Tremors 4:
The Legend Begins

Dir: S.S.Wilson
Star: Michael Gross, August Schellenberg, Sara Botsford, Billy Drago

To their credit, the creators realised that the existence of the Tremors TV show means that something new had to be done in the films. Unfortunately, what's new here isn't interesting, and what's interesting isn't new. The setting remains the same, but the era is shifted back to 1889, a time when the town was named Rejection and home to a thriving mine. Workers there accidentally hatch the monsters' eggs and flee in panic - cue the now-traditional new stage of Graboid development, in this case strangely reminiscent of Piranha 2. Owner Gummer (Ward) then turns up to see why his mine has closed, and things proceed as you'd expect from there.

Too much, especially in the second half, is a retread of the very first movie. Once more, plucky townsfolk slowly find out what they're facing, and take on the beasts with wile, guile and a few household chemicals in the proper proportions. Well, almost: this Gummer only slowly (and amusingly) feels the gun-love of his descendant. Ethnically mixed in a painfully obvious way - in 1889, rich Caucasians always hung out with Mexicans, Red Indians and Chinese! - it also lacks the body-count necessary for tension, though things perk up a little when Billy Drago appears as a hired gun. That thrashing sound you hear is a dead horse being thoroughly flogged: evolution is vital for the series to survive. I start writing Tremors 5: Graboids Go Vegas immediately...

Jan 2004

A Graboid victim goes to ground
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