Tremors 2: Aftershocks
|Tremors 2: Aftershocks|
|Directed by||S. S. Wilson|
|Produced by||Nancy Roberts|
|Written by||Brent Maddock|
|Music by||Jay Ferguson|
|Cinematography||Virgil L. Harper|
|Edited by||Bob Ducsay|
|Distributed by||MCA/Universal Home Video|
Tremors 2: Aftershocks is a 1996 direct-to-video sequel to Tremors, in which the character of Earl Bassett, returning from the first film, is hired to deal with a subterranean "graboid" infestation at a Mexican oilfield. It was directed by S. S. Wilson, and stars Fred Ward, Christopher Gartin, Michael Gross, and Helen Shaver. It was followed by a 2001 sequel, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection. It is the second film of the Tremors franchise.
A man on an oil field in Chiapas, Mexico flees from an underground creature which emerges and eats the man, revealing it to be a graboid. Years after the events of the first film, Val McKee has moved away and married Rhonda LeBeck, while Earl Basset has squandered his fortune on a failing ostrich ranch. He is approached by Carlos Ortega, who informs him that graboids are killing his workers at his oil field in Sonora, Mexico, and hires him to hunt them down. Earl initially declines, but Ortega's taxi driver, Grady Hoover, convinces Earl to change his mind; both join the hunt. Upon arrival in Sonora, Earl learns that the company would pay him double if he caught one of the creatures alive. He also meets geologist Kate Reilly and her assistant Julio, who are scientifically investigating the Graboids.
Earl and Grady begin systematically killing the Graboids by using remote-controlled cars rigged with explosives. Realizing the vast number of Graboids, Earl enlists the help of Burt Gummer, who arrives with a truck loaded with firearms and explosives. The next day, Earl and Grady encounter what appears to be a sick Graboid after crashing their truck. They radio for the oil field's mechanic Pedro and wait with the Graboid. That night, the Graboid dies, and Earl and Grady find empty sacs within the carcass. They see Pedro's truck approach from the distance but it eventually stops and does not resume and after moving out to investigate, Grady and Earl find the truck abandoned and only Pedro's arms remaining and the engine motor ripped apart. While breaking into a parked car, they encounter several Graboid-like creatures, later named Shriekers, which have apparently come from their Graboid. Meanwhile, Burt's truck is ambushed by a pack of Shriekers while returning to base.
Julio is killed by Shriekers moments before Earl and Grady arrive and kill them the following morning. The creatures attack and they are forced to hide inside the office. Burt arrives, having engaged the Shriekers and captured a live one. Through experimentation, the group discovers that, through eating, the hermaphrodite creatures can replicate at an incredible rate. They also learn that the creatures cannot hear unlike their predecessors, but rather see heat through special infrared receptors on their heads, thus their targeting of car engines. They are attacked by the Shriekers, who chase them throughout the compound. They run for Julio's car, but Burt accidentally disables it while killing a Shrieker.
Hiding from the Shriekers, Burt is trapped in a bulldozer bucket while Grady, Kate, and Earl are on top of an oil tower. The Shriekers work together in an attempt to climb the tower before Burt traps them in the storage shed with the truck. However, they discover rice flour is stored inside as well, enabling the Shriekers to continue multiplying inside. Earl douses himself in CO2 from a fire extinguisher to hide his body heat, and tries to find Burt's explosives inside. However, the Shriekers eventually detect him, forcing Earl to throw the detonator among Burt's supplies before escaping. The group manages to escape before the explosives level the facility, destroying all of the Shriekers. In the aftermath, Earl and Kate decide to pursue each other romantically, while Grady suggests opening a monster-themed theme park due to the money Ortega now owes them.
