- General Questions about Tremors
- Tremors 2
- Tremors 3
- Tremors 4
- Tremors 5
- Tremors The Series
- Miscellaneous Questions
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Note about Tremors 5 and Tremors 6 questions:
Stampede did not work on Tremors 5 in any way so we have NO information about it or Universal’s plans for future Tremors movies. All questions about those topics should be sent to Universal Studios.
General Questions about Tremors
Well, we don’t really know. But it’s definitely many miles long, say 30-50 miles, and several miles wide. Some more hints about the size will appear in Tremors 4.
Some of you have noticed that certain things about Burt’s basement bunker changed between Tremors 3 and the TV series. You are correct and, as usual, very observant. Let’s back up to the beginning.
Tremors 1 – Basement has no safe room or shooting range. Entrance stairs briefly glimpsed on wall adjacent to the wall the Graboid comes through.
Tremors 2. Our production designer Ivo Cristante, duplicated the T-1 basement – with some deliberate differences. For example, he put a repaired section of wall to indicate where the Graboid came through in Tremors 1, although, if you analyze it, you realize it appears to be the wrong wall. In Tremors 1 the Graboid came through the wall opposite the gun wall. Here, the patched area is in the wall next to the gun wall. Okay, we’ll say Burt decided to move his gun wall during the repairs. He also moved his reloading equipment and added wood paneling to the wall behind his easy chair, perhaps to make room for mounting his stuffed Graboid trophy head. He also put up all his other hunting trophies.
We didn’t see the stairs, shooting range, or safe room, but we can assume they were on the unseen fourth wall.
Tremors 3. We see the wall we didn’t see in Tremors 2, revealing the safe room, stairs, and shooting range for the first time. The gun wall, repaired wall, and wood-paneled wall are oriented the same as in Tremors 2, but Burt seems to have become more PC and removed all his hunting trophies.
Tremors – The Series. As fans have noted, the entrance stairs are not in the same position. They’re now across from, instead of next to, the safe room. The reasons had mostly to do with differences in building sets for television versus for movies. But one fan has proposed that when Burt rebuilt his bunker after it was blown up in T-3, he moved the stairs to the opposite wall from the safe room. Hey, we buy that! Seems like something Burt would do. He situated the stairs to give himself a better field of fire toward the compound entrance. You know how Burt likes a good field of fire.
Also he replaced the Tremors 3 “drawbridge style” safe room door with the sliding door because it was simpler, more reliable, and took up less room. Finally, it’s been suggested that his firing range is in a different position in the series than in Tremors 3. But we think it’s in the same place, relative to the safe room. Are we wrong? Heaven knows we’ve been wrong before.
Now, a question for you observant fans, have any of you noticed what’s different about Chang’s market in the series?
Well, our idea way back in T-1 was that, before moving to Perfection, Burt and Heather worked hard, both made good money, and were shrewd investors. Their fear of impending World War III caused them to retire early and move to the valley for it’s desirable “geographic isolation” as Burt says in T-1. The capital outlay for firearms, fuel and water storage, etc, was large, but upkeep, taxes, and expenses would thereafter be low way out in the boonies. Since then, of course, in T-2, Burt made a lot of money killing graboids, and even more killing shriekers in T-3, so he’s pretty well set financially. In T-4, we lay groundwork for the possibility that he also inherited money from Hiram Gummer’s silver mine.
Guess they have to ride the school bus to Bixby. We should’ve put a school bus full of endangered kids in T-1 or T-3!
Graboids are neither girls nor boys. They are hermaphroditic. That means they have characteristics of both sexes and don’t reproduce in the normal male-female way of most creatures on earth.
Okay, some of you say it’s north-south, and some of you say it’s east-west. We think it’s north-south. Here’s why. First of all, that’s the way the original town was built in the Lone Pine area. Chang’s Market was on the west side of the street. North was toward Nestor’s trailer (Nestor was the guy pulled through the spare tire.)
That having been said, what does reality have to do with anything? Burt points out in Tremors 1 that there are cliffs to the north (the ones through which Val stampedes the last Graboid) and mountains to the east and west. What we meant was the north end of the valley ended in cliffs and the other got narrower and narrower as the road wound toward Bixby. S.S. Wilson proposes that the obviously non-standardized map to which Val refers is not oriented east-west, but oriented to make the long valley easier to display on a wall, with Perfection at the South (right-hand) side. In movie-reality, Chang’s then ends up on the East side of the main street.
The clincher in our argument comes in Tremors 3. Burt refers to geologic survey maps in discussing the path of the current crop of Graboids. Using his laser pointer, he says, “They’re moving down from the north, just like last time. Jasmer quadrangle straight down to Calypso quadrangle. So clearly, Perfection Valley runs north-south. Also on the map for those into topographic symbols, slopes are indicated on the east and west sides.
We have adhered to this north-south orientation in Tremors 4.
Michael’s TV show, Family Ties, was very big at the time. The studio heads said we should read him because he was such a well known star. We were doubtful, since his character on the show couldn’t have been more different from Burt, nor is Michael at all like Burt in person! Little did we realize what a chameleon-like actor Michael is. Well, he blew us away when he came in to read, and we’ve benefited from the association ever since. BTW, any of you nitpickers notice Burt’s name is misspelled in the T-3 trailer?
We get a lot of fans asking why they can’t buy rubber Graboids and Val and Earl action figures or video games. Some of you have even offered to help design or even manufacture them. Others have helpfully suggested lower-budget ways they could be produced. Still another asked if we just had a small leftover graboid in “hardened clay” he could buy. (Sorry, the graboids were constructed full size; the clay versions are gone, and the casting molds are huge. Even the ¼ scale graboids are pretty big.)
In answer: we wish we could get Universal to think like our fans! You have to believe us when we say we’re just as frustrated as you are. We don’t control the Tremors “franchise.” Universal Pictures has the final say over all marketing and merchandising. I hear from sources inside Universal that the various marketing departments are expressing increased interest in our “franchise.” In English, that means they’re recognizing that there are a lot of Tremors fans out there. Nothing is definite, but here are some of the things that are being considered at Universal: Toys, action figures, collectibles and video games. The Tremors series is being considered for promotion in these areas, and deals may be discussed with toy companies, game designers, etc.
Universal is also planning some fun stuff for the official Universal Tremors 3 website, which should be up soon. They might give away props or other collectibles from Tremors 3. So be sure to watch for that site. And feel free to e-mail Universal directly with your thoughts and wishes. Show’em you care! Tell’em what you want!
May 2010 update: Obviously this did not happen. We understand that some Tremors 4 props were sold on e-bay, notably Hiram’s bicycle, but have no more information than that.
From time to time fans point out similarities between the Tremors monsters and other monsters they’ve seen in the fantasy-SF universe. Such coincidences are inevitable, but we did not work from any pre-existing ideas or artwork in creating the monsters. For Tremors, the Graboids were roughly described in the script. Brent Maddock and I felt that anything moving through the ground would have to have a streamlined shape. I had a desire that the mouth be really unusual and “open like a flower.” Since earthworms move in part by bracing themselves with stiff backward-facing hairs, we added the concept of the spikes on the sides of the creatures. From those sketchy descriptions, Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis created the initial concepts which became the Graboids. Woodruff and Gillis have an extensive knowledge of the animal world and incorporated many real-world details into the final wonderful design they executed.
I came up with the idea of graboids turning into smaller monsters (instead of bigger) while driving in the desert on a trip. For the Shriekers, we knew that we wanted bi-peds, the heat-seeker organ, and the same fantastic mouth design. Here again, Woodruff and Gillis brought us many sketches and concepts. The whole production team — including Maddock, Wilson, Chris DeFaria, and Nancy Roberts had input on the final look. After the movie came out, one fan wrote to say the Shriekers looked very much like a bi-pedal creature drawn by a well-known SF artist, but here again, this was just a coincidence.
For a more in-depth look at the world of monster design enter the world of Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis by visiting The Monster Makers web site!
I had a job working as an editor at a navy base in the middle of the Mojave Desert. On weekends, when they weren’t shooting at the gunnery ranges, I was allowed to go hiking out there. One day when climbing over large boulders exactly like those in Tremors, off of which the people pole vault, I had a thought. “What if something was under the ground and I couldn’t get off this rock?” I wrote that thought down on a scrap of note paper and filed it away. That scrap of paper sat in a file folder for a number of years and was resurrected after Brent and I sold Short Circuit. Nancy Roberts, then our agent, told us “Now for the fun part. Get out all those old ideas”, So we did. And one of the ones she liked the best was this note that eventually became Tremors.
Tremors was filmed in Lone Pine, CA. The snowcapped mountains behind Perfection are the Seirras. The large dry lake visible in a few shots in the climax is Owens Dry Lake. Tremors 2 and 3 were shot on several locations near Valencia, California, just north of Los Angeles. We could not afford to go back to Lone Pine where we shot Tremors 1. One location on Tremors 3 is the same one we used in Tremors 2. Can you spot it? It looks very different because we were shooting in fall instead of spring.
Only sagebrush and Josuha trees. The original town was torn down soon after production. The local people contributed labor in return for getting to use the lumber, etc. Even the fake rocks we built (for the pole vaulting scene and climax) are gone. However, Lone Pine is a beautiful place to visit and a zillion other famous movies have been shot there. As for the other films: the Tremors 2 oil field office location was torn down. We thought the Chang’s Market built for Tremors 3 was going to survive. It was bought by a movie ranch and rebuilt on their land, but we’ve since been told it was later destroyed by fire. Oh well.
The guys at ADI have a whole range of things they use, depending on how close the shot is and what we want the audience to feel or learn from the shot. The most common items are pieces of foam rubber, nylon stockings (they make good intestines) filled with various things. Sometimes they use food products like canned pumpkin. All of these things get mixed with their graboid blood formula developed specially for Tremors.
No one has ever been seriously hurt during a stunt or during a shot. A stuntwoman sprained her ankle leaping into the bucket of the bulldozer in Tremors 1. A crew member was in a car accident, but that was not on the set. We are extremely careful and make sure that everyone on the crew is constantly informed of the dangers. One thing we’ve always worried about is someone falling into the deep pits we must dig for the graboids. One the pits are covered they look just like natural ground. So we keep them roped off with construction cones and police tape until just before we’re ready for a shot.
Partly by tradition, most directors don’t do sequels to their own movies. Sequels usually have lower budgets (as was the case with Tremors 2 and 3) and if the first film was a hit, the director has many offers to do bigger movies (as Ron Underwood did after Tremors). All three directors of the Tremors films are part of Stampede Entertainment. It’s run by Nancy Roberts and her plan was to have all three of the original Tremors creators directing. That’s why Steve Wilson directed Tremors 2 and co-writer Brent Maddock directed Tremors 3. The execption is that Steve Wilson came back to direct Tremors 4.
In movie reality graboids are about thirty feet long and about five feet in diameter at their widest point. Amalgamated Dynamics has constructed only two of them full length (the one Val digs up in Tremors 1, which was only the top half lying on the dirt; and the split-open graboid in Tremors 2). The other times you see them full length, they are 1/4 scale miniature models made to look large. However, in the upcoming Tremors 3, we have an all new computer- generated graboid and he looks pretty darn cool in the tests we’ve seen so far!
Shriekers are about 3½ feet high and five feet long.
This is kind of a long answer, but hopefully some of you will find it interesting.
We had the longest time and the biggest budget (about 11 million) on Tremors 1. On Tremors 2 and Tremors 3, we’ve had much lower budgets and much less time, but we’ve also had the ability to do computer graphics which didn’t even exist when we did T-1! (Big expensive movies of course take much longer to make than ours do).
There are four main phases to making a movie:
First we have to write the script. It takes about three or four months to get it right. We always do many drafts, re-writing the script at least six or seven times, trying out different scenes, ideas, lines of dialogue, etc.
Next comes what’s called PRE-PRODUCTION – around three to five months. Pre-production is all the work we do to plan the actual filming of the movie. In pre-production we work with a growing staff of people designing costumes, designing and building monsters, designing and building sets, finding and buying props, cars and all the other things we’ll need. We cast the actors and hire the crew.
Next comes PRODUCTION, when the cameras start rolling. It’s the most expensive part of the process, because we have around a hundred people working 12 hour days. On Tremors 1 we shot for about 50 days. On Tremors 2 we had to shoot the same amount of action in only 28 days! On Tremors 3 we had only 24 days! We had to do it in less time to save money. It was hard, but we got it done.
Finally comes POST-PRODUCTION. On Tremors 3 we have about three and a half months. The director and film editor take all the film we shot and edit it together, picking the best takes of the action, trying different ways of cutting shots together. Then all the sounds effects are created. The music is written and recorded. Finally all the sounds and music are mixed together into one sound track and we’re ready to make prints videos, or DVD.
Okay, this answer may be longer than even die-hard Tremors fans want, but here goes.
In all honesty, there really is no answer. We’ve built Burt’s house four times, and never where it really is supposed to be relative to Perfection. So, instead of an answer, here’s another Burt bunker history.
Tremors 1. The exterior of Burt and Heather’s house was built many miles from the town location, because we did not have enough land at the town site. In reality the front door faced East. In reality, Heather looks off to the North when she trains her binoculars on the town. We used camera tricks to make it seem like you could see the town from Burt’s and vice versa.
When Val and Earl look off toward Burt’s from Chang’s roof, we did the same camera tricks. In reality they are looking East, so those point-of-view shots of Burt’s make it look like the front door faces North (movie reality), unless you assume the sun behind Chang’s is rising, not setting, in which case Burt’s front door would face South. See what a can of worms you’ve opened with this question?
The interior of the basement was built on a sound stage. We have no idea which direction anything faced in the basement, because we never saw the upstairs entrance to it.
Tremors 2. We built only the interior of Burt’s basement, not the exterior, and we didn’t see the stairs, so, again, we have no idea which way the building is oriented in movie reality.
Tremors 3. Again, Burt’s exterior was built many miles from where the town was built. This time, in reality, the front door faced more or less North. The interior was built on stage, but again, we have no idea which direction the entrance stairs face relative to the outside.
