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Tremors 5: Bloodlines [Wicked Review]

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.

Related: How Tremors Became a Major Cult Classic

Travis Welker and Burt Gummer run to safety in Tremors 5.

The really good thing about Tremors 5 is that Michael Gross is back as the fan favorite character Burt Gummer. He is the only actor from the series to appear in all the movies (and all the episodes of the short-lived TV series) and he really seems happy to be back again for Bloodlines, despite all the jokes and comments in the movie about how old he is. Jamie Kennedy, as Travis, has the right personality to fit in with the movie and he provides a lot of the one-liners. Their relationship is very reminiscent of the one that existed between Earl McGraw and Grady from Tremors 2: Aftershocks. The only other character worthy of note is the helicopter pilot, in that he really is a character just like Burt is, so it’s no surprise that they end up being kindred spirits.

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 new graboids in Tremors 5 now have the ability to leap 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.

Related: Noteworthy Heroines of Horror: Rhonda from Tremors

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.


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
Language: English
Length: 99 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Horror Comedy/Creature Feature

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Written by Michele Eggen
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Michele Eggen has been writing about all things horror at her blog, The Girl Who Loves Horror, since 2010. She loves anything having to do with ghosts or the supernatural realm. Her favorite films are Poltergeist and Child's Play.
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