monster movies my hopes weren't going to get too high. Well, Tremors 5: Bloodlines is a completely different animal.

After multiple scraps with graboids and their later forms, Burt Gummer is something of a minor celebrity. He's currently the star of a survivalist show and the proprietor of a small condiment company. Still, he's a man of action, and while filming his latest episode he is met by two unexpected parties. One of which is Travis Welker, an extreme sports enthusiast who's replacing his cameraman and the other is Erich van Wyck, a representative of the South African Wildlife Ministry who's in dire need of Burt's services. It seems there's an ass-blaster running lose in the Bush, and as the world's most qualified man in dealing with these animals, Burt is the only one who can help them. He jumps at the chance to get into something constructive, but with all his experience, it turns out even he has no clue what he's up against. You see, Burt has spent his life dealing with the North American breed of graboid. The African breed is something else entirely. Bigger, leaner, smarter. They may be more than even the legendary Burt Gummer can handle.

Even though the series had lain dormant for fourteen years, I had expected it to pick right up with the same tone parts three and four had. They were more adventure movies than the first two were, and while the new forms kept things interesting, they were light-hearted monster flicks. Tremors 5, on the other hand, is an unabashed monster horror movie. These creatures seem the deadliest they have since the first movie, and our filmmakers were more interested in making the graboids terrifying than kicking out another "fun" monster movie. I absolutely loved this approach. It's a completely new direction for the franchise; the first two were a nice blend of horror and comedy, with the latter coming from the banter between two sets of well-written characters and amazing chemistry. Now, Tremors 5 does try to shoe-horn a bit of comedy into it, but it mostly falls flat. There's a scene where Burt descends into a terrible bout of overacting following a spell of heat stroke which, along with being as annoying as comedy based on overacting usually tends to be, is completely out of character for the man. And then there's Travis. He's a main role, but he was still supposed to fill that comic-relief doofus character. While I'm sure they were trying to mimic Grady from the second movie, he wasn't a doofus so much as a naive smart ass. With Travis, they took things too far, so it's a bit jarring when you see he's fully competent at taking care of himself. It just didn't work, but fortunately was a small enough matter to keep the collateral damage to a minimum.

Let's just take a minute to talk about these new graboids. For the most part, I really liked the new designs. They're bigger, more ferocious and went beautifully with the movie's new tone. Like I said, they were terrifying this go-around, and introducing a second breed was a brilliant way to give us the monsters we know and love while re-invigorating them after they've been watered down in the last few movies. With all that said, there were a couple decisions made with the new designs that really rubbed me the wrong way. The biggest thing, and I do realize that this is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, is that their trademark trifurcated beaks have been replaced with a lampry-esque vortex of teeth. That beak has been the single constant between the creatures' different forms over the years and taking that away is a pretty big separation from the rest of the franchise. The other discrepancy does tread into spoiler territory, but I'll just say it's a new ability involving the graboids' three tentacle-like tongues. It's the kind of thing you'd find in a twelve-year-old's fan fiction.

Minor design choices aside, Tremors 5 certainly didn't fail to please. Michael Gross is no spring chicken anymore (his age is touched upon several times here) and I don't think Jamie Kennedy is up to shouldering the franchise by himself, but I would certainly be excited if a sixth movie was announced. Plus, there's rumors that Kevin Bacon is considering a return to Perfection. Sign me up. 7.5/10.
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