Tremors: The Series. This is the only Tremors where the outside of Burt’s is actually connected visually to the inside. In reality, I’m pretty sure the entrance stairs faced generally North or Northwest; i.e., that’d be the direction you face as you go up the stairs.
So, depending on which Tremors you’d use as reference, Burt’s front door could face North, East or South. In the series, it’s pretty definite the entrance and the basement stairs face North. Is that all clear as mud?
BTW, for the series the exterior of Burt’s compound was built on a hill barely a hundred yards from the Mexico location town site. So now we had to use camera tricks to make it appear further away than it really was. Movies are so hard.
Underground, along with the fuel and water storage tanks.
Eight to ten feet.
No, sorry, we just made the name up out of thin air.
Yes they are. S.S. Wilson is a target shooter and weapons history buff. He insists on accuracy. Of course, we never use live ammunition on a movie set. Blanks only!
If Graboids are related to worms, and a Graboid were cut in half, could both halves live on and become two worms?
No, though people refer to Graboids as worms sometimes, they are in fact a totally unique life form unrelated to almost anything else on earth. They do not have the power to regenerate from severed body parts (luckily!). Dawn of the Dead — Graboids?
Okay, so a Graboid is like 30 feet long. How come the humps of dirt we see are only a few feet long?
This is due to the fact that the Graboid’s body is tapered toward the tail. As it echo-locates through the earth, only the hump of its back comes near enough the surface to create a visible mound of dirt.
Well, we’ve never gotten that question before. Certainly budget is always a difficult issue on Tremors movies, but somehow I don’t think we’d feel right charging a fan to be in one. We’ve talked in the past about having some sort of contest in which the winner would get a small part, but we never have time to set it up between the time Universal says “go” and the time they want the movie done.
An expected fan question: “Will there be a Tremors 5?” An unexpected fan question: “…don’t you think a 5th movie is pushing the envelope just a little?”
Well, in the envelope or not, here’s where it stands: Brent Maddock and S.S Wilson are just finishing the script (March 2004). Whether it actually gets made depends, as always, on the success of Tremors 4. It’s hard for movie companies to stop making sequels if people keep buyin’em!
Okay, we give up; Universal and SciFi are never going to sell action figures. We want to build our own, but we need more info on the creatures!
We’ve gotten a lot of very specific questions on the dimensions and color of Graboids, Shriekers, ABs, and now Baby Graboids. Believe it or not, this sort of specific info quickly gets forgotten, even by the people who build the puppets. The creatures are now in storage and someone would have to drag them out to measure them. However, here are some size estimates which should be pretty close:
How big are adult Graboids?
They’re about 30 feet long, six feet in diameter at their widest part (a few feet behind the head). The massive jaws and side mandibles are about three feet long.
How big are baby Graboids?
In T-4 they’re five feet long. But they start out the size of their eggs, about a foot long. The head and beak pieces are each a little over a foot long. Also, the babies have spikes unlike those on adult Graboids. They are longest just behind the beak, six-eight inches, and get shorter toward the tail, down to two or three inches. Then there are two tail spikes about six inches long (kind of like the horns on the rear of a centipede). They grow very rapidly (in about three months) to adult size. Adult Graboids lose the tail and edge spikes, but grow many more small spikes overall, for better locomotion of their large bodies. They also shed the scale-like plates which protect a Baby G’s back.
How big are Shriekers?
They’re about four feet long and three feet high, with jaws pieces about one and a half feet long.
What are the specs on ABs?
They are just over six feet long, tip to tail, about three feet high, and have head and jaws about two feet long.
How big are the Graboid eggs in T-4? What color are they?
They’re about a foot long; a tad smaller than the ones made for T-3, due to some production issues. The color is pinkish white, but for a better look, check out the egg closeup we’ve added to the photo area.
What are the colors of the Tremors menagerie?
Here we suggest you just peruse the Stampede Photo Gallery for pictures. There are many good shots of the creatures. Many show the wonderful paint jobs by the creature FX artists. There are also people in some shots helps give you an idea of actual creature size. In addition to the main photo area, don’t forget to check Tremors 2 behind the scenes and the Tremors 3 Monster HQ for additional shots.
How come Graboids don’t leave trails behind them like moles do when digging through the earth? They must displace more sand than a mole does?
Well, our opinion is that they do leave trails. But the trails are very subtle. Since Graboids frequent dry sandy soil, it tends to close in behind then after they pass. Most moles live in wetter climates, so the soil stays pushed up after they burrow underneath.
That is going to be revealed in Tremors 5, or here on the webite, sometime in the future if we we’re unable to make Tremors 5.
We never thought that a Graboid’s tentacles take in air. However, it’s possible. One does wonder how a large animal like that could breathe underground.
If you make Tremors 5, or more Tremors anything, would you consider casting actors who starred in some of the classic monster movies?
That’s a really great idea. However, until Tremors 4, we’ve had had very few characters, and no extras. The series would have been a great place to do that kind of casting — but we didn’t think of it!
No, it sometimes seems like they do, but they are controlled by the Graboid, like an octopus controls its tentacles.
No. The tentacles are for grasping, sensing very subtle vibrations and feeling around. However, they do have taste sensors inside the mouth-like jaws. So when a tentacle’s jaws close on something, the Graboid can quickly tell if the something is worth reeling in to eat.
Potentially it is the Shrieker stage. If Shriekers get enough food, they can reproduce so rapidly that even Burt would have a hard time stopping them.
As far as is known, this cannot happen, since the albino form of a Graboid cannot metamorphose into Shriekers. El Blanco, in Perfection Valley, is the only albino Graboid known to exist at present. However, it is unclear how he came into existence! Was it an albino Ass Blaster which laid his egg? We just don’t know at this time.
All the Tremors creatures are custom designed, sculpted, cast and painted by artists with a lot of experience. It’s pretty hard for the average fan to do all that. One way is to study books, articles and websites on special effects. Or go to special effects workshops at fantasy film conventions if you can. Fans have to figure out what materials they can afford and which ones they’re good a working with. For example, you might be able to make a Shrieker head from papier mache – if you’re pretty good at sculpting. I’m not. I need people from places like KNB and Amalgamated Dynamics.
It’s just because we started out writing typical characters of the southwest. But when we began the series we made sure to write a number of black characters into it.
Sorry to report there are no plans for any. The only Tremors Game is our Tremors 4 game DirtDragons.
Budget. I think we wrote a scene where Burt and Heather walked through their house and into their basement, but the scene was cut, and the set never built, because we had to save money everywhere we could.
Why can’t a Shrieker’s tongue grab things like the Graboids’ tentacles? Why is it ABs have no tongue at all?
Well… ask mother nature. That’s just the way these creatures evolved. Shriekers use speed and numbers to hunt, so they don’t need grasping tentacles to hold prey. ABs use flight. Also, their mouths are much smaller and tentacle-tongues couldn’t hold anything very big.
In Tremors 1 the Graboid tongues don’t seem able to climb rocks. But in Tremors 3 El Blancos’s tongue climbs the rock to reach Burt why is that?
It may look different, but we didn’t change the rules. Honest. El Blanco’s tentacles were cast from the same molds as the original tentacles and are the same length. If you’re referring to the night scene in Tremors 3 when Burt is trapped with Miguel, what makes it look different is that they are on a much lower rock than the ones we had in Tremors 1. Since the rock is lower, El Blanco was able to reach further up.
You guys¸ you know how long ago this was? Well, okay, S.S. Wilson contacted Production Designer Ivo Cristante, who fortunately has an amazing memory for practically every set he’s ever designed and built. Ivo is pretty sure Chang’s store was 60 feet (along the front) by 30 feet deep. The ceiling was 12 feet (because it had to be high enough to do the action where Rhonda climbs on the shelves). There was a two foot tall parapet (“railing”) around the roof (so the top of the parapet is at 14 feet). On the front, the parapet is taller. It goes up in two steps to about 4½ feet (16½ total). You can get a sense of how tall the front parapet is when Val puts the radio on it to talk to Burt.
Yeah, we know. But the answer is always the same: Universal does not seem to be interested in pursuing those ideas.
We notice that when loading a weapon Burt often taps the magazine (box which holds the cartridges) against something, like against the stock or his hand, before inserting it. How come?
It’s a habit. Burt feels it “settles” the cartridges in the magazine, lining them up with bases all firmly to the rear, so that he’s less likely to have a feed problem, which would lead to a jam.
At the end of each movie, what do they do with all the dead Graboids, ABs, Shriekers, and “dirt dragons.”
Okay, at the end of Tremors 4, the townsfolk went out and made sure all the dead Graboids were buried. They didn’t want anyone to know about them, as Hiram mentions.
At the end of Tremors 1, Rhonda LeBeck oversaw removal of the two least-damaged Graboids (the one that hit the flood channel wall and the one in Burt’s basement). They were taken to the college where she was studying, and preserved as well as possible. One ended up in the Smithsonian, believe it or not. The other was sold to a casino in Laughlin, Nevada (similar to the living AB at the end of Tremors 3) and it is not currently known what happened to it.
In Tremors 2, the government of Mexico had no interest in the historical or natural significance of the dead animals, and they were left to the buzzards. Burt, however, carted a number of pieces back to Jodi Chang in Perfection. She sold them off to the highest bidder.
After Tremors 3, a number of scientific institutions collected and studied the remains of Graboids, Shriekers, and ABs.
Since the goof with the number of Shriekers that come out of a Graboid, is it now 3-6 Shriekers equals one Graboid?
Yes. We adjusted their biology to fit the facts duly pointed out by the fans. However, another fan has proposed an explanation. I’d love to take credit for it, but the following is entirely a fan creation:
“So Graboids can produce anywhere from 3-6 Shriekers depending on certain factors physically for the Graboids and environmentally. Shriekers have to eat through the Graboid to get out right? But Shriekers Multiply when they eat. So is there a chance that there is only 3 Shriekers in a Graboid but depending on how much each one eats while escaping determines whether there is 3-6 in the end? So there only may be 3 in the beginning but when they come out there may be up to 6 or maybe they only eat a little each making a small opening to get out thus being only 3 in some cases?”
Do Graboids live in a pack type society? Is there an alpha Graboid, or are they normally solitary and just congregate near a food source? Would they ever fight over food and such?
Very little is known about adult Graboid society. They clearly communicate, at least to signal one another about food sources. And they cooperate (to dig the bulldozer trap in T-1). El Blanco has been recorded making a wide variety of clicking noises, and will rap his beak against rocks to make a hollow drumming sound, but no one knows what this means. Thus far Graboids have not been observed fighting. Since they do not mate, it is unlikely that they have any conflict over mating. But so much of what they do is hidden underground, who is to say at this point?
Great question. Absolutely yes. Graboids are unable to hunt during rain storms. Wish we’d have thought of it! It would have been a cool lucky escape for someone being tracked by a Graboid. BTW, scientists recently learned that rain is one of the loudest sounds underwater in the ocean.
Why don’t I see the spikes that propel Graboids through the ground as much in T2, T3, and T4, as in T1?
Hmm. Well, they are there. The design of the Graboids did not change. In fact we thought the spikes on the mini-Graboids in T-4 were rather prominent. It may be that in Tremors 1 we made a point of shooting a close up of them. Also, in T-1, Val dug up the whole length of one, so we saw more of its body that we normally do.
Chang’s Market. In the movies is seems to be rectangular, but in the series it looks square. Is it different in the series?
A number of design changes were made in the market to accommodate series style filming. Most notably, the front door was moved from the end of the building to the center. Space was also added in back to allow for Jodi’s living quarters. I don’t have any of the series store plans, so I can’t say for sure if these changes also made it more square.
Was it hard to get Michael Gross to return to play Burt throughout the films and series, and then Hiram for Tremors 4?
No. Each time an opportunity came up, we’d talk to Michael about it. We’d always try to add new dimensions to Burt’s character, so that Michael would have new subtleties to work on. It also helped that the movies are true continuations, so that Burt’s character always changed based on what happened in earlier films. Still, truth be told, toward the end Michael was getting a little tired of Burt. He once joked (we’re paraphrasing a bit from memory), “I’m very flattered that people keeping asking to see more of Burt, but let’s not keep doing this until they stop asking.” However, the opportunity to play Burt’s grandfather in Tremors 4 was exciting to him, since Hiram was really an entirely new character. He and SS Wilson had great fun discussing how Michael would bring Hiram to life; and great fun shooting Hiram’s scenes.
Where is Perfection Valley really supposed to be? In Tremors 1 and 3 as well as the series you say it is near Las Vegas, but in Tremors 4 you have it near Carson City.
Perfection is North West of Las Vegas, toward Carson City, but it’s not very near either one. Present day Perfection is nearest the town of Bixby (not a real place). In Tremors 4, we mentioned Carson City as the closest large town (but still a long ride), since we felt Bixby wouldn’t have existed yet.
How about Tremors as a cartoon series? After all, way back in 1990 they did Attack of the Killer Tomatoes as a cartoon.
- We never knew about that series (we were hard at work on Tremors 1).
- Very cool idea.
- See the several other places in the FAQ where we point out that fans are more creative the studio people.
- Same old same old: probably won’t happen.
I’ve been wanting to make a scale model of Chang’s Market. I’m using the measurements that were given in the Tremors FAQ which indicate the building was rectangular. But in the series, the market looks square. Is it in fact rectangular in the movies and square in the series?
I’m not sure it was exactly square in the series, but, yes, the shape of the market was somewhat different. Also, the front door is in a different place. So to make a model, you kind of have to pick one or the other and go with that.
If Stampede Entertainment created the movies and the series, why does Universal and Sci-Fi Network own and control all the rights to Tremors, and not Stampede?
When you sell a screenplay (as we sold the original Tremors) you almost always have to sell all the rights with it in order to get a studio to buy it. Once that has been done, they own all the rights to anything ever done with it ever again, sequels, remakes, spin-off, the whole shootin’ match.
What is wrong with Universal? Why don’t they get it? Don’t the great reviews of the Tremors movies help Tremors 5? Can’t you somehow get the rights back from them? What if we got together a petition in support of T-5 with a zillion names on it? What if the fans all chipped in to pay for more Tremors?
