Disc Reviews

Tremors 2: Aftershocks 4K Review

Some love has already been given to Tremors by Arrow video previously with a decent package on the first film.  Popularity must have come calling as here now is the sequel standing by itself in a new polish with added extras.

Straight to video films from the mid-90s era did not have much of a reputation.  Assumption sank most titles as they were judged by their cover, their budget, the C-list stars that led them. Tremors 2 (a sequel to a film that wasn’t even a hit) came along and had a bit of cache with it. It had returning talent with Fred Ward and Michael Gross (who in all fairness were responsible for a lot of the laughs in the original). The writers returned (one of them even took over directing duties). There was also a focus on the decent practical effects as well as the new revolution in digital effects work that was stampeding around in high budget cinema.

A lot of love was put into this film and the end product was indeed pretty good fun. The film was given a 2 million budget (It was over 14 when Kevin Bacon was expected to return; and it being sought as a theatrical release).

With Kevin Bacon’s young protagonist from the first film off somewhere else in the world it is left to Fred Ward’s Earl Bassett to take up the slack in the sequel.  As the threat of Graboids returns, Bassett gets called in to help sort the situation out. And he does so in comedy slacker style. There is even a young sidekick thrown in to keep him company before the eventual appearance offFranchise mainstay Burt Gummer (Michael Gross).

The cast are game, the set ups are exciting, and it’s gleefully aware of itself throughout. It has to be said that Tremors 2 continues the same trend of making the gore look disgusting. Graboids are described as creatures that stink. Just looking at their particular colour of blood you can all but smell it off the screen. But the, not so much red as it is orange, goop and sauce put together here really is unique to this series.

The creatures have also been given an upgrade – in interesting looking bipedal offspring that can hunt above ground. The look of the Graboids in Tremors have often been compared to men’s private regions. It is appropriate then that the offspring (the Shriekers) then also bear some resemblance to the wind-up toy version hopping about on two legs.

Bonus Material

There are two commentary tracks. The first with the director/Co-Writer S.S. Wilson and the co-producer Nancy Roberts. They track the making of the film right from the start where the startling news that a sequel was even wanted was broken to them (thanks to the original being a massive hit on video).

The second is with Author Jonathan Melville who is responsible for the book Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors. Melville is obviously well versed on the subject and has come with notes aplenty. His is a little bit stiff in the delivery as if he’s reading from the page, but this is very forgivable as the details on offer are rich and aplenty. Melville, it is also worth noting, wrote the terrific book A Kind of Magic: Making the Original Highlander.

Graboid Go Boom with Peter Chesney – This is the second unit director and also special effect designer’s look back at the film. This 20 minute interview has some in depth recollections about the physical shoot.

Phil Tippett shows up in a short new interview which highlights the era the film was made, but also how lucky it was to have his teams input at the time as this was the literal Jurassic Park era of digital effects taking that giant leap forward.

You also get the expected addition of older materials such as trailers, images and even some outtake footage.

The print package also comes with two fold out posters, limitededition packaging and a booklet featuring new wetritng by the afewmentioned Jonathan Melville on the Tremors 2 scripts that never got made! as well as an article on the history of Universals DTV sequel division.

The 4K restoration looks clean without any issues that stand out and was approved by the director. As for audio the sound comes with original lossless 2.0 and 4.0 surround audio.

Steven Hurst

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