With nary a Kevin Bacon in sight, the sequel to Tremors finds Fred Ward in the lead role, reprising his role as Earl and a man down on his luck. After the events of the first film, he and Val managed to find a bit of success as it is not every day that you discover real-life monsters. Through a series of unfortunate decisions, Earl now lives in a trailer, raising ostriches with thoughts of a former life to keep him company. When a chance arises to make a lot of money hunting more Graboids down in Mexico, though he does not necessarily jump at the chance to go, he really has nothing better to do.
With the first film being somewhat successful, it is a little strange that it took six years to make a sequel, especially when studios are usually all over the opportunity to create a franchise, but such as it is, Aftershocks is an entertaining affair that keeps the spirit of the original going with a good mix of action and comedy. There is no horror to be had as we know what to expect from the first film which is a bit of a shame, but there is a lot going on so that you do not ultimately care so much. The movie does take an unforeseen turn as we see the Graboids evolve into a different, hermaphroditic life form, sort of like a chicken but obviously not, and it keeps things fresh, though loses a bit of the suspense as they no longer need to travel through the earth and thus, no element of surprise. The practical effects are still there though and they still look great as these little monstrosities chase our cast around in the hopes of a meal. So with no scares in sight, it is up to the charm of the actors to keep the viewer in the seat and with a decent script by Brent Maddock and S.S. Wilson, they do just that.
Ward is still quite a bit of fun to watch as the fairly good-natured Earl. Helping him along this time is Christopher Gartin as his sidekick and Michael Gross returning as Burt Gummer to create just a little more mayhem when things start to spiral out of control. Despite the lack of Bacon in the film, the cast manages to do a really good job and you find yourself enjoying the film just as much as you did the original. With Earl now the star of the show, and with Val getting the girl the last time around, he now gets a chance at love with Helen Shaver who just so happens to be a Playboy model in the picture.
With a fair amount of suspense and tension and a ton of action as well, it was enough to get your blood pumping a little and the breezy comedy inherent throughout the film put a smile on your face more often than not. Though it might have taken a while to get this sequel off the ground, three more would soon be on the horizon over the next twenty years ensuring that the threat of the Graboids lived on.
First Entry – Trapped in the… – Valley of the Dragons (1961)
Second Entry – Can You Feel the… – Tremors (1990)
Third Entry – Beauty and Danger Collide in… – Viking Women and the Sea Serpent (1957)
Fourth Entry – Dance the Night Away in the… – Village of the Giants (1965)
Fifth Entry – It Was a Time… – When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)
Sixth Entry – Do Not Fall Into the Grasp of… – The Giant Claw (1957)
Last Year’s Creatures…
Giant Monster Gamera (1965)
The Monolith Monsters (1957)
Gamera vs. Barugon (1966)
Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967)
Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)
Gamera vs. Viras (1968)
The Cyclops (1957)
Gamera vs. Guiron (1969)
Gamera vs. Jiger (1970)
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)
The Deadly Mantis (1957)
Space Monster Gamera (1980)
King Dinosaur (1955)
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)
The Black Scorpion (1957)
Gamera 2: Attack of Legion (1996)
Gamera 3: The Revenge of Iris (1999)
The Giant Gila Monster (1959)
Gamera the Brave (2006)
Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966)