Short answers: We don’t know. We don’t know. No. No. They’d ignore it. And it still wouldn’t help. However, we are deeply touched that several fans have, in various forms, proposed fan-financed Tremors movies. The harsh Hollywood reality is that studios almost never sell the rights to any material they own, even if they never do anything with it.
How come when we see just a a Graboid head pop up it can swallow a human whole, but when we see the whole body above ground the head looks like 3 times smaller?
We know what you mean. Looks weird to us, too, sometimes. But there’s no cheating on set. We used the same puppet(s) in all cases. It’s an illusion due to the fact that when closed, a Graboid’s 4-part beak is actually fairly small. But because it can open super wide, somehow the whole head looks bigger when upright and swallowing a person.
How fast can a Graboid travel in the ground. Many of my friends think it can travel about 40-50 mph. Is that right?
No, a Graboid can go faster than a human can run, but not much. They max out around 15-20 mph in good loose soil. A Graboid cannot not catch a car, dirtbike, or galloping horse.
A Graboid’s cylindrical shape has great strength to resist pressure (like a submarine does). Also, moving deep into earth is not quite the same as moving deep into water. Various things can mitigate the amount of force the dirt applies. Under the right soil conditions, a Graboid could theoretically go down several hundred feet. The real limit to a Graboid’s ability to “dive” is that, like a sea mammal, it has to surface every so often to breathe. It doesn’t have to actually break the surface because it can slowly pull air through a few inches of sand). We don’t know how long one can hold its breath.
If Shriekers and ABs have infrared “vision,” then how come the heat of the desert doesn’t show up when you show the view from the creatures? You can see human’s body heat, but you can’t see any heat from the ground, hot metal, etc. Why is that?
Any animal learns to sort out the data it can sense from the “noise” of the environment. For clarity in the movies, we show the heat signature of a human as red against a non-red background. But what’s really happening is the Shrieker or AB is seeing the difference between the two temperatures. The creature is actually seeing infrared coming from both sources, but because the human is usually warmer than the desert background, the shape stands out. It would work on a 105 degree desert day, too, because the human would be cooler (giving off less heat) than the background and would still stand out. The only time the creature might have trouble would be on a day when it was exactly 96 degrees and humans were neither hotter nor cooler that the surrounding objects.
Do the Tremors creatures change in order to pursue specific prey, i.e. Graboids go after larger animals while ABs go after prey that climbs or flies?
It does not appear so. The metamorphoses seen so far don’t seem to be in response to the availability of different prey. Rather they seem to be normal life-cycle events triggered by unknown circumstances. However, given that the species is extremely ancient, it is certainly logical to assume each of the various forms serve some valuable purpose toward sustaining the species as a whole. For example, Rhonda LeBeck has proposed that, since ABs are able to fly, their purpose may be to carry eggs long distances in search of new, fertile hunting grounds for the Graboids which will hatch from their eggs.
Very science-oriented question! Given Graboids’ size, it is almost certain they can’t get all the liquid they need from prey alone. Prevailing theory is that they must obtain water below ground by burrowing down to the water table, perhaps excavating a cavity, and sucking up that water that collects in it.
Unfortunately, Tremors 1, 2, 3 and 4 were shot mostly on private land in Southern California. There is no access to the general public for most of the locations. A small exception is the area of large boulders seen in Tremors 1. If you drive the paved and dirt roads west of Lone Pine, CA, you will be in the general area where we shot the end of the movie. If you’re diligent, you’ll discover the narrow spot where the road workers were killed. Someone at the Lone Pine movie museum may be able to help you find that one.
I’m pretty sure the boulder where Val, Earl and Rhonda spent the night is a real one. But it’d be pretty difficult to figure out now, all these years later, which one it was. All I can say is it is probably near one of the dirt roads that go through the area. Maybe if you drove around with a frame-grab from the movie, and a really good eye for shapes…?
The rocks on which they did their pole vaulting were fake (built by our production designer’s team) and are no longer there).
If you drive the dirt roads east of Lone Pine, you will be in the general area where Val and Earl fell off their horses and where the Graboid crashed into the concrete drainage ditch wall. Nothing remains of the sets, and we have no records of the exact locations, so even we probably couldn’t these exact spots today.
The specific vibration of a Graboid’s movement through the earth is very distinctive and is easily recognized by other Graboids. Even though blind, they can readily tell friend from foe, or friend from prey.
This is really sort of an Alien vs Predator question. And we’re filmmakers, not paleontologists. But how’s this? If Tyrannosaurus was a fierce predator (as some think), he’d win. If he was a lazy scavenger (as others think), he’d lose. It’d be an interesting battle, though, since the Graboid could duck under ground when it needed to; and maybe could chomp the T-Rex’s leg and trip him.
No. Graboids are not aquatic. They are adapted to dry, loose soil.
I’ve been wanting to make a scale model of Chang’s Market. I’m using the measurements that were given off the FAQ which shows the building as being rectangular. But when looking at a picture of the series market it looks square. I was wondering if in the movies Chang’s is rectangular and in the series its square?
The market in the series is a different shape (yes, I think closer to square), and the entrance is in a different place from the movies’ store. They insisted we change the lay-out for the series to give directors more options for shooting people coming in and out week after week.
How long will Universal’s copyright/trademark over Tremors remain in effect before it reverts to Stampede? Is there any chance the DVDs were released solely to retain ownership of the franchise?
I don’t know the full legal answer to this. Copyrights can be renewed by the original owners up to some maximum number of years. I imagine all studios cling to them as long as inhumanly possible. When you work in Hollywood, you have to assume you will never live long enough to regain control of your movies, since they will lapse into the public domain first.
What happened to the scripts/notes developed for the Val/Earl series, (pre Tremors 2), that weren’t used for the Tremors 2003 Series? Does Stampede still own those?
Yes and no. We own them in the sense that nobody has paid us for them, but we can’t use them or sell them to anyone else because they are based on characters/material owned by Universal
Since T5 was axed (again), where do you see the town of perfection, and Burt now? What do you envision they have been doing for the past 6 years?
I like to think they’ve settled into a American small town routine. El Blanco patrols peacefully. There’s a steady, but not overwhelming stream of tourists to whom Jodi and Jack cater. Mindy stops in a few times a year to see her Mom. Burt still teaches survival skills and worries about the fate of the world. And even though a movie wasn’t made about it, he did have a hell of an adventure in Australia.
Have you ever thought about what ultimately might happen with Graboids in the Tremors universe? Would they fade away and stop hatching or would they rise up and overrun the Earth (or is that under run)?
We’ve always tried to treat the Graboids as real animals. So as such, they are actually quite rare and limited in habitat. So, contrary to over-running the world, they are more likely to go extinct. Even a major Shrieker outbreak is not going to be a global disaster, for when Shriekers got into an urban setting, or met up with the National Guard (or Burt), they wouldn’t last long.
Is Burt the last Gummer? Did you ever envision him having any siblings, or maybe a child grown up before Heather and Burt settled in Perfection?
No, we saw Burt and Heather as deliberately childless, given their grim view of the world’s future. I admit we never thought of a child grown up before their survivalist leanings took them to Perfection. It could lead to the complete reversal of Michael Gross and Michael J. Fox on Family Ties!
TREMORS THE MUSICAL?? My question might be unusual, but do you know who would hold the rights to a Tremors stage production? Does Universal own that with everything else?
Yes, Universal owns all rights to everything related to Tremors, so it would be them you’d have to talk to about doing a stage version. Good luck. 🙂
That’s kind of like asking, “Which is your favorite child?” I really do love all the Tremors movies equally for different reasons. Each time out we did our best to come up with stuff that was hopefully different from the usual sequel. And each time out we were very invested in making the best movie we could.
Why do the creatures on the posters/DVD covers look absolutely nothing like the actual creatures in the film? Is it to just make it look more eye catching on the poster? With the long fangs and dinosaur like look? Also, is the poster for the film meant to be a inspired by the Jaws poster? Was Jaws an influence on the film in any way? – NEW
Yes, all the Tremors posters are embarrassing. Here’s what happened. We convinced Universal’s marketing department that they should not show a Graboid on the poster because the movie had a really good surprise — the first-time audience really does think the monsters are the tentacles, the “snake things,” so the real Graboids are shocking when first revealed. Universal was not happy with that, but went along with it. Much to our horror, then, they came up with what you see, a tentacle made to look gigantic and with goofy shark teeth. The whole crew, especially the creature effects guys, was disappointed. But it became history. And it just kept getting worse with each movie, until you end up with the extra-bizarre critter on the boxed set of Tremors TV series, which even has an eye! And yes, our guess is the original was inspired by Jaws, though nobody ever admitted it.
Were we inspired by Jaws? Not exactly (even though early story outlines of Tremors were called “Land Shark”). We were inspired by 50s monster movies we loved as kids. Jaws is really a spin on those same movies, so you might say we all had the same inspiration.
What happens to El Blanco/graboids during a thunder storm? Does the thunder overload their senses? Are they smart enough to ignore thunder? Do they come up to the surface and just flop around all confused? Or chase it like a cat would with a laser pointer? if they hear a REALLY loud sound can graboids go deaf? – NEW
Graboids are not fooled by thunder. It is a natural event and they can easily differentiate it from the sounds that prey make. However, they are in effect “blinded” by heavy rain. The steady noise makes it nearly impossible for them to hunt, so they just go idle and wait it out. As to whether or not they can go deaf, you’ve touched on a point of contention among scientists. We aren’t really sure how Graboids “hear.” They do not seem to have ears or ear-drums, so some researchers speculate that they have some other mechanism for sensing vibration in the ground. My personal guess is that a very loud sound would not permanently impair a Graboid. In Tremors 1, Burt’s improvised explosives only drove them away, but they kept coming back.
Well, Tremors 1 was in some ways the most fun because we were finally getting to make one of our original ideas just the way we wanted to. Yeah, we were fighting crazy weather, budget, and the worry that we might screw it up, but we were in creative control! The later Tremors were fun in a different way, because we were more confident, but also harder because we had so much less money to make them. Really, because they were all well-planned, none was particularly harder or easier than another. And they were all fun to work on.
Uh — what? Okay, Graboids are seriously NOT political. Like, at all.
What were some changes made from the original scripts of the films. i.e. deleted characters, locations, scenes, name changes
All the Tremors scripts were write-to-shoot. That means, once we worked out the stories, we didn’t do a lot of extra writing or experimentation. We stuck to the stories and made the scripts as easy to produce as possible, including when we handed off the actual screenplay writing on T-3 and T-4. Probably the biggest change in any of the scripts is in Tremors 2. It was written to star Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward, and to include Reba McIntire. When Kevin Bacon decided not to do the movie and Reba was not available, we had to do a pretty big re-write to invent the character of Grady and figure out the details of Burt’s separation from Heather.
Would it be possible to write a screenplay, and have universal look at it.? Or would it be illegal as the screenwriter would not have rights to the tremors franchise?
This question gets into areas of legality on which we can’t give advice. But the harder part would be getting Universal to look at it. You’d probably have to get a Hollywood agent to make an official submission to them.
Where do Graboids really come from? In Tremors 2, you say they found a fossil from millions of years ago, but you never explained more than that. In the Tremors TV Series, the “mix master” monsters had a similar look. Couldn’t they related? Perhaps Graboids come from that military underground lab and they just read the date of the fossil wrong?
Well — NO! Graboids are an ancient life form. After all, they existed in the late 1800s, the time of Tremors 4. So they could not have come from the military lab that wasn’t even built until much later.
Why do you say Kevin Bacon hates Tremors? I’ve seen two interviews where he said he thought it was a good movie. There are even rumors he wants to do Tremors 6.
Kevin did not feel good about Tremors for many years. He felt it was a low point in his career. But you are correct that, recently, he has changed his mind. We are very glad about that, because we think he is absolutely great in our little movie.
Do you have any future involvement in the Tremors franchise, or the announced TV series with Kevin Bacon??
Not at this point.
We’re always trying to sell new ideas for movies and TV shows!
Why did Universal buy this movie series? Except for the very first one all others have gone directly to video/DVD, Is it that valuable? Isn’t often true that big studios buy a film and the series is then gone forever because some idiot executive decides it is not worth continuing?
Universal didn’t “buy” the franchise. It has owned it from the beginning, when the first movie was made. Universal has always made all decisions on what new versions get made and how the property is marketed. Starting with Tremors 2, the studio felt the best place to make additional money with it was in direct-to-video.
Did Earl and Val have some sort of falling out between movies? Was Earl resentful of Val since he made money it seems? Were they still in contact?
We tried to hint at the answer in Tremors 2, when Earl says Val “married a good woman.” We don’t feel they had any sort of argument. Instead, Val went off to start a life with Rhonda. They could no longer be partners in the way they had been, so Earl took his portion of what money they made and invested in his ostrich ranch. We’ve always wanted to explore more of what Val and Rhonda did, but have never had the opportunity.
according to IMDB, Tremors cost 11 million and Tremors 2 4 million. Is this accurate? Also what were the budgets of Tremors 3 and 4?
Studios don’t like us to talk in detail about budgets. But those numbers are pretty close. Tremors 2, 3, and 4 had almost identical budgets and shooting times. Don’t know about Tremors 5, as we did not work on it.
Why is it in T1 Graboids would suck the trucks down and pop the tires – even when the engines were off.. but in T2 they hunt from earls truck and they never get bothered?
There are two parts to this. In Tremors 1, we don’t think a Graboid ever attacks a vehicle that isn’t making noise. For example, after saving Mindy, Val jumps on their truck, and that makes noise, so that’s why the Graboid attacks it. Later, at Burt and Heather’s, the Graboid doesn’t bother their SUV until the creatures bumps it accidentally, causing the car alarm to go off. In Tremors 2, we tried to make the point that Earl, Grady and Burt have Graboid tracking devices in their vehicles. They are deliberately making noise to attract the monsters. So our logic was, any time they saw the signal of a Graobid, they’d stop the truck so it would remain safe, then use their remote control bait-bombs.
We’re not sure why these creatures would do such a thing, since they are all members of the same cooperative species. But, that said, it doesn’t seem like a Shrieker or and AB would have any chance against a full-sized Graboid. It would swallow them in one gulp. An AB could probably take out a Shrieker, though.
