Tremors (1990)

Kevin Bacon (Val), Fred Ward (Earl), Finn Carter (Rhonda), Michael Gross (Burt)

Directed by Ron Underwood (City Slickers)

Plot: Goddamn underground monsters!

This movie is a classic. I say that without reservation or sarcasm. Granted, the romantic subtext and Kevin Bacon's over-the-top acting are a little heavy handed, but what other movie has a seismologist heroine and country legend Reba McEntire in her first acting role, firing automatic weapons? (I love Reba.)

The story could actually be used as a case-study for pacing, seeding a plot with elements that will come into play later, and successfully weaving subplots in without overburdening what is, essentially, a monster movie. The cooler on the fritz? Comes into play. The fact it's set in a desert and therefore none of the buildings have basements? Comes into play. It's brilliant. Tremors is for monster movies what The Cutting Edge is for romances and Clue is for comedy: quality, low budget and underappreciated. If you haven't treated yourself with this funny, goofy, surprisingly worthwhile cinematic treat, have at it. And join its legions of high quality B-movie loving fans.

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