By George Rose
October 7, 2009
It's that very skill, the mind game of running around people's thoughts and distracting them while infusing my own intent, that my mother seems to think I have. Admitting I have it would mean I'm admitting to being a manipulative person, which I would never do. But I must say, it is quite a talent to watch. Tom Cruise should have received an Academy Award nomination for his role but instead recognition went to someone far more consistently deserving: Jack Nicholson. That's right, Nicholson is the hot-headed Colonel out to defend a nation and his own honor. Do you really need any other reason to watch a movie than to see Nicholson scream, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"? I didn't think so, but if you do there's always the additional supporting cast of Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Pollak and Noah Wyle. And if you STILL need convincing, just know that it was directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin. This movie just reeks of talent and it shows in every single scene.
For every A Few Good Men, there's a Tremors. What I mean by that is, for every critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated movie that reminds how entertaining a good movie can be, I feel compelled to recommend a not-so-critically acclaimed, cheesy B-horror movie that stars the typically uninteresting Kevin Bacon. Okay, fine, Kevin Bacon is interesting, but can you really look me in the eye and tell me that he was really ever a sex symbol? I think his 15 minutes of Footloose are over. Or maybe I just never understood why those 15 minutes began and therefore just assume they are over. Either way, this movie shouldn't suggest entertainment, yet I have enjoyed watching it ever since it came out in 1990.
So as to limit the amount of deaths the writers have to come up with – since there are only so many original ways to die these days – Kevin Bacon and his hillbilly friends are in an "isolated" town that is attacked by ancient, underground creatures that resemble giant slugs with three-prong teeth. Oh yeah, and their tongues are three giant snake mini-monsters. The creatures are really the only complicated part of this movie, otherwise it's just a good old B-horror movie with lots of death and exploding monsters. Kevin Bacon's friends include Fred Ward (who is the only one that appears in the sequel), Fin Carter, Michael Gross and – if you really needed additional support to believe they were in a Southern hick town – Reba McEntire! The "plot" consists of the cast wondering where these monsters came from, how to destroy them, and if Kevin Bacon will grow the balls he needs to kiss the leading lady, after screaming like a prepubescent boy for half the film. Heck, Zac Efron is more manly than Kevin Bacon in this movie. Maybe that's why producers tried to get him to star in the Footloose remake.
What's makes the movie even better is its sequel. Normally a sequel is just a replica of the first movie with more blood and extreme deaths. In this case, the monsters in the second film are the younger offspring of the ones in this film, making each film unique and worth watching. Why watch Halloween 1 when Halloween 8 is so much more intense and crazy?! That question doesn't apply here, making Tremors one of the few first-movies in a horror franchise that still stands as quality entertainment nearly 20 years later. Hmmm, maybe Tremors: H20 will be coming out next year. Oh God, I think I hear a Hollywood exec somewhere taking me seriously. It sounds like Michael Bay just signed on to produce. Great, there goes another wonderful horror franchise.