We get this a lot. It’s bittersweet, since, yes we know it and, no we do not control the franchise. We have no say in how Universal studios handles marketing and product licensing. Fans have had many great ideas for products. Here’s a couple of the more elaborate ones:
“a table centerpiece, rectangle in shape, featuring the creature shapes in order, one after the other… egg, baby graboid, adult graboid, shrieker, ass blaster & back to egg… in their habitats. For instance, an egg shell in “water” as in T4, a baby graboid on sandy “soil” as it starts to disappear, adult graboid head as it rises up from the dirt, etc.”
“an AB that really blasts fire!” (Admittedly, there are probably liability issues with that one).
Can we have all generations of graboid in one film? That is, can we have a fight to the death between all generations?
There seems to be a theme in the current batch of fan questions: a desire to see Graboids, Shriekers, ABs and, I guess, even Mini-graboids in some sort of all-out battle. Frankly, we don’t see why such a battle as being likely, given the rules of the Tremors world. But perhaps one of you would like to tackle it in fan fiction? Maybe you could show us how or why it might happen!
There was a question about the Tremors 1 blown-up Graboids’ insides looking like eggs, but you answered that they are not eggs, and that Graboids don’t lay eggs. Well, what about the eggs in Tremors 4 that Graboids hatch from?
Ah, but the eggs in Tremors 4 were laid by AssBlasters, not Graboids. You have to watch ALL the movies to learn the whole complicated life cycle. Most of it happens via metamorphosis – like when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Graboids metamorphose into Shriekers. Shriekers make more Shriekers hermaphroditically (there are egg-like sacs inside Shriekers, but they don’t lay them). Later, Shriekers metamorphose into AssBlasters. It is only AssBlasters that lay eggs — one egg each. Those eggs, if kept warm enough, hatch into baby Graboids, and the process starts over. We just didn’t see the AssBlaster in Tremors 4. In fact, we’re not sure how long AssBlaster eggs can lay dormant. It may be a really long time.
Can you set up a petition for fans to convince Universal to lend creative control back to Stampede?
We always appreciate these kinds thoughts. But it would not change the minds of the powers at Universal. Tremors 5 made enough money that they are already working on Tremors 6. Without us.
Why did the graboids in Tremors eat parts of people then leave the other parts behind? But in Tremors 2 and Tremors 3 they swallowed people whole?
Graboids are individuals with different preferences. Some are picky eaters. Some wolf their meals. Also, if a person’s arm happens to come off while being swallowed, the Graboid might necessarily know it, and would have a hard time finding it after the fact (as it will be making no noise).
The other answer is that in T2 and T3 we had better Graboid moving special effects rigs that could raise them up and down much faster, so it was exciting to for us to get to lift one up with a whole person actually riding with it.
Ummm, we don’t think we’ve ever said that Graboids have acids in their blood or saliva. They’re not like the Alien, after all. Fans, are we wrong on this one?
We are embarrassed to admit, no! It never has. And it’s a great idea!
“Life form! Subterranean! Tracking me acoustically! Danger! No disassemble!”
Would you consider, and did you intend, the Tremors franchise to be your magnum opus; or did it just end up becoming something more throughout the years?
It became something more — all because of the fans. Tremors 1 was considered a failure until fans made it a huge success in the then-new video market. It took years for Tremors 2 to develop such a following that the studio wanted Tremors 3. Even then, they told us Tremors 3 would definitely be the last one. But the fans kept renting/buying, so the studio decided to go for 4 and the series at almost the same time. Tremors has a life of its own, thanks to all of you.
I’m sure you’re disappointed in “Tremors” moving on without Stampede, and not having ownership of the franchise anymore, but are any of you bitter about any of this?
Disappointed, frustrated, yes, but not bitter. You shouldn’t be in screenwriting if you can’t accept that studios own your work outright and are going to do whatever they want with it. Just gotta move on to the next.
If this questions refers to Tremors 1-4 , yes, we noticed. We hired the composers in each case and directed them to come up with new music!
Okay, this isn’t really a question, but we love hearing from fans from all over the world. It roughly means: “I really like your site, it keeps doing it better! hi”
Thanks from all at Stampede!
We really do try to answer all questions, but sometimes they don’t give us enough to go on. In this case, it doesn’t even specify which Tremors movie is being referred to. In Tremors 1 alone, there is Val and Earl’s trailer, the septic tank pump trailer, Melvin’s trailer, Nestor’s trailer, and the earth-mover trailer pulled by the bulldozer!
Love this question! We don’t know what movie it’s referring to, but it’s funny, so we’re posting it!
Any chance a deal could be worked out with home video distributors, like Scream Factory to do New home video releases of the Tremors movies with some new bonus features like commentaries for Tremors 1,2,3 or previously unseen footage that is mentioned in the book Seeking Perfection?
As we’ve said many times in answering these FAQs, we are impressed at the great ideas that come in from Tremors fans. But, as long-time FAQ readers know, for this idea to happen, someone would have to convince Universal Studios to do it. We don’t have any control over what they do or don’t do.
Were there ever any plans to reveal more of Burt’s background or introduce any of his family members?
When we were doing the original TV series we were certainly considering expanding on the backgrounds of everyone in Perfection. We hoped to explain that some of Burt’s money came from the silver mine his ancestor owned in Tremors 4. But as we were prevented from working further on Tremors after that, none of our ideas came to pass.
I wanted to let you know that I have always appreciated and loved Tremors 1-4. I did not like part 5 and am currently watching 6, but I don’t know if I can finish it. I dislike the shaky/zoomy camera work, and they ruined the look of the creatures. They have Burt Gummer, but are missing the heart, soul, charm and likeable characters. You are all really missed, I hope you will be able to make it right some day. Until then, guess I’ll rewatch the old movies 🙂 Thank you all for creating them, I’ll always love them! Kind regards.
Okay, I admit it, this is not really a question, but with the arrival of the “new” Tremors movies, we’ve been getting a LOT of comments like this, so I thought I post this one, all the way from the Netherlands!
Many thanks to our world-wide fans.
If graboids have really been around since at least the late 1800s, how can native animals ever survive? A full-sized graboid, sneaking underground, can take down a horse or cow! Swarming, mass-producing shriekers and flying ABs hunt above ground with sophisticated heat-seeking ability. How can any animal escape this deadly group? Have wild boars, cows, goats, sheep, birds, rabbits, rats, cougars, etc somehow adapted or evolved over the years to survive graboid onslaughts?
(Note: We get questions from all over the world, and sometimes the writers use English translation programs that don’t work so well. In this case, I’ve attempted to re-translate the question from the original much longer version, because I loved that it offered yet ANOTHER fresh point-of-view from a fan.)
Our answer: as indicated in Tremors 2, graboids have actually been around much longer, since pre-history. However, other animals have NOT adapted significantly to the various graboid stages. The animals just get eaten, and eaten in large numbers. That said, Graboids are quite rare. Yes, they are deadly and voracious, as are the shriekers and ABs that follow, but their whole life cycle plays out in a fairly limited time frame over a fairly limited area, so while the local animal population gets decimated in the short term, graboids do not have the potential of causing any sort of widespread extinction. Nature always strikes a balance.
Miscellaneous Tremors Questions
As of this writing (July 2003), discussions are being had Universal on developing Tremors toys, novelizations, games, comics, trading cards, etc. Whether they will actually go through with these ideas remains to be seen.
Are you sure you want MREs? Actually, they’re not too bad. S.S. Wilson shared one with son, Matt, after Tremors 2. MRE stands for “Meal, Ready to Eat.” Developed for the U.S. military, it’s a complete meal in a foil package. Sometimes you can find them in military surplus stores, survival stores, or as part of earthquake/disaster and lifeboat kits. There are also various “civilian” versions of MREs and high density survival food.
A lot of you have asked about being actors in Tremors. We have to be discouraging about that. It looks easy, but it actually takes a lot of experience to be a good film actor (I know you’ve heard stories of people who had no experience and got a part in some big movie, but that’s RARE, okay?). Like most filmmakers we only hire actors through Hollywood casting directors. When we’re going into production, the casting director sets up auditions with actors found via agents or TV shows, movies, or plays. We make our decisions based on the people he/she brings in. Many many actors tried out for the new roles of Jack and Jodi in Tremors 3. All of them had a lot of experience and skill. If you think you want to be an actor, start trying out for school plays or local theater plays, find an acting class or school or coach. Work on getting an agent, etc. etc. It’s a very tough profession to break into.
This is a tough question, and a tough business. If you’re going to try it, it’s smart to think about what else you might enjoy or be good at if you “don’t” make it. We know people who have quit the business because the hours were too long, the politics too nasty, the work too irregular and uncertain. They’re now happy doing completely different things in places less stressful than L.A.
But for those who are determined to try, we can offer some advice. Over the years we’ve heard all kinds of crazy stories about how people broke in — sneaking on to sets, pretending to be producers, making movies by borrowing on credit cards, auditioning in restaurants. Almost everything has worked at least once, but most of the time most of the wackier things just annoy people.
We’ll try to list a few of the more normal ways in (S.S. Wilson tried everything we mention below). If you want to write, or think you can write, you should try it. It doesn’t cost much, you can do it in your spare time, and you can do it anywhere. (S.S. Wilson dictated one script into a tape-recorder while commuting long hours to an animation job everyday). If you can sell a script, it can be the fastest way in. So, get books on screenplay writing. Learn the correct script format. Look for published screenplays of movies you like (there are also places that sell scripts). Read them. Learn from them. Nancy Roberts (in her days as an agent) is quoted on screenwriting in Syd Fields’ book, “Selling the Screenplay”. Get that book and read it! What she said then still applies. But to be honest, getting anybody to “read” your script will be difficult. Contact the Writers Guild of America (in New York or Los Angeles) to see if they have a current list of movie agents who will read unsolicited scripts (that is, scripts from people they don’t already know). Most agents do not, but some do. Even if they accept your script, they may take a long time to read it, or they may not read it at all (that happens quite a bit), but you have to try everything.
Here at Stampede Entertainment, we DO NOT have a big enough staff to read unsolicited scripts. You’ll find that is the case with most agents and production companies.
If you do write a script be sure to copyright it and register it with the Writer’s Guild before you send it to anyone. Again, contact the Guild for information on how to do this. Basically you send the Guild a copy of the script, which they keep on file for a set amount of time. The Guild charges a fee for this service. But it can help protect you in the unlikely event that an unscrupulous producer takes your idea and tries to make a movie without paying you or giving you credit.
If you don’t feel you’re a writer, maybe you’d enjoy one of many other jobs that contribute to filmmaking (acting, cinematography, set design, wardrobe, etc.) Look for every opportunity to practice and/or demonstrate your craft. You have a big advantage over the days of 8mm movies, since today you can work in video much more cheaply — and have sound! Practice lighting. Work with sound. Work with editing (not as easy in video as film, unless you get some video editing equipment). Script and story board a short movie, then try to make it. Estimate what it’s going to cost and see how far you go over budget.
Enter student and amateur film and video contests. If you win, it’s more reason for people to take time to look at your work.
Try animation (either on film or on a computer).
Try to get work in film or television production. Can you get a job at your local TV station? Will they let you “intern” for free?
Finally, very important, try to make contacts. You may have heard the expression, “It’s who you know.” Well, it’s true. If you know or are related to anyone in the film or TV business, call them. Can they help you get your work seen or read by anyone? Can they get you a job on a movie, working as a production assistant, or “go-fer?” When Brent Maddock and Steve Wilson finally sold *Short Circuit, it happened because they’d been continuing to make contacts and friends. One friend Brent met in a screen-writing workshop. He was the friend of the son of the producer who eventually bought it, and he happened to know that the producer was looking for any script with a robot in it. Four months later they had a major movie in production. The trade papers said they were overnight successes — actually they’d been trying for years, but it made a good story.
But what if you don’t know anybody? Agents don’t want to read your scripts. Producers don’t want see your short films.
Go to film/video schools. There are lots of good ones. They can’t guarantee a job in the movie business, but they’re still good places to learn the basics. These days, some agents check out the students graduating from the better known schools, so sometimes you can get spotted in that way.
But more importantly, at a film school you get to know a lot of other people who are also trying to break in. Some of them will make it and they become the “who you know.” S.S. Wilson’s first paying animation job was for a friend he met at USC. The friend had started making commercials and shorts and remembered Wilson’s student stop-motion animation movies. After selling Short Circuit, Brent Maddock, Wilson, and then-agent Nancy Roberts helped him get his first feature film. He was Ron Underwood, director of Tremors.
Can I send Stampede my script to read, plot ideas I have for another film, sketches, artwork or music for future films etc.?
Sorry but Stampede cannot accept unsolicited scripts, music, story ideas or artwork except that submitted through talent agencies or bona fide entertainment lawyers.
Stampede cannot accept or be responsible for resumes submitted to the Stampede offices. When a Stampede film is actually in pre-production, you can try calling the production offices and submit resumes through normal channels. But you should be forewarned that line producers and unit production managers rarely hire staff without a recommendation from previous film industry employers.
I’m sure we haven’t seen everything, but over the years he’s commented here and there in interviews. Unfortunately, one time he said he felt Tremors was a low point in his career. On the positive side, we heard second hand that when he was at ADI (Tremors FX company) for some work on another film, he saw the Shriekers in their display area and said something like “My kids love those things.” In any case, he was fantastic to work with and we were very lucky to have him in T1.
Where is the Desert Jack Tour Jeep Gladiator truck now (Tremors 3)? And for that matter, where’s Burt’s cool truck (the series)? – NEW
Don’t know where they are now. They were rented, then returned. If I remember right, one of the Gladiators in the series is the same as the one from Tremors 3. The story I got is was that it was still sitting in the movie car rental lot where it had been returned.
Will there ever be additions or expansions to your Dirt Dragons game? Has the thought of a making a new mini game occurred?