- Fred Ward as Earl Bassett
- Christopher Gartin as Grady Hoover
- Helen Shaver as Kate "White" Reilly
- Michael Gross as Burt Gummer
- Marcelo Tubert as Sr. Carlos Ortega
- Marco Hernandez as Julio
- José Rosario as Pedro
- Thomas Rosales as Oil Worker
Tremors 2: Aftershocks began production in 1993 when MCA Universal (feature films division) liked the script. The film was originally planned to be filmed in Australia on a 17 million-dollar budget. Unfortunately, due to distributional and promotional cost for a theater release, coupled with the fact that Kevin Bacon had dropped out of the project, the feature film division lost interest. When the film was on the verge of being canceled due to high costs, several actors and effects artists offered to lower their rates or do the jobs for free just to help the film get produced, including S.S. Wilson, who offered to direct the film for free to save money on hiring another director. The film was later given the green light by the MCA/Universal home video division on a budget of $4 million due to how well the first Tremors performed on the home video and rental market. Despite the budget being severely slashed, the same script was ultimately used but with several special effects sequences scrapped, including a scene where Burt Gummer commandeers a tank and a scene involving characters using American Civil War muskets, and the location was changed from Austrailia to southern Mexico.  Filming took place near Valencia, California in a total of 27 days in early 1994. The film was also released straight-to-video with only a limited theater release.
In Tremors 2: Aftershocks, the creature design team, Amalgamated Dynamics, was faced with a challenge different from the first film. In Tremors, the graboids spend most of their time underground, and thus a prop was not needed for these scenes. However, in this film the shriekers spend all their time above ground and there are always more shriekers than graboids, thus the need for more props. The shrieker props used in the film include two fully articulated, full-scale puppet shrieker, three hand-puppet versions of the shriekers, and three un-jointed non-articulated rubber shrieker dummies. The fully articulated, full-scale puppet shrieker required 16 puppeteers to operate, while the rubber shrieker dummies, not requiring puppeteers, were used in scenes when a shrieker needed to be dropped, shot, or exploded.
One of the full scale graboids used in the film was a refurbished model that was used in the first film.
To achieve the infrared view of the shriekers as seen in several scenes, the actors wore red suits and yellow stockings, then were shot in Hi-8 video tape and blown up to 35-mm film to add an additional grainy effect. The post-production video engineers then rendered the faces and bodies in different colors.
The scene where a baby shrieker is seen was created using a full size shrieker in a large cage, making the shrieker look small. As a consequence, no actors could be shown at the same time as the cage and shrieker.
In addition to the shriekers designed by Amalgamated Dynamics, some scenes in the film utilized shriekers that were computer generated imagery (CGI) designed by Tippett Studio. These animated shriekers were used when ever the film depicts them as walking, running, or climbing, as these movements were beyond the capabilities of the fully articulated puppet shriekers.
Release and Reception
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After the film had been finished, a release date was delayed numerous times due to the creators pushing for the film to receive a theatrical release. Finally, a release date was announced on April 9, 1996, over two years after the film had been finished. Although a theatrical release was deemed too expensive, the film did receive a very small limited release in international theaters with an exclusive premiere screening that took place on April 9, 1996 at 8 PM in the Alfred Hitchcock Theater in Hollywood, California. The film was released on Videocassette on April 9, 1996 and on laserdisc on April 16, 1996.
As of May, 2013, Tremors 2: Aftershocks currently holds a 63% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 8 reviews.
This movie is a rarity among direct-to-video sequels, one that's not only worthy of its theatrical predecessor but suggests that it too, belongs on the big screen... Despite the significantly lower budget, the monsters remain entirely convincing— TV Guide, 
While Tremors 2 lacks the vulgar humor, which made the first film feel so appealing, it retains its predecessors redneck charm and gleeful creature-killing violence and gore. Not merely a rehash, this is a moderately original film.— David Bleiler, TLA Film and Video Guide: The Discerning Film Lover's Guide 2000-2001 (page 594)
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- "MCA/UNIVERSAL HOME VIDEO LAUNCHES RELEASE OF 'TREMORS 2: AFTERSHOCKS' WITH PREMIERE SCREENING, RECEPTION ON APRIL 9, 1996". thefreelibrary.com.
- "Tremor 2: Aftershocks". Rotten Tomatoes
- "Tremors 2: Aftershocks: Review". TV Guide. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
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