TREMORS BLU RAY REVIEW

Tremors opened the door to the 1990s. I saw it on VHS and loved every second. Its crazed worm attack small town, 50s B movie fun. By that age (I was hitting 11 years old), I knew my way around the eclectic mix of genres, the modern homages and the witty, yet not self knowing films that were flowing out of Hollywood.

Small town Handy men Valentine (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward), live and work in Perfection, Nevada. They want out of the place. I mean who wouldn’t. A population of 14 people and desert all around, it sucks worse than the sewage pipe they have to use to drain the tanks.  Then as they leave town, they find the dead body of a friend hanging from a power line. Then some strange underground noises, bring creatures to the surface. With a taste for people.

The way the idea behind TREMORS was conceived always interested me. Two Navy guys were on a rock in the desert and they came up with a question. ‘What if something stopped them from getting off the rock?’. It showed how radical and strange the invention of an idea could be. This was actually the second thought I had after watching the film. The first was like this. I remember seeing the name Gale Anne Hurd on the credits of TREMORS and finding a light bulb moment. Finally I began to understand the skill a producer had to have. An eye for talent. A sense for tastes and a real appetite for risk. I mean going from THE TERMINATOR with then husband James Cameron, to this film. Both great films. Both brilliant genre products. Both spawned a series of films with differing results (mostly terrible) and both seemed to grasp the appetite of audiences of the age and the generation.

DISC

The 4K has all highs. The sun bleached cinematography is the biggest winner. It was often over lit on VHS and DVD (it was filmed in winter and that explains it). This diluted the frame and leaked colour from the centre. All has returned. Looking grand and graded on screen.

EXTRAS

I will complain. One, the extras here are new but also some old stuff that in the most is not needed. Also for the second disc, which houses the brilliant early films, they should not have done that. They should have dispensed with the archive stuff.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS

  • New 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Ron Underwood and director of photography Alexander Gruszynski
  • 60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing by Kim Newman and Jonathan Melville and selected archive materials
  • Large fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank
  • Small fold-out double-sided poster featuring new Graboid X-ray art by Matt Frank
  • Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards
  • Limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank

DISC 1 – FEATURE & EXTRAS

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Restored DTS-HD MA original theatrical 2.0 stereo, 4.0 surround, and remixed 5.1 surround audio options
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • New audio commentary by director Ron Underwood and writers/producers Brent Maddock & S.S. Wilson
  • New audio commentary by Jonathan Melville, author of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors
  • Making Perfection, a brand new documentary by Universal Pictures interviewing key cast and crew from the franchise (including Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross, Ariana Richards, Ron Underwood, Brent Maddock & S.S. Wilson, among many others) and revisiting the original locations
  • The Truth About Tremors, a newly filmed interview with co-producer Nancy Roberts on the film’s rocky road to the screen
  • Bad Vibrations, a newly filmed interview with director of photography Alexander Gruszynski
  • Aftershocks and Other Rumblings, newly filmed on-set stories from associate producer Ellen Collett
  • Digging in the Dirt, a new featurette interviewing the crews behind the film’s extensive visual effects
  • Music for Graboids, a new featurette on the film’s music with composers Ernest Troost and Robert Folk
  • Pardon My French!, a newly assembled compilation of overdubs from the edited-for television version
  • The Making of Tremors, an archive documentary from 1995 by Laurent Bouzereau, interviewing the filmmakers and special effects teams
  • Creature Featurette, an archive compilation of on-set camcorder footage showing the making of the Graboids
  • Electronic press kit featurette and interviews with Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire
  • Deleted scenes, including the original opening scene
  • Theatrical trailers, TV and radio spots for the original film as well as trailers for the entire Tremors franchise
  • Comprehensive image galleries, including rare behind-the-scenes stills, storyboards and two different drafts of the screenplay

DISC 2 – INTERVIEWS & SHORT FILMS (LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE)

  • Extended hour-long interviews from Making Perfection with Ron Underwood, Brent Maddock, S.S. Wilson, Nancy Roberts and creature designer Alec Gillis
  • Outtakes with optional introduction and commentary by S.S. Wilson
  • Three early short films by the makers of Tremors, remastered in high definition, including S.S. Wilson’s stop-motion horror/comedy classic Recorded Live (1975)

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