Movie Name: Tremors 2: Aftershocks
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date(s): April 9, 1996
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) hasn’t gotten a break since helping dispatch the Graboids that terrorized the town of Perfection. His friend moved away and got married, and Earl is left trying to get ostriches to mate. When he is contacted by Grady Hoover (Christopher Gartin) with the opportunity to hunt Graboids in Mexico, Earl realizes it could be his second chance. Now, Earl, Grady, and a scientist named Kate Reilly (Helen Shaver) are joined by Earl’s Perfection friend Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) in an attempt to slay the Graboids…but the Graboids have a new trick up their sleeve.
Directed by S.S. Wilson, Tremors 2: Aftershocks is the sequel to the cult horror Western Tremors from 1990. After a premiere on April 9, 1996, Tremors 2: Aftershocks was released direct-to-video and featured the return of Fred Ward and Michael Gross to their roles. The film was met with moderate reviews.
Tremors was a lot of unexpected fun. The movie was a throwback to ’50s horror and surprisingly entertaining with lots of comedy, action, and horror. Tremors 2: Aftershocks tries to match the fun but doesn’t quite get there.
The movie doesn’t have the punch of the first film and falls into a pattern. The Graboids attack, the people flee to rocks, escape the rocks, fight the Graboids, and then something changes. Here, the Graboids mutate into heat-sensing chicken-esque creatures. Earl also finds loves (just like Kevin Bacon in the first movie).
The movie brings back two of the first film’s popular characters. Obviously, Kevin Bacon wouldn’t be coming back for a straight-to-video sequel at this time, but Reba McEntire has to be written out of Michael Gross’s character’s life (which didn’t make much sense storywise). Both new editions Christopher Gartin and Helen Shaver are pretty one dimensional and feel like they are just supposed to replace Bacon and Finn Carter.
This movie is more visually intensive than the first Tremors…but it doesn’t look as good. The Grabboids in the first movie were largely obscured by being underground. This film does more to show the creatures since the Shriekers are above ground. The designs and how they are shot isn’t as effective.
Tremors 2: Aftershocks isn’t a great movie, but it is watchable. Fans of the first film will be happy to see some of their favorite characters back. If you liked that aspect of the film, you should check out the next film in the series which continues that trend. Tremors 2: Aftershocks was followed by Tremors 3: Back to Perfection in 2001.
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