Brent Maddock’s Tremors 3: Back to Perfection [available on VHS and DVD] concludes the saga of the fully-automatic stock character Bert Gummer [Michael Gross, not satisfied living off the royalties from Family Ties reruns on “Nick at Nite”], as he combats underground “Graboids,” bipedal “Shriekers,” and a new permutation: the dragon-like “Ass Blasters.” Scary stuff.
The original “Jaws in the desert” film from 1990 stars Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward as handymen Val and Earl in Perfection Valley, Nevada, where a quartet of giant subterranean worms prey on the townsfolk. Perfect fodder for continuous play of the USA Network, it’s still a clever throwback to 50s-era radiation monster pics.
Tremors 3, however, with the production values of a UPN program [gee, the dirt sure looks like burlap when the Graboids slither beneath it] lacks the humor and urgency of the first film. Bert’s rifle-toting persona is a witty play against type [Michael J. Fox’s dad from TV, with an elephant gun], but his character’s as flat as the script pages that his dialogue is printed on. And where’s his wife, originally played by Reba McEntire? Maybe if she’d been gobbled in a flashback, the film would’ve had a driving force for the hero.
Ariana Richards, the girl who shines the flashlight in the T-Rex’s eye in Jurassic Park also returns as Mindy. Because the Graboids can’t see, she’s given little to do, but regret starring in Angus with James Van Der Beek and the kid who played “The Shermanator” in American Pie. There’s a painful portfolio.
The DVD “special features” are nothing of the sort. I actually didn’t rent the disc because both the copies were out at Blockbuster, much to my chagrin. They do have a trillion copies of crapola with Lorenzo Llamas and Shannon Tweed, though.
Without deleted scenes, and alternate ending or director’s commentary, the Tremors 3 DVD simply boasts a “theatrical trailer”: an odd supplement for a film that went the straight-to-video route. “Coming this October, a movie so anticlimactic, watching it in the theater would make you fall asleep in your popcorn and drown in the butter: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection.”