Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)

Director: S.S. Wilson

Starring: Fred Ward, Christopher Gartin, Helen Shaver, Michael Gross, Marcelo Tubert, Marco Hernandez, Jose Ramon Rosario, Thomas Rosales Jr

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Worms have turned.

Plot: When an army of Graboids - giant, carnivorous underground worms - threaten the Petromaya oil refinery in Mexico, its owners call on Earl Bassett, who once helped kill four of the creatures in Perfection, Nevada.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yup.

One of the things that made the first TREMORS (1990) so much fun was the chemistry and playfulness of the cast. Fortunately, Fred Ward (one of my favorites) is back as well as Michael Gross (who gets even more laughs this time) but this time Ward has a new sidekick (Gartin) and he's got a love interest, the very scrummy Helen Shaver. Ward and Gross are terrific as expected with this material but I was really impressed that I didn't hate Gartin's character. He's good enough as an actor that he didn't go full goofball. That would have been disastrous.

Like the first film, this one's loaded with laughs, good action, some suspense and some great CGI and creature effects (courtesy of Phil Tippet's studio). For a direct to video sequel I was STUNNED at how great the creatures turned out. Floored. Not only that, they upped the ante by having graboids for the first half of the movie and then an unexpected turn of events creates something else for the second half forcing our heroes to adapt new strategies.

I'm just tickled that this more fun than it should be. I've seen the first film a few times and it's just a blast through and through. I would have never guessed that the sequel could pull off a lot of what worked from the first one. Now I'm really anxious to see the 3rd and 4th films - especially the 4th as it takes place in the Old West and features another character actor great, Billy Drago!

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