Tremors 3: Back To Perfection

Tremors 3: Back To Perfection (2001)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Michael Gross, Shawn Christian, Susan Chuang, Ariana Richards
Extras: Theatrical Trailers, Featurette, Production Notes

China has its Pandas, Australia has its Koalas, and Perfection, Nevada has its Graboids . . . still.

In this second direct-to-video sequel to 1989’s surprisingly enjoyable creature feature, ’Tremors,’ militia-minded survivalist Burt Gummer is back again in ’Tremors 3 – Back to Perfection,’ ready to slap some sense into Perfection’s handful of reckless residents who think the Graboid gimmick is just a bit of fun and games. It isn’t.

Graboids, you’ll recall, are those oversized sub-terrestrial sand worms with an insatiable hunger for practically anything – especially humans – yet are responsible for elevating Perfection, Nevada to quirky tourist attraction status akin to a roadside snake farm. While it’s been eleven years since the last infestation, storekeeper Jodi is busy peddling her Graboid souvenirs while newcomer Jack lures tourists with ’Desert Jack’s Graboid Adventures’ – a safari scam that produces a lot of dust, a little cash, but no Graboids. Burt Gummer, though, is convinced the threat of Graboids and their offspring Shriekers is far from over as he continues to bolster his fortress-like home and impressive armory. Of course, Burt is right and new Graboids begin to surface to claim more victims. This time, however, the Graboid threat evolves beyond the Shreikers in an Alien-like metamorphosis that spawns flame propelled . . . get ready for this . . . Ass-Blasters (sorry, but that’s what they call ‘em). Burt and the handful of residents must mobilize to extinguish this new flying terror else be extinguished themselves.

It’s a silly movie, as intended, and it bears much of the same wit and dry humor of its predecessors. Michael Gross, who practically stole the show in ’Tremors 2: Aftershocks,’ leads the cast this time though, unfortunately, isn’t able to carry the film very far, leaving it to wallow somewhat in its own dust. The Graboid appearances are rather lackluster now (despite presence of a giant new Great White Graboid) and the CGI Ass-Blasters (sorry again) aren’t particularly menacing nor visually convincing. But, if you go in with expectations of a Joe-Bob Briggs trailer park feature, you won’t be too disappointed.

Universal Home Video presents ’Tremors 3 – Back to Perfection’ in an anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer. The source material is very clean – to be expected of a direct-to-video presentation. The transfer is decent though nothing to really be considered striking. Black levels are suitable, detail reasonable, and colors relatively bright in light of the intentional dusty and faded production design of the desert locale. There are no visibly distracting compression defects to be found.

The sound is a nice Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that is energetic on occasion though, given the content of the program, doesn’t blow your hair back nor rumble you out of your seat. The French Mono track is of standard quality.

The extras begin with a 15-minute featurette on the making of the film followed by trailers for all three ’Tremors’ installments. There are also some brief production and cast & crew notes.

Overall, ’Tremors 3 – Back to Perfection’ didn’t really knock my socks off yet I wouldn’t consider it a complete waste of time, either. It’s a simple little monster movie that offers mild entertainment, a few nice chuckles, and some acceptable acting overall. With those expectations in mind, it’s a good bit of fun.