First of all, thanks so much for the comment! SS Wilson played Dirt Dragons for hours when it first premiered on the Stampede site. Sadly, our webmaster informs us that the version of flash that the game was written in is quite old in computer terms. The game would have to be re-written from the ground up to be compatible new operating systems. So, no, Dirt Dragons is not getting a facelift or any DLC. The added issue is that Universal owns all rights to Tremors and they have decided not to work with us on the franchise in the future.
Questions about Tremors
When everyone discovers the Graboid tentacle attached underneath Earl/Val’s truck, what/why does Burt throw something underneath the truck next to him?
It’s a can of soda he’s drinking as he walks out of Chang’s (and no, I do NOT know what kind!) When he sees the creepy tentacle under Val and Earl’s truck, he discards the soda without thinking about it.
In Tremors 1, it looks like we see eggs among the internal organs of one of the blown up Graboids – are they eggs?
No, they’re various disgusting things they came up with for innards at Amalgamated Dynamics. We didn’t intend them to be eggs. Graboids don’t lay eggs, they metamorphose.
We didn’t. We had a hole in the ground that was deep enough for the station wagon to sink into. In the hole was a specially made machine, sort of like an elevator, that was supposed to lower the car slowly. But the machine jammed – it got clogged and blocked by the special lightweight potting soil we were using for “dirt.” The car only sank a couple of feet. It was our last night of shooting and we could not work past dawn, so director Ron Underwood had to quickly figure out a series of close-ups and insert shots to make it look like the car actually sank. That very last shot (done later in miniature) was a wide shot where you just see the headlight beams blink off and that’s what makes if feel like the car finally went under. Later, when Val and Earl dig the car up, we put just the car’s front grille (taken off) under the sand, with a battery to run the head lights.
Here’s one that has partially stumped us. Production designer Ivo Cristante (Tremors 1 and Tremors 2 tells SS Wilson it is probably corn. He remembers thinking about what Old Fred could successfully grow in that dry environment. Do we have any botanist fans who can tell from the Old Fred garden hoe close ups in Tremors 1?
This is actually a question to which we gave considerable thought: “Why is there a lone teenage kid in Perfection?” Here’s Melvin’s Tremors 1 back story: he’s the son of rather irresponsible parents who regularly leave him home alone to go gambling in Vegas. The townsfolk long ago got used to the situation, as people in small towns do. There was a line explaining this in the original Tremors 1 script. It was said by Val or Earl and was something like, “I wish his parents would just take him with them to Vegas.” As a result, Melvin turned out sort of selfish and money-hungry in Tremors 3, but we understand him since he had to fend for himself from a young age.
Was it just coincidence that the university had students monitoring seismic activity in the valley, or was someone at the University expecting a hatching?
Just coincidence. There is a lot of seismic activity in the southwest and many public and private entities monitor it all the time. If we had secretive people who knew in advance Graboids were going to hatch, we’d turn into the X Files.
Here’s a major one. You fans have done it again. In his T-3 town meeting briefing, Burt says the Graboids are moving down from the North, “just like last time.” But in a chat room discussion forwarded to S.S. Wilson, some fans point out that in fact, all the early Graboid victims in T-1 are South of Perfection, i.e., between Perfection and Bixby!
Well, this is equivalent to the great number-of-Shriekers-in-a-Graboid slip up and Old Fred’s disappearing car. In the years between making T-1 and T-3, we overlooked this basic geographic reality. Burt’s line is simply wrong. He was let down by the writers. He should have said, “They’re working their way up from the south.”
But the same fans have provided an excellent explanation for the Graboid movements, if not the T-3 line. The 1989 batch could have hatched south of Perfection (unlike the T-4 batch). They found themselves blocked by the granite ridge which separates the south end of Perfection Valley from Bixby. So, they worked their way north, taking out the victims in the order Val indicates, heading back toward Perfection. I have no idea what this does to the orientation-of-the-valley discussion and I’m too tired to think about it.
Boy, you guys are tough.
In a related T-1 question, some of you feel Rhonda seems to be unexpectedly working in two widely different areas of the Valley (where she first meets Val and Earl, and later at the concrete ditch). On that point I think we’re safe. She clearly says she has placed seismographs all over the valley, so it’s logical that she might be servicing any one of them an any given time.
In Tremors 1, why didn’t the townspeople just take truck Rhonda’s to the base of the jeep trail? With the trail being a mountain path, the Graboids wouldn’t be able to follow, and the people could walk safely to Bixby. I know the real answer is that it would just kill the whole movie plot, but what’s the “creative” reason?
You’re envisioning the trail as starting right at the base of the mountain. We envisioned the jeep trail as starting way before that, out in the desert. Our intention in the dialogue where the townsfolk discuss it was to imply that the trail was so rough that the little two-wheel-drive vehicle would not make it to the rocks. Earl says “You need major four wheel drive just to get up that jeep trail,” which makes it sound like he might means to get up up the mountain itself — but he didn’t! Honest!
When they are stranded on the rock at the end, is the cannon Burt refers to the same one Hiram obtained in Tremors 4?
If you are referring to Hiram’s punt gun, which is sort of like a small cannon, no. The punt gun was never found after the Graboid pulled it underground in Tremors 4. If you are referring to the Gatling Gun Christine gives Hiram at the end of Tremors 4, also no. It’s technically not a cannon and it went to a museum in San Francisco after Hiram’s death. The cannon Burt refers to in Tremors 1 is a firing replica of a Civil War mortar (type of cannon). We wrote it into early drafts of Tremors 3, but the scene didn’t make it into the movie. It’s one of the few things which wouldn’t have been totally destroyed in the explosion of Burt’s house, but we’ve still never been able to show it. Maybe someday.
It is actually a shotgun called a Darne, with an unusual sliding breech action. It was huge, an 8 gauge (the smaller the number, the bigger the gun). We had dummy cartridges custom made from solid brass rod stock, with the bullet held on via a screw.
Wow, you’re asking us to go way back in time on that one. Boring reality version: the wardrobe department picked out a variety of things which seem to fit the character (in this case Fred’s character, Earl Basset). Then the director picked what he liked best. Also, the legal department has to approve use of the name. So it may be that it just happened to be a company for which we could get permission.
More romantic version: Earl worked odd jobs all over the country before landing in Perfection and teaming up with younger Val. No doubt he did a stint at Alumax, bailing with his hat when he got fed up with the 9:00 to 5:00 grind.
Sorry, we don’t have any record of that and can’t tell for sure from the existing footage which models they are. Maybe some of our sharp-eyed detail-oriented Burt fans can help here?
A friend asked me, “Why didn’t the Graboid scream when it regurgitated the bomb that landed on the other bombs?” I said its probably because he knew the bombs hurt his seismic sensors and took cover then returned to the food.
We appreciate it when fans ask and answer a question at the same time. But I will also add that the Graboid in question was “spitting” out the bomb, so it had no need to roar or scream.
Yes. The movie ratings system is always changing. Some lines we thought would be acceptable when we started shooting were not acceptable by the time we finished. Since then, somewhat to our surprise, we’ve realized that the Tremors films are loved by kids and families. So we have limited most bad language in the later films, except for the name of the ABs, which some people have objected to.
Val and Earl say at the end that Burt gave them the new tires for the Jeep, but how did they mount them on the rims? They couldn’t use rims Burt had since Jeep rims don’t match his Chevy rims. Chevy has six holes and Jeeps had/have five holes. Perfection doesn’t seem to have a garage where they could do tire changes and stuff.
Truth: we hoped no one would notice or ask. But our fully plausible after-the-fact explanation is that always-prepared Burt maintained backup tires and rims of several sizes and makes, in case he had to commandeer a vehicle other than his own in an emergency.
FAN SUPPORT UPDATE: (A fan wrote in to say why the rims would fit!) Just so you guys are aware, a lot of the old trucks that had 6 lug nuts for the rims used the same mounting pattern. All full size Chevy trucks, full size Chevy Jeeps, and even the old small Toyota and Nissan trucks could all use the same rims.
Ironically, though one would think so, Burt is not ex-Army. His deep-seated resistance to authority and his desire to live life exactly as he wishes made him a bad fit for that highly regimented institution.
We had not thought about that. But Bertram kind of makes sense, since he’s a descendant of Hiram Gummer. Might reflect a family bias for similar-sounding names.
That is what we call in professional film making circles: a mistake.
We thought of them as being in their mid-to-late 30s.
What kept the Graboids from diving deep below the floor of Perfection Valley and emerging at the bottom of the “Cliffs to the North”?
As you go down the face of those cliffs, you encounter older geologic layers. Before you reach the bottom, you come to hard sandstone, which the Graboids can’t penetrate.
What exactly were those construction workers doing when they were killed by Graboids? Burying phone lines?
Here it is from the original script: they are repairing a section of road already damaged by a rock slide. Carmine is breaking up asphalt (for eventual replacement).
Nestor Cunningham. Jim and Megan Wallace. Old Fred does not have a last name in the script, so apparently that’s up for grabs.
What happened to the 8 gauge elephant gun (actually a Darne shotgun) Burt used to kill the Graboid in his basement?
It was returned to the private gun collection from which it was rented.
How did you come up with the name, Burt Gummer? Was it possibly an homage to the Charlton Heston’s RoBERT Neville, in “OMEGA MAN”?
No, S.S. Wilson came up with the name out of the blue early in the writing process. There was no connection to anything. The name just sounded funny and it stuck. It’s one of the few character names S.S. Wilson has contributed to the many scripts he and Brent Maddock have worked on. Most names are invented by Maddock and some point.
Burt’s gun wall: Exactly how many weapons does he have on that wall? Could you please name them all?
Sorry, we don’t know and we can’t. Our weapons prop master did a superb job of putting all those different guns together, but I’m not sure even he could remember how many and what they were all these years later. So, maybe one of you really dedicated fans, working diligently from frame grabs of the basement sequence, referencing your well-worn copy of the 1990 Shooter’s Bible –??
In Tremors 1, what were Bert and his wife mixing in their basement with that machine that attracted the graboids? Something to do with making their own bullets but what exactly?
The machine is a shell case polisher. The device agitates empty brass cases in a mildly abrasive medium, gently polishing off the burns and powder residue from the previous firing. Perfectionists like Burt and Heather want their cases sparkling clean before they reload them!
After Tremors 1, what exactly happened? Did [the town] automatically start attracting tourists? And when did Jodi move in and fix things up?
The Graboids were pretty big news. A new life form! Photos of them flew round the world. Plus Rhonda and Val were on a few national talk shows. Even so, Perfection is very remote, so there wasn’t a flood of tourists right away. Jodi arrived quickly to oversee her uncle’s store. Once she got there, she saw opportunity and decided to stay.
Is it possible you guys can convince Universal to release a new Blu ray release of Tremors with a remastered transfer? The transfer on the current Blu ray is HORRIBLE. (this review really sums it up http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Tremors-Blu-ray/14445/). Also, if they ever release a new release Tremors, ever consider doing an audio commentary for the film?
It’s not likely Universal will do a better Blu-ray release. Sadly, they don’t view Tremors as a major property and have made many disappointing marketing decisions over the years. For example, Tremors 4 was released in the United Kingdom with none of the cool extras. Though we made the movies, they own them and we have no control over what they do with them.
Well, the answer is getting lost in the mists of time, but I don’t have Michael Gross’s thoughts about it. He says, ” I recall saying I wanted to wear a baseball cap of some sort. Someone (wardrobe? Ron?) asked it might be a sports team, and I said I thought that would be okay, but specified it should be a team from some southern state. Next thing you know, these hats from Atlanta show up on the set, and off we went.”
Toward the end, why didn’t the townspeople just jump into Rhonda’s truck and drive it to the base of the Jeep trail? With the trail being a mountain path, the Graboids wouldn’t be able to follow, and they could just walk to Bixby. I know the real answer is that it would just kill the whole movie plot, but what’s the “creative” reason?
Actually, our version is that the jeep trail, criss-crossing sandy washes and ravines, becomes heavily rutted and impassable well before it reaches solid rock at the base of the mountains, so they’d be goners if they tried it.
Okay, I’ll probably get this wrong since I haven’t re-watched the movie to double-check. If you read other faq answers you’ll see we got the number of Shriekers-in-a-Graboid wrong in Tremors 3. But I’ll give it a shot. I say 10. Edgar Deems, Old Fred, two road workers, the doctor and his wife, Nestor, Walter Chang; and two telephone repair workers. Dedicated FAQ Followers feel free to correct me.
I gotta be honest, neither me, Ron Underwood nor Brent Maddock remembered where the song came from. And I could never have answered this question without help from two Facebook friends who led me to Keith Blackwell, a member of the band Fahrenheit. They recorded the song as a demo and, since they knew some of our production people, offered it as background music. Better yet, Mr. Blackwell has put it up online and you can hear it in its entirety, all these years later, at http://soundcloud.com/keith-blackwell/you-are-the-one
Who provided the movie clothing in Tremors, specifically for Val and Earl. I noticed a lot of western wear. And where did Val get that awesome belt buckle! Was it specially made for the movie or can it be purchased? – NEW
OMG, this may be the first Val belt buckle question ever! It was part of many costumes provided by the Tremors wardrobe department. The good news is, all these years later, director Ron Underwood remembers choosing it! Ron writes, “I remember the meeting with Abigail Murray (costume designer) in our production office in the [San Fernando] Valley where she brought in her “find” of the belt buckle. I think it was in a heart shape around the name “VAL.” I remember thinking it was great as soon as I saw it. She found it in a second hand store as I recall.”
So, the bad news is, it was a rare item even back then. We don’t know who made it or when or how many might have been made.
What has Finn Carter been doing lately? Also, if you ever get permission from Universal to make Tremors 5, would she be in it? – NEW
Finn has continued to do all sorts of things (including have kids). She has done guest spots on many TV shows over the years since Tremors. We did not write her character, Rhonda, into Tremors 5 since, in the Tremors universe, she’s gone off to live with Val. But Finn was a total delight to work with and fearless in going for the quirky Rhonda we had in mind.
How come the tentacle on their truck is not seen when they drive away from the hillside where “Stumpy” grabbed their axle?
