I’ve been a big fan of the TREMORS franchise for many years. I saw the first film over two decades ago in the theater, and I absolutely loved it. As a rabid fan of creature features, it was right up my alley. So when the direct-to-video sequels began to emerge, I was a bit skeptical. After all, nothing can kill a franchise like terrible follow-ups that are destined for bargain-bin hell. But thankfully, the later titles have been entertaining for the most part, thanks to some tweaks to the mythology and some liberties with the special effects.
TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES is probably my favorite sequel thus far. This film reinvigorates the dark wit that helped define the original, and it also adds some interesting depth to the creatures. Granted, it’s not perfect, but it is a lot of fun and very entertaining.
If you are not familiar with TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Universal Pictures:
The stakes are raised for survivalist Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) in his most dangerous monster hunt yet. When Gummer's hired to capture a deadly Assblaster terrorizing South Africa, he and his new sidekick, Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy), engage in a battle of survival against the fiercely aggressive Assblasters and Graboids. Discovering the monsters have evolved into even more lethal creatures, their killer mission takes on a whole new level of unseen terror–far more than they bargained for.
TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES is shot well and looks like a big-budget film onscreen. The production team played it smart and actually made the film on location in South Africa. This goes a long way in building credibility for the movie; there’s nothing worse than losing immersion in a film due to fake surroundings and lackluster sets.
The acting in TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES is good, with Michael Gross once again reprising his fan-favorite character, Burt Gummer. Nobody else in Hollywood could play Gummer, and Gross once again pulls it off with ease. Joining him this time is Jamie Kennedy. I have to confess I was hesitant about this casting choice, but thankfully, Kennedy does a fine job with the role. My sole complaint about the cast (and it’s not a complaint about the film) is that Reba McEntire does not rejoin to play Gummer’s wife, Heather. She has not appeared in any of the sequels, but I feel she is certainly due to return.
The special effects are decent, however I am again disappointed to see such a big reliance on CG for the worms. The original film boasted some top-notch practical effects, and I would love to see a return to that. The CG in TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES is pretty good for the most part, yet there are a couple of scenes where the animation is blatantly obvious. This isn’t a huge detractor for me, however I do feel it worth mentioning.
Overall, TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES is a win for me, and I really enjoyed it. You can’t go into a sequel and expect it to be as good as the original, so make sure you have the right mindset before you watch this. If you do, chances are you’ll be in for a good time. The film is available now in a variety of formats.