As a die-hard and lifelong Tremors fan, I was of course excited when a fifth installment in the series was announced. It’s been 11 years since anybody did battle with the fierce graboid creatures, and frankly, I missed them. I felt like they could make a comeback and introduce their awesomeness to a whole new generation of genre film enthusiasts. The original film remains perhaps my favorite creature feature and is definitely up there on my list of favorite horror comedies, as well. The next two sequels were also quite enjoyable, while the last one left a little to be desired. And sadly, I wish I didn’t have to say the same thing about Tremors 5: Bloodlines. I wanted this movie to be so, so good, but in the end, I can’t say I loved it.
Burt Gummer is still doing his survivalist thing in Perfection Valley, Nevada, keeping the graboid population under control and contained to the Northern Hemisphere. Or so he thought. A new, evolved species has appeared in South Africa, and as the world’s best monster hunter, Burt heads across the ocean to fight his nemesis, along with his new cameraman and sidekick, Travis Welker.
There is a dual storyline going on for most of the movie, with Burt and Travis seeking out the assblasters and graboids in the field, while the people at the wildlife preserve, Baruti and Nandi, hold down the fort at home. But the way that certain scenes transition and the lulls in the action and story make the movie feel very disjointed, like it was edited together wrong. There’s really no sense of urgency for either storyline going on, and there is an overall lack of exciting action. The climax is actually quite nice, though, where the final graboid is destroyed using a very cool and interesting new idea for getting the creatures out of the ground.
The quality of the graboid effects are probably what most people will be curious about with Bloodlines. We all fell in the love with the practical effects in the first film, and the sequels kept up a nice balance of practical and CGI to achieve their own effects. Of course there is heavy CG used here, but that’s really not the problem I had. The issue is that these are not the same graboids. Though I expected their look to be beefed up a bit with the new technology, I didn’t expect them to look like almost completely different creatures. The assblasters are featured quite a lot, and they seemed like they would have been more at home in a Men in Black film rather than a Tremors picture. The tentacles inside the graboid’s mouths are able to detach themselves and move about freely, which was a nice addition. However, the actual graboids are hardly seen at all. They have a new ability that allows them to leap out of the ground in a spinning motion so that they can go back in the ground again. We get to see them do that a couple of times in the movie-usually to eat someone-and that’s it. With the promise that this new African variety was bigger and more dangerous, it was disappointing not to get to see them live up to this.
Tremors 5: Bloodlines includes some nice nods to the previous films (and other films-there’s a scene straight out of Jurassic Park), but the new things that it tries to do for itself do not work out that well. The feeling of fun and joy that Tremors is supposed to bring is just not present here, and all this movie made me want to do is go back and watch the first film again.
Tremors 5 is now available on DVD and Netflix Instant.
WICKED RATING: 4/10
Director: Don Michael Paul
Writer(s): M.A. Deuce, C.J. Strebor, William Truesmith, John Whelpley
Stars: Michael Gross, Jamie Kennedy
Release: October 6, 2015
Studio/ Production Co: Universal 1440 Entertainment
Length: 99 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Horror Comedy/Creature Feature