Well, we tried to shoot and edit that scene so that you never really see the back of the truck or very far underneath. Hopefully it’s not too much of a cheat
How did Rhonda, after grabbing the lighter out of her pocket, catch up to Val and Earl since they had been running full tilt for 14 seconds?
Finn Carter would laugh if she read this question. She had a heck of a time that day. We shot and re-shot the three of them running many times. It was insanely hot and she was super exhausted. That said, remember that she is calling after Val and Earl, “I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” So, clearly, they slowed down and let her catch up. The way the footage is edited, that might not be clear, but that is totally what happened. In my mind.
Update: here’s an answer from a helpful fan who emailed Stampede. Thanks!
“Because Rhona runs faster than both of them. At the beginning of the movie, she easily catches up to Val and Earl with her backpack on when they run on the rocks from the worms.”
In the opening scene at the cliff, in the shot of the cattle, the sun clearly overhead, like high noon with heat waves. Yet when Val wakes Earl up, he says, “Good morning Mr. Bassett, this is your wake-up call.” Why?
Answer 1: Earl slept very late.
Answer 2: You shoot low budget movies as fast as you can, from sun-up to sundown. You usually don’t have a choice where the sun is. So you just hope people won’t notice and send you questions 25 years later.
I know you and the Stampede crew went with CGI for the sequels in places where it would’ve been impossible to pull off with live creatures, but when you guys were doing the first film, was there ever talk about doing some stop-motion Graboid shots?
Since S. S. Wilson comes from a background in stop motion animation, yes! We considered anything that would help us get the movie made. But the fact that the creatures were always seen in dirt and kicking up dust made stop-motion an unsatisfactory choice, since those are hard elements to work with (or add in later) when doing stop motion.
In Tremors 1, when they jump into Rhonda’s truck and she is in the window, you realize that behind Val for a few seconds you can see the stunt driver right?
I have to be honest. No, I did not realize that. I will look for him the next time I watch the film.
Update: I checked. It’s pretty subtle! Like half a second! And only half the guy’s head!
Why didn’t Earl use a revolver holster for his Colt when he was riding the horse. He would have never lost it then after the graboid attacked his horse.
Well, the simple answer is, he didn’t have one. Remember, we first see the gun when Val and Earl’s truck gets stuck at the road work site. When Earl grabs the Colt from the glove box, it’s just wrapped in paper.
Well, not really. We didn’t feel Val and Earl should be experts, and a tentacle would be pretty hard to hit with a handgun.
You know, we’ve never though about that. But we feel that they did. Their kids were grown and they were building their retirement place near Perfection.
We never wanted it to be rated R! We like to make fun family movies. We were upset the first time we submitted it , because it DID get an R — for language. We had let Kevin and Fred use too many unacceptable words, so we had to go back and make changes to get rid of enough to get our PG-13.
I thought Nestor was Melvins dad and that was why he was crying and so upset when Nestor was eaten. So if he wasn’t his father, apart from the loss of a friend.. why does he freak out more than the others?
Yeah, Nestor is not Melvin’s dad. Melvin’s parents just left him alone a lot when they went to gamble in Las Vegas. But we think Melvin’s reaction is still understandable. He’s just a teenager, and he’s never seen anybody killed, let alone in such a scary way. It makes him see how much danger they are in.
We’re not quite sure what this means. Do the tentacles have guns, or are Val and Earl shooting at them like wild west guys? If it’s the second version, we think it’d only work for a short time. The Graboid would pull its wounded tentacles underground and attack from below unless they got to safe ground. We sort of did that with Black Hand Kelly in Tremors 4. But the tentacles didn’t have guns.
In the opening scene when Kevin Bacon is taking a whiz over the edge of the cliff, and the ending scene where they run full tilt toward the same spot, are they really at the edge of a cliff, or is it special effects?
It is a special effect — a beautiful old-school, perfectly done matte painting. We couldn’t find a cliff that looked right anywhere in the area where we were shooting. It had to look like dirt, not rock. So we finally had to bring in a world-class matte painting team, Illusion Arts.
In the beginning of the movie Val and Earl are putting up a barbed wire fence. I was wondering if the multiple attempts to hit the nail was planned or if he missed that many times on purpose.
It was an accident. Kevin just didn’t hit the nail for a few times. Director Ron Underwood thought it was a great moment that seemed very real, so he left it in the final film.
OK ! Enough Hollywood trickery!! In the final action scene, Kevin Bacon starts running and the ‘ground’ under his feet is BOUNCING. Please go back and edit this, then re-release the movie in all major theaters across the world.
That’s funny! Yeah, nearly all the effects in the original Tremors were done “live” right on the location, so we did end up with things like bouncing dirt. Under Kevin was a big sheet of plywood covering the large hole in which the Graboid was placed during other parts of the scene. I guess today any young person with an iPhone and a movie app could digitally erase our dirt bounce. But we’ll leave it as is for posterity.
The first film had the best distinctive theme song why didn’t you guys keep it as the main theme for all the films?
Believe it or not, the original score was not loved. In post production, much of it was thrown out and some “action” music hastily written by a new composer. That said, we love the “Val and Earl” theme, if that’s what you’re referring to; but using it in later productions would have been a tough sell to the studio.
Ok, after Earl warns the highway workers that “there’s a killer on the loose” the guy’s foot gets stuck in the air-pressure hose. How did that happen since the scene immediately prior shows it clearly outside of it? Did the Flash mess with the time-line again?
Actually, there is a very clear closeup of him stepping into the loop of hose right before the jack-hammer takes off.
Great question! That would be totally like Walter, but no, he really didn’t have a gun. He only sold ammo at his store — mostly to Burt.
The Internet Movie Database says that: “One idea by the special effects crew was for the worms to have an outer shell. When above the dirt, the shell would retract to reveal a slimier ‘inner worm’. However, many production members started to giggle at the ‘phallic’ resemblance it had with a foreskin, so this was changed to the big worm sprouting several smaller worms from its mouth.” Could you confirm, or deny, the story?
This is partly true. Early sketches by the guys at Amalgamated Dynamics did have the retractable head skin, and it did get a laugh in an early meeting, especially from Exec Producer Gale Ann Hurd, as being too phalic. So the retracting skin was dropped. However, it is not true that we replaced it with the tentacles. They were always part of the design and were described in the original script.
Well — because the panties were our idea, that is, the director and writer/producers. We are not fans of monster/horror movies where women are scantily clad for no reason, but we also really liked the scene in which she has to get out of her pants to escape the barbed wire, so we discussed it with Finn and all agreed on the modest version she wore.
In all the years of answering Tremors questions, this is a first. I am embarrassed to say we’ve never thought much about Mindy’s father. We do think that free-spirit Nancy was not married to him and that they drifted apart for some reason. But that’s about it.
On part two, we’re not sure where that question comes from. Nancy does not hate Earl. She pretty much likes everybody, though she gets impatient with Burt at times.
Burt makes a comment about eminent domain in Tremors 1. Given that its use became much more common after the 2005 USSC ruling, did you feel prophetic?
No, but you can be sure Burt never misses an opportunity to point it out.
Why didn’t you incorporate the 2016 Tour de France as a prequel to Perfection Valley terror? You could have had the Graboids take out some of the Yellow jersey leaders, then head west to America for more delectable cuisine. Pogo sticks just don’t compare to bicyclists going downhill at 55mph. Plus bridging the Space-Time continuum would increase audience participation by incorporating the Sci-Fi types.
Uh —- what? I think this one went over our heads.
Forgive me, there are lots of funny answers to this question. We are writers, after all.
The entire town of Perfection would have been eaten, and it would have been a very dark, depressing horror movie.
We would have had to add people to the town to get eaten so Val and Earl, and maybe Rhonda, would still survive.
Burt would have had to come up with a mini-nuclear bombs instead of his ordinary ones.
We would have had to come up with four more cool ways to kill a Graboid.
The movie would have been twice as long! But twice as expensive and we wouldn’t have been able to make it!
But seriously, we are amazed at the new questions fans keep coming up with all these years later. Thanks!
When Walter was being eaten by the Graboid that came through the floor, why didn’t Earl help him with that axe he had?
This is a good question. Indeed it is true that Earl found an axe earlier when trying to help Rhonda. But when the motor in the soft drink cooler turned on, we think he left the axe by the table he was sitting at across the room. He had no time to get off the cooler, over to the table and back before Walter got pulled down.
We think this might be a trick philosophy or political question. But we don’t deal much in philosophy, or politics, so our answer is that the purpose was to tell a fun, off-beat, exciting story as best we could.
It’s interesting to us that fans like to rank things so much. But we’ll offer our opinion. Old Edgar died of thirst up on the tower, but didn’t suffer the horror of being eaten. The road crew guys seemed to get killed pretty quickly. The doctor and his wife had it pretty bad, both being slowly pulled underground, so they are definitely up near the top. We don’t really know what happened to the telephone guys, so it could have been the worst of all, but probably not. Nestor got pulled under very fast and we think went unconscious fairly quickly. Our vote would be poor Walter Chang — grabbed, stabbed in the back with tentacle horns, and slowly pulled through the floor with a leg bent backward. Yeah, now I’ve totally creeped myself out.
Great question. We hadn’t really noticed it, but it’s quite true. It’s due to how we thought of Val and Earl as we developed the characters through several drafts of the script– as kind of ranch hands plus small-town handymen. It’s also due to Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward working with director Ron Underwood, and wanting to play the characters with a strong Southwest feel. In the later movies, as we moved on to new characters and had to adapt the stories more into the modern world, the cowboy feel kind of got left behind behind.
REAL cameras! MOVIE cameras! Shooting big heavy rolls of 35mm motion picture film! Mostly they were by Arriflex.
For 20 years now I have been trying to find a copy of Burt’s vest when they leave the house in the trailer. I even tried to contact Abigail Murray through her agent to ask the same question. What brand is it?
Sorry to report that, as of this late date, no one we’re still in contact with remembers. During production, these decisions get made quickly, often choosing from dozens of options. It’s possible nobody even paid attention to what brand it was at the time we were shooting. It just got picked because it looked right to the director, costumer, and Michael Gross.
On IMDB it says there is an end credit scene showing the dirt move, indicating that there’s one more alive. Is this true? Or maybe it’s only on vhs?
We don’t think there was ever such a scene even shot, because we hate movies that end like that! We’ve always felt it’s much more satisfying to end on a definitive note. You can always make a sequel no matter how “final” your ending.
In T-1 there was a faded white name painted under “Walter Chang’s Market”. What did it say and was this intentional?
It says “Company,” and it is indeed intentional, since the whole town of Perfection was built from the ground up just for the movie. Production designer Ivo Cristante put a great deal of thought into what the history of Perfection could have been. Once he decided it was probably a mining town, he thought it would be fun to indicate that the store was originally owned by the mining company. We modified that idea in Tremors 4, when we indicated that Walter Chang’s ancestors founded the store, but they could still have called it the company store at some point in the intervening years.
Although it’s only a movie, how can a Graboid lift a building, but not be able to lift a 30 plus ton Cat bulldozer?
We defend our physics! The Graboids lifted only a portion, like one corner, of the buildings at any one time. A smallish section of lumber and drywall wouldn’t weigh nearly as much as the Cat.
At the end of Tremors when Val (Kevin) pulls the pictures off the Jeep’s sun visor; are they pictures of Kevin’s wife Kyra?
No, although that would have been a cool idea. They are actually of Harri James, our 2nd unit script supervisor, wearing a freaky blonde wig.
Had you guys gone with the original script, in which Walter was Vietnamese instead of Chinese, would he have gotten eaten up as well?
Yes, what happened to the character remained the same. We changed his race because we felt Victor Wong was the best person to try out for the role — and he was Chinese.
All these years later we can’t say for sure. It’s not in the script. It was probably Brent Maddock or SS Wilson (who directed the 2nd unit that filmed that moment). That sort of thing often got added on the spur of the moment during production. It made sense because we wanted to emphasize the tentacles were just randomly grabbing things, hunting by sound and feel alone.
How does one spend a budget of $11 million (Wikipedia)? Actors’ salaries? Set design? Union salaries for scads of workers? So much money that I would find hard to spend in a lifetime. And yes, I realize that in the scheme of movie making, this amount is probably considered “small potatoes “
I know, right? Where does all the money go? Well, yes, you have 150-200 crew members all working 12 hours a day. If they are union and work longer hours, they can get into triple overtime rates. You have vehicle rental, fuel costs, office space rental, motel rooms and food every day for all those people. The cast, especially the “name” stars, gets a BIG chunk. Before the production you have to pay a crew to build the sets and also pay for all the materials. For indoor scenes you have to not only build the sets but pay to rent the sound stages. After the production you have to pay a crew to tear the sets down. In post production you have the editor, composer, musicians, sound editors, sound mixers, and studio time. And, back in the day of Tremors, you paid a laboratory to develop and print the film, and make copies of the film for editing, screening and, finally for hundreds of 35mm prints that used to go out to all the theaters. It adds up!!!
Where did you find Val and Earls truck for the film? Did you modify it? What happened to it after filming ended?
We wanted any distinctive old four-wheel-drive and our transportation department found the Jeep Gladiators, but I never knew where they found them. I don’t know if they were rented or if we bought them for the movie. After production they were sold or returned to wherever they were rented. We had two of them on set, so that in case one had mechanical trouble, shooting wouldn’t be delayed. They were not heavily modified except for changes to make them look alike. By the way, they aren’t 100% identical. Look closely for the differences!
Questions about Tremors 2
It is an older model Jeep J series pick-up, sometimes called the Gladiator. Produced from 1963 to 1987 these are rather rare. The transportation coordinator on Tremors I found the one we used in the first movie and no, unfortunately it was not put in a museum. Maybe it should have been, because we had a heck of a time finding another one for Tremors II! By the time we made Tremors II, the transportation staff had to buy three of them from junk yards in order to get two of them up and running. We used one or the other depending on what sort of shot we were doing. If you watch Tremors II closely, you can spot differences between the two “identical” trucks we used. We always try to have more than one picture vehicle so that we can keep shooting when something goes wrong with one of them or, when we damage one (as when Earl backs into a steep ravine to escape the Graboid that drops on the hood)
It took a long time to get the sequel made because the first movie, while successful, was not a HUGE box-office hit. It’s easy to get a studio to greenlight a sequel for a HUGE hit (like BATMAN). But we had to work a long time to convince the studio that the fans really wanted a Tremors II. Ultimately, it was Universal’s video division that really supported the idea, because the first Tremors had been HUGE in video and on TV.
