Actually it was Chad over at Uncertain Principles who mentioned Jurassic Park and Tremors and links to an excellant discussion of the first Tremors movie (at last count there are four Tremors movies). Minor quibble the line uttered by Rhonda “…so maybe they predate the fossil record…” is total BS, but other than that Jennifers’ analysis is on target. What about the second and third movies in the series?
In the second movie (Tremors II: Aftershocks) we find that Val and Rhonda are married and are off somewhere studying graboids. Earl, who all through the first movie was telling Val to thinks ahead and plan for the future, was screwed out of royalties for a graboid themed pinball game, is busy raising emus. Earl is, reluctantly, recruited to travel to an oil refinery in Mexico that is being overun with graboids. It is here that we meet the second stage in the graboid life history:
They are christened shreikers and come into the world by eating their way out of their parent. One interesting tidbit about shreikers is that if they eat enough food they can reproduce themselves asexually (they puke up their offspring). In the movie they attack cars and radiotowers and such, leading the characters to assume there is some form of intelligence at work. A working hypothesis that is proven wrong when a shreiker is captured and it is discovered that they perceive the world through heat sensors (much like the heat sensing pit in pit vipers) – so rather than being intelligent they were just attacking any heat source. Interesting tidbit, Helen Shavers’ character (Kate Reilly) discovers a fossil graboid spine in a core sample thus addressing the fossil record issue left unresolved in the first movie (see above).
The third movie, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection returns us to the town of Perfection. Most of the characters from the original are here (except Val, Earl and anybody who died in the first movie) with Michael Gross’ character – the wonderful Bert Gummer – taking the stage front and center. We are also introduced to the next stage in the life history:
The assblaster (favorite quote: “Hah, blasted your own ass didn’t ya, assblaster!” Okay, that’s my second favorite next to Berts’ “I’m a masterpiece of selfdestruction.”) which has a rocket propelled hiney. After a day or two shreikers metamorphize into assblasters (much like a caterpillars turn into butterflies) which then fly far, far away and lay eggs. Graboids hatch from the eggs, so the life cycle is complete. The initial working hypothesis is that if you feed assblasters, much like shreikers, they will reproduce asexually and before you know it you will have bunches of the things running (and flying) around. An assumption that has disastrous consequences for Bert (leading to the “masterpiece of selfdestruction” quote). Eventually, it is discovered that feeding assblasters has the same effect as feeding humans turkey – that is it puts them to sleep.
Movies Two and Three aren’t quite as good as the first Tremors movie, but they hang together really well (compared to, say, the Matrix trilogy) and the science logically follows from the initial premises (even if the initial premises are somewhat unbelievable – this is where the suspension of belief comes into play).
The upshot of all this is that I totally agree with Jennifers’ post, linked to above.
Filed under: Horror Movies