Tremors 2: Aftershocks

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Tremors 2: Aftershocks
Tremors 2.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by S. S. Wilson
Produced by Christopher DeFaria
Nancy Roberts
Ron Underwood
Written by Brent Maddock
S.S. Wilson
Starring Fred Ward
Christopher Gartin
Helen Shaver
Marcelo Tubert
Michael Gross
Music by Jay Ferguson
Cinematography Virgil L. Harper
Edited by Bob Ducsay
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million

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.

Plot[edit]

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 sacs within the carcass. Pedro's truck arrives, but Grady and Earl find only his arms remaining and the engine motor ripped apart. While breaking into a parked car, they encounter several Graboid-like creatures, later named Shriekers, that 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 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 and Grady, Kate, and Earl 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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Tremors II: 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, the feature film division lost interest. The film was later given the green light, by the MCA/Universal home video division, for everything but the 17 million dollar budget and Australian location. Finally, after many actors and technical experts lowering their rates, and several major special effects sequences scrapped, the film was made on a 4 million dollar budget[1] and filmed in a total of 27 days in early 1994.[2] The film was also released straight-to-video with no theater release.[1]

Props[edit]

In Tremors II, 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 Tremors II, 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,[3] three hand-puppet versions of the shriekers,[4] and three un-jointed non-articulated rubber shrieker dummies.[5] The fully articulated, full-scale puppet shrieker required 16 puppeteers to operate,[6] the rubber shrieker dummies, not requiring puppeteers, where used in scenes when a shrieker needed to be dropped, shot, or exploded.[5]

One of the full scale graboids used in the film was a refurbished model that was used in the first film.[7]

Effects[edit]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

Release[edit]

Although originally negotiated for a wide release, the film received a very small limited release with an exclusive premiere screening for 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.[12]

Reception[edit]

As of May, 2013, Tremors II: Aftershocks currently holds a 63% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 8 reviews.[13]

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, [14]

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)

An excellent cast, good ideas and effects showcase, how good a horror-sequel can be.

— Julian Thome, [15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Intro To Tremors II". Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Story Board". Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Fully Articulated Shrieker". Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hand Puppet Shrieker". Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b ""Stunt" Shriekers". Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Shrieker Controls". Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Refurbished Graboid From Tremors". Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "How to get a Creature's Point Of View". Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Ultimate Tremors FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions". stampede-entertainment.com. 
  10. ^ "The Tremors II production team". Stampede Entertainment. 
  11. ^ "TREMORS 2 - Story Boards". stampede-entertainment.com. 
  12. ^ "MCA/UNIVERSAL HOME VIDEO LAUNCHES RELEASE OF 'TREMORS 2: AFTERSHOCKS' WITH PREMIERE SCREENING, RECEPTION ON APRIL 9, 1996". thefreelibrary.com. 
  13. ^ Tremors II: Afterschocks at Rotten Tomatoes
  14. ^ "Tremors 2: Aftershocks: Review". TV Guide. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Tremors 2: Aftershocks: Review". Zelluloid. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 

External links[edit]