Fans continue to ask about the “Miss October” seen and mentioned in Tremors 2. Here’s the scoop.
We had a number of arguments about what year Playmate we should pick. We decided on 1974 because it made the Kathy character about the right age for Earl (about 40).
Then we cast Helen Shaver as Kathy. But it turns out that the real Miss October, 1974, Ester Cordet, doesn’t look remotely like Helen. So, we searched through Playboy files and selected the Playmate actually seen in the film, Miss September, 1970, Debbie Ellison.
Were there any scenes shot for Tremors 2: Aftershocks that did not make it into the movie and will they ever be available on DVD?
There are only two cut scenes. One was a short scene in which Earl said good-bye to Kathy before the first Graboid hunt. The other was the last part of the night scene in which Burt’s truck is attacked by Shriekers. We tried to a do a joke in which you see Shriekers all over the truck, then Burt blasts every one with his semi-auto pistols. Unfortunately we just didn’t have the budget to do any more computer animated shriekers and tried to do the scene with our floppy dummy shriekers. They looked like rubber dummies — which they were. I tried editing the scene a dozen different ways to keep it in, but eventually my writing partner, editor, and producer ganged up on me and made me take it out. Even worse, I had stood in for Michael Gross in the master shot, firing the pistols inside the truck, so I was cutting myself out of the movie! No Alfred Hitchcock moment! That outtake did not make it onto the DVD and I’m afraid it would be hard to dig it out of Universal’s storage areas now.
Why did you call the new little monsters is Tremors 2 Shriekers when you didn’t use that name in the film?
When Brent and I were working on the script, we needed a way to identify the new monsters for the people reading the script. We didn’t want to keep calling them “new little monsters” all the time. We came up with the name Shrieker because that’s what they do: they shriek (scream real loud) whenever they see food with their heat sensors.
A name is useful on the set, too, even if it isn’t used in the movie. Often times the crew will invent names for things so they all know what they’re talking about when setting up a shot. You’ll hear them say things like, “We’ll have a Shrieker over there, and Graboid back there, and the hero Shrieker will be in foreground. When filmmakers refer to something as the “hero”, they mean the one that is used for close-ups. We had several Shrieker puppets, but two of them could perform more actions than the others, so they were the “heroes.”
We’ve gotten some complaints that Tremors 2 was less gory than Tremors 1. And when SS Wilson was visiting some grade school kids last year, he was approached by an eleven year old who had only one piece of advice for Tremors 3: “Make it gross!”
Well, we’re in kind of a fix, folks. The people paying the bills are Universal FAMILY Home entertainment. Not only that, parents e-mail all the time telling us how great it is that we make monster movies that aren’t so gory. And we have little kids ourselves we’d like to be able to watch the movies (well, they were little when we started the series!)
So the Tremors movies will have to be a little less gross than some of you might like. We’re trying to please all of our fans. But keep an eye out for other Stampede movies. We’re trying to set up a feature a couple in the next few months that will be really scary, and more gross. Wish us luck.
Why did we choose the L.A.R. Grizzley over, say, the Barrett semi-auto? It had more to do with timing than anything. Tremors 2’s pre-production was very rushed. The prop people brought me a picture of the L.A.R. target gun and I loved it. Fifty caliber target shooting was relatively new then, and frankly we didn’t know much about it. At the time we didn’t happen to see any other guns built for the sport. We’ve since checked out a number of special guns for Burt and would love to use the Barrett. But it’s LOT heavier than the L.A.R. so in some ways would be impractical for Burt to lug around.
They got married and are running the theme park established by Earl and Grady with the money they made Graboid hunting.
Well, life sometimes refuses to imitate art. Reba McIntire is a very busy country star and hasn’t wanted to reprise her stand-out role.
If Shriekers can only see when the lift the flaps on their head, how do they know when to open them?
Can Shrikers “see” with their heat-seeker closed? Yes, Shriekers can sense some heat through the bony shield on the heat seeker organ. They open it to get a more accurate iamge and “sight in” on their prey. They close it before they attack, because it is delicate and vulnerable to injury.
Why don’t warm blooded Shriekers attack each other? All animals are equipped to easily recognize others of their kind. Honeybees can identify bees not from their own hive, for example. It is not known for sure how Shriekers avoid attacking one another, but it is likely they they can either the shape of the heat image or possibly the exact body temperature (which is much higher than that of most other animals).
It went like this: Universal had asked us to come up with an idea for Tremors 2. We knew that most fans expected to meet a Queen Graboid of some kind, since that’s the way most monster sequels tend to go. So we wanted to come up with something else. We were stuck for quite a while. Then one day we said “What if the Graboids got smaller instead of bigger?” From there we realized that, if they were smaller, there’d have to be more of them to be dangerous. From there we realized that we wouldn’t want to have to watch Graboids lay eggs, watch the eggs hatch, and wait for the Shriekers to grow to dangerous size. Boring! So that’s what led us to sudden hermaphroditic metamorphosis. See?
At the time we came up with the idea for Tremors 2, it seemed better to set it in a new location. Way back then it seemed too co-incidental for Graboids to show up in Perfection again. It was Michael Gross who encouraged us to go back to Perfection for Tremors 3, because he missed the emotional connection of people fighting for their home. He said while we were making Tremors 2, “What are we fighting for, an oil refinery?”
Can’t tell you exactly what the cost was, since it is buried in the lump-sum creature effects budget for the film, which also included Graboids, human body parts and other things. The articulated Shreikers had metal cable-controlled skeletons and bodies of foam rubber. The skins are other kinds of molded rubbers and the beaks are fiberglass.
They are “born” (ejected from the mouth of an adult) nearly one fourth full size, and grow very rapidly. Nancy Roberts currently owns the baby Shrieker made by Amalgamated Dynamics for the “birth” scene.
It’s a fabulous piece written for the movie by composer Jay Fergusen. We wanted something which was the opposite of the usual monster movie music, something lyrical and soft, with a Mexican flavor – before the mayhem started.
How come the explosion at the end of Tremors 2 looks so different from the explosion of Burt’s house in Tremors 3? We saw all the TNT and stuff in his T-2 truck; what makes the difference?
It’s great that you fans notice stuff like this. And there IS a reason. When the Mexican government offered Burt whatever he wanted, he loaded up his T-2 truck with all the fun stuff he’s not allowed to have in the U.S., high explosives – TNT, C-4, and the like. When REAL H.E. goes off, it makes very little flame and creates a devastating shock wave. That’s the effect S.S. Wilson wanted and that’s what Peter Chesney created for the end of Tremors 2, using real high explosives, by the way. If you look at the grass in the foreground of the building when it blows up, you can see the shock wave.
Now, in Tremors 3, we wanted the look of Burt’s ammo, reloading powder, black powder, and gasoline blowing up. All those things “explode” more slowly, with a lot more flame, than H.E., so Larry Fioritto and his team created that kind of explosion, with LOTS of gasoline, black powder, etc.
Yes and no. Burt dropped it in front of the tractor in which he took cover from the Shriekers. The whole area was turned into a crater in the big blast. However, Burt, knowing that his rifle is a massive, tough chunk of stainless steel, figured it might have survived. Plotting its approximate trajectory from the blast site, he searched laboriously through the rubble and finally recovered the rifle. Cleaned up and re-barreled, it appeared again in Tremors 3.
What was that big thing in the back of Burt’s truck which Grady asked about? Burt quickly covered it saying, “Might end up in my collection.”
It was a cannon shell. Sorry we’re not sure of the exact size now, but it was something like a 90mm round which would be fired from a tank’s cannon. When the Mexican Military said he could take whatever he wanted to help fight the Graboids, Burt slipped the cannon round into the truck, hoping to add it to his weapons and cartridge collection. It was of course destroyed in the Big Blast at the end.
How can Shriekers do so much damage to prey? They have no teeth and their beaks don’t look that sharp.
Actually their beaks are fairly sharp. Ever been bitten by a parrot? However, the real secret is the great strength in their jaws and legs. Once they clamp down, it’s almost impossible to force their jaws open. Repeatedly yanking backward with their powerful legs, they can tear or rip just about anything. That’s how they rip open sheet metal.
Well – if you think about it, all the Graboids are dead by the time the Shriekers are running around, since Shriekers come out of Graboids. In Tremors 3, El Blanco did sense the Abs, and he even ate the last one!
Yes, but the fact is, most of the creatures who have lived on earth are NOT preserved in the fossil record. Only a fraction get fossilized. So we thought it would be fun to propose that at least one higher, more complex animal, with a very unusual life cycle, arose in the Precambrian and was lost to history until Tremors 2. If you’d like an alternate theory, at one time there was on the SciFi Tremors series website a much more detailed and scholarly analysis of where in pre-history Graboids may have arisen (the writer proposed that Kate White was mistaken in her original judgment about the Precambrian origins).
On a side note, one thing that is definite is Graboids and their two metamorphic forms were NOT the result of the compound Mixmaster being released into the Perfection Valley environment (revealed in Tremors, the Series). Graboids predated that event by hundreds, if not thousands of years.
No, it’s a muzzle brake, a device that reduces felt recoil (kick) when the gun is fired. Some of the expanding gasses blasting out of the barrel are directed slightly rearward through the holes, sort of little “jets” which pull the gun forward at the same time it is kicking backward against the shooter.
Surprise: because they don’t really exist! It was a fairly complicated thing to shoot. The “baby” is actually a full sized Shrieker in a special cage we built extra big to make the Shrieker look small. (You’ll notice there are no people seen in the same shot with the baby. That would have given away that the cage was huge). We didn’t have the time or money to make real baby Shrieker puppets, so the effects team came up with that clever “cheat.”
A lot of it just has to do with the way they were filmed. In the series the directors tended to use quicker, closer shots of the Shriekers than we did in T-2. Outwardly the series puppets are almost identical to the T-2 puppets, but the ones in the series have more range of motion.
Technically, they can keep producing babies as long as they get an unlimited amount of food. But in reality there is an upper limit. Studies were done by the scientific team which brought the Shriekers to Perfection Valley in the series. They found that it requires tremendous effort to “birth” the baby and this takes quite a toll on the Shrieker’s body. After producing ten to twelve babies, an adult often dies suddenly of apparent heart failure. In the wild a Shrieker would rarely be able to get enough food to reach that state.
What ever happened to Senor Ortega? Was he eaten by Shriekers or did he leave before the Graboids metamorphosed?
He wisely beat it out of there before things got bad.
Yes, they do. But not nearly as much. Scientists think the reason may be that Shriekers are designed to alert each other when they find food. ABs are more solitary animals, primarily looking for a good place to lay their single egg, so the theory is there’s not as much need for them to signal each other about food sources.
No, the pouches aid in the animals’ breathing. If you watch closely in T-2, you can sometimes see them pulsating. Baby Shriekers grow from eggs lining the stomach walls of the adult, feeding directly on digestive products there. When an adult eats enough, one of the eggs suddenly starts to grow, forcing its way into the stomach cavity and up the throat. Yech.
It’s not clear why only one egg is “triggered” at a time.
At the end of T-2, Earl suggests that the team should be paid for killing the Shriekers along with the Graboids. Were they able to get extra money for killing the Shriekers?
Yes, they were. They had to give a discount price, since:
- there were so many Shriekers and,
- the refinery they were supposedly “protecting” was destroyed. But Earl, Grady, and Burt came out quite handsomely in the end.
When the Graboid on the surface is about to go into the stage of producing Shriekers, its tentacles aren’t moving. Why is that?
A Graboid is nearly dead at this point. The tentacles’ primary purpose of for pulling prey into the mouth. Since the animal is no longer eating, it doesn’t need to use them any more. All its remaining energy is going to support the growing Shriekers inside it.
When Earl is sprayed with CO2 and goes into the warehouse full of Shriekers why don’t the Shriekers see his face? It doesn’t look sprayed.
Yes, Earl was taking a chance. But all the cold surrounding his face helped disguise it. Also, the Shriekers had food all around them and were all happily eating. As a result, they weren’t paying as close attention as if they’d been in full hunting mode.
We think it’s always fun and interesting to have characters come back, but unfortunately, there are no plans for future Tremors at all, with or without Grady.
If after Tremors 1 the Graboids’ bodies were sent off for scientific study, why wouldn’t the scientists have discovered Shriekers inside them BEFORE Earl and Grady ever got to Mexico?
At they time they were killed. none of the Graboids in Tremors 1 had yet started the metamorphic process which leads to Shriekers forming inside its body. So there was no sign of Shriekers in the T-1 Graboids studied by Rhonda and other scientists, and no hint that this is how they reproduce.
In T-2 why do we see so few Graboid tentacles in action? You show only one tentacle, when the Graboids where turning into Shriekers.
Since we were focused on introducing Shriekers to the Tremors world, we didn’t feel we should spend time and money recreating all the things Graboids did in Tremors 1. Also, since we had had trouble getting good full scale burst-ups in T-1, (remember how slow the Graboid comes up next to Earl before the run to the cliff?) we were excited about showing our full sized 8 foot Graboids bursting out of the ground with real energy (as when one eats the oil worker in the opening, and later, when one makes a grab for Grady by the pickup). So we put our effects dollars into those moments, rather than refurbishing and using the tentacles with all their cables, which required many puppeteers.
Are the tongues of Graboids, which appear to operate independently of one another, connected to the Shriekers eventually “born” from the Graboid? Are they like independent umbilical cords each working for an individual Shrieker within?
Ummm, we see where you’re coming from, we think, but the answer is no. Shriekers do not appear inside an adult Graboid until right before they’re “born.” Science would love to be able to study a living Graboid in which Shriekers have started to grow, but so far that opportunity hasn’t come up. Thus far it appears that El Blanco, the albino Graboid now living in Perfection Valley will never reproduce.
Why is there orange-red coloring on the Shriekers necks and tails? They can’t see, so its not to identify other Shriekers, and these colors wouldn’t be useful for camouflage.
Many animals have coloring that seems to serve no purpose. What we often find, however, is that science just hasn’t figured out what the purpose is. For example, some have theorized that these colorful patches on Shriekers might have more blood near the skin surface in order to emit more heat than the rest of the body, and that might communicate something to another Shrieker like, “Stay away from my food,” or “Look out, I’m about to throw up a new baby.” Unfortunately, Shriekers are hard to study because they are the shortest-lived of the three Graboid life forms. Some years ago, the few that the government had in captivity escaped in Perfection Valley and multiplied, much to the consternation of the locals, who barely managed to destroy them.
Good question. In most cases, yes, but not too well. Glass tends to limit the transmission of infrared light. Some insulating glass is designed to block almost all infrared light. While we could see right through it, to a Shrieker that sort of glass might look like a mirror. Wish we had thought of that when we were making T-2. We could have had Earl, Grady, and Kate carrying glass doors, and the Shriekers couldn’t have seen them! Of course it would have required a lot of dialogue from Kate explaining the science behind it.
Update to this question: Here’s alternate answer from a fan who says:
Are you ready for the true scientific answer? Well here goes. A friend of mine keeps pet rattlesnakes in his house (in double locked containment, of course}. As you know, rattlesnakes and other pit vipers can see warm objects in total darkness. Before entering the reptile room, you must turn on the overhead light or else the snakes will vigorously rattle their tails until the lights are on and they can see you clearly. Snakes can not hear because they have no ears (unlike Graboids), but they can sense heat through the tempered glass in the window of their terrarium.
(SSW admits he has not tested the glass scenario with rattlesnakes, nor is he likely to.)
Any possibility that a young Gummer might have been in the womb when Heather left Burt pre-Tremors 2?
No. Burt and Heather were very careful, since they had grave doubts about the value of bringing children into a world under constant threat of disaster (and that was before they knew about Graboids).
You have said elsewhere in the FAQ that the two least-damaged Graboids from T-1 ended up in a casino and a museum. So which Graboid does Burt have mounted in his basement at the beginning of Tremors 2?
Burt initially went along with Rhonda’s request to donate all the Graboid remains to science. A few days later, he regretted his decision. At considerable expense and effort, he reclaimed the head of the most-damaged Graboid, the one that fell to the bottom of the cliffs. Its head was relatively undamaged, and he had a taxidermist mount it, also at considerable expense.
Okay, we gotta be honest, this one stumped us. As far as we know nothing was intentionally written in the dirt in this scene. Can other fans help us out? Anybody else see any mysterious writing in the ostrich pen sequence?
No, they felt he’d performed the duties asked of him and the loss of the truck was well worth getting rid of the Graboids and Shriekers.
Why do Shriekers only drag their tongues on the ground at certain points, such as when Grady thows the MRE into the cage?
Well… we gotta say, it’s amazing that fans are still coming up with new questions! Apparently there is need to invent, er, divulge new Shrieker behavioral secrets! Our belief is that Shrieker tongue-searching is a fall-back food finding technique. If they have sensed no warm-blooded prey for a certain amount of time, they resort to tongue searching for less palatable cold blooded, or just cold, food. They can’t use the technique non-stop, however, because they’d trip over their tongues trying to walk and, with their mouths open too much they’d quickly become dehydrated from slime evaporation.
Did the grabiod hunters charge the refinery owner or president for the shriekers they killed? – NEW
Yes, they did. At least they tried to. The refinery owners weren’t too happy about it, and weren’t happy that the refinery got blown up, but they ultimately made a deal that covered both Graboids and an undecided number of shriekers. Earl and Grady made out pretty well in the end.
Uh, okay, remember what Kate said about exponential growth? We actually have no idea. There was like, a whole lot of them inside that storage building that Earl blew up, and they were all eating and making more Shriekers the whole time. So, like, a zillion?
Burt is a perfectionist! He feels you can always improve your game, so he was taping the kills to learn more about Graboids and how best to take them out.
How come the Graboids kept falling for the same RC car contraption over and over again, never learning it was a trap like the Graboid in the first film learned that the dynamite-on-a-rope was a trick. – NEW
Here’s what we think: the Graboid in the first movie had to swallow the dynamite before realizing it was the bad stuff. Burt, with his RC cars and remote detonator, is too quick for them, hitting the button before they realize they’ve been “hooked.”
We don’t think Earl and Grady stayed in Mexico. We think they took their money and returned to open their theme park in the U.S. But, that said, we never thought about what happened to the ostriches! As I often do, I congratulate this fan on a creative soliton. Miguel would totally have wanted to take over the ostriches. He was probably a better rancher than Earl, anyway.
Well, we don’t think so. They did make a lot of money, but probably not enough to be able to act on Grady’s grandiose ideas.
They got married and lived happily ever after! And used the money Earl made to start a better business than an ostrich ranch. The money also allowed Kate’s to continue doing research in geology without being tied to oil companies.
When Burt drove his truck into the garage, and the captured Shrieker is carried into the office, nobody heard the incapacitated Shrieker under the truck or knew how it got there. Where the did he come from?
Here’s what we intended: Burt reports that he ran over dozens of the creatures, so one of them became lodged in the truck’s undercarriage, but not killed. It regained consciousness after he parked inside, and immediately began seeking food.
How many graboids did Earl and Grady end up blowing up in total? And how many did Burt blow up on his own?
We don’t know. And here’s why. In Tremors 1 it was important to say exactly how many Graboids there were, so that the heroes and the audience would know when there was only one left. In Tremors 2, it didn’t matter so much, because ALL the Graboids turned into Shriekers. So we just wrote that they killed a lot, and cut in lots of explosions. We even re-used some of our Graboid explosions (using different camera angles) to make it look like they got even more.
We are sorry to report that we no longer know, if we ever knew. When we were making the movies, I always thought I’d remember all those details. But film making is such a fast and intense process, it’s possible I never even thought to ask the people in the sound department how they created that cool sound.
Absolutely. Shriekers are all about eating — anything, anytime, as fast as possible.
Is there a reason that the oil field in Mexico had so many graboids, considering that later attacks had so few graboids.
Good question! Hopefully Rhonda or Kate has done some research on this. For now, we’ll have to guess that there was an abundance of food in that area of Mexico. More baby Graboids survived, thus more adults.
Sometimes the details get away from us. Sorry to report that nobody in the current Stampede circle remembers what brand of hat we picked for him all those years ago.
Before. Jodi had to take over the store very soon after she learned Walter had been killed. We just didn’t show the town in Tremors 2.
After Earl was sprayed by the fire extinguisher, so the Shriekers couldn’t “see” him, why didn’t he then take the fire extinguisher into the barn with him? Then, when his cold covering started to wear off, he could have re-sprayed himself.
Hey, those fire extinguishers have pretty limited capacity. It was used up!
Here is my attempt to translate. If fans speaking better Spanish are out there, please feel free to correct me.
Pedro first asks “Are you the American monster hunters?”
As Grady looks in his Spanish-English phrase book, Pedro rushes on, saying something like, “They are under the ground and they are eating everybody!”
Then, as Pedro is about to leave, he says, in effect, “Good luck and hope the monsters don’t eat you!”
In Tremors 2 Burt says something along the lines of he wants to add some items in the Mexican military truck to his collection. If his truck had not been blown up, how much really would he have been able to take across the American border? If I recall correctly, American customs are pretty strict when it comes to things like this.
This is a valid point. Our feeling is that when Burt refers to taking the high explosive cannon round for his collection, he is caught up in the moment (having just talked the Mexican government into letting him have all this stuff) and isn’t really thinking it through. Burt is a bit radical, but he’s not a law breaker, and none of his gun collection in Tremors 1 was illegal when we shot the original movie.
Not really. They are each driven by the desire to find and eat as much food as possible as fast as possible. So they tend to behave in a way that only appears to be coordinated. However, they will cooperate if it serves their main purpose, as when they climb on each other to reach the Earl, Grady and Kate on top of the oil tanks.
What would have happened if a shrieker, or a few shriekers, had not been in the refinery storage building when it blew up? Would that mean Burt and the gang didn’t catch it/them? And how screwed would Mexico be?
Yes. And — very screwed. However, as we’ve noted elsewhere, shrieker hatches are limited by the amount of food available in a given area, so it would have been bad, but maybe not a total shrieker apocalypse, since the oil field was fairly isolated.
Could shriekers, after coming out of a graboid, eat the graboid cocoon/body to produce more shriekers?
After all these years, fans are still coming up with new ideas. In truth, we did not even think of this possibility when we wrote and shot those scenes — and it’s totally logical! However, we’re always up for adding to Graboid lore, so here’s an explanation. The young shriekers do eat most of the parent Graboid when they awake and burst out, but they need all that initial nourishment to become fully formed and get strong enough to walk on their own, etc. When are they capable of reproducing, they move out into the world in search of more food. The tough Graboid skin and bone they leave behind isn’t nourishing enough to allow them to reproduce.
I’ve been a huge fan of the series since catching Tremors on tv in the early 90’s. I eagerly awaited the release of Tremors 2: Aftershocks in 1996 and thought it was great. Would you consider posting the full original script for Tremors 2 on the website for fans to read (the original draft with Val, Earl, Heather and Burt)?
Sadly, that’s a legal issue. Universal Studios technically owns the script, so we can’t just put it up online without their permission. We were surprised to discover we do still have it lying around, though.
What is with the creature design on the box art for Tremors 2? They look like psuedo graboid creatures. Were these an initial but unused concept?
No, this design is not something ever created or considered by us or the creature effects team. Even on the first movie we did not control what the marketing department did for poster artwork. They agreed not to show a full-sized Graboid (since we argued that was a big surprise in the movie) and so came up with the infamous “Jaws tentacle.” For Tremors 2, when it would have been okay to show a regular Graboid, for some reason they decided to create the extra-jaws-super-toothy Graboids, presumably to make the artwork similar to the original poster.
Did you guys ever figure out how many Graboids there were at the chiapas oil refinery? Was there a reason so many spawned in that location?
No, as much as possible we let Tremors fans do the math for us. It’s exhausting! I will admit, though, that in editing Tremors 2, we inadvertently implied that there were more graboids than we originally intended, because we fell in love with the idea of Burt blowing so many up with his remote control cars. Our editor kept reusing explosions! But since we also love answering graboid biology questions, here’s the totally scientific explanation: The large number is easily explained by the rhythms of nature. When conditions are right, almost any animal species can suddenly become numerous. So, many decades or even a century before the story in Tremors 2, graboids spawned in the area (no people around back then) and a large number of their shriekers survived, producing a large number of ABs that also survived, producing a great many eggs. When those eggs hatched in the time of Tremors 2, the saga of the oilfield began!
How could Burt have been sure he took out all the shriekers, since there were 3 or so left after Earl and Grady killed the first one [at the radio tower] plus the one that ate Julio and the one on top of the car?
If we are correct about which scene you are referring to (when Burt returns after being ambushed by shriekers), it is Grady, not Burt, who says “sounds like you got’em all.” Grady assumes this because Burt estimates he killed “a couple of dozen,” and that number roughly matches the number Kate earlier calculated have probably hatched.
Did Burt take the assault rifle Earl and Grady originally had as their backup weapon before he gave them elephant guns?
We love the things you folks notice! It’s a good question! Actually, Earl points the rifle out the window when they hear Burt’s truck coming, and then leaves it in the office. But it’s not there later when they could have used it against shriekers. The truth is, I think we forgot about it either when we were writing or during production. But we love the suggestion that Burt took it. Perfect! That’s exactly what Burt would do. He’d add it to the arsenal in his truck.
After Grady puts the noise-making chain in Earl’s truck, Pedro walks up to him as if he’s curious about what’s going on. Grady responds by saying “Moonstrose” (as it’s spelled in the DVD subtitles). What does that mean?
It is simply Grady mispronouncing the Spanish word for monster: “monstruo,” which Pedro said to him when he and Earl first arrived. He’s just means that the chain is for attracting the “moonstrose.” Pedro laughs politely at the attempt, even though in our minds he may not really understand Grady’s broken Spanish.
Questions about Tremors 3
Here’s one that surprised us: some fans wrote that they were disappointed we didn’t announce when and where we were shooting Tremors 3. They would like to have come to watch us shoot. Well, first of all, we didn’t think of it. Maybe in the future we should have a contest or something where the winners get to come to the set. But the main reason is, while we love all you fans, we’re trying to surprise you! We didn’t want people to see what the next phase of the Graboid life cycle was, or see what tricks Burt might have up his sleeve! So we were actually pretty secretive all during the shoot.
Often people ask why a particular cast member has not returned for Tremors 2 or 3. There are several reasons. Sometimes actors don’t want to repeat a character they’ve played before. Sometime schedules don’t work (they’re already doing another movie when we have to be shooting ours).
For example, Kevin Bacon was asked to be in TREMORS II, but he was about to do Apollo 13, and is really enjoying playing a wide variety of different characters. He didn’t feel at the time that he wanted to come back and repeat the Val McKee character.
Sometimes, since we’re the writers, we can’t think fun things for the earlier characters to do and we feel like inventing new ones. That’s part of what happened on Tremors 3. Since many of the townsfolk are back, we felt we needed some new characters to add to the mix.
We did get some complaints from parents about this name. From our perspective, given the R-rated films many kids see all the time, we didn’t think it was so bad. But in hind-site it probably wasn’t the best choice. Our apologies to those the name offended. On the set we just called them Abs (“aay bees”) and we sort of forgot what it stood for over the course of shooting.
Yes, they do. They were completely computer generated except for a few shots. We did our best to get them to look identical but there’s something slightly different about them. The upside is they have a lot more movement than the eight foot tall full scale guys.
Well, yes and no. Sometimes the CG Graboids look thinner, but the Himani fx crew worked very hard to make them match exactly. We all studied many CG test versions before picking the final one. Here’s my theory, the CG Graboids look thinner because we see more of their bodies exposed. We only see the full scale puppets up to their “shoulder” so they sort of look like they are even wider below ground. But now we’ve revealed – they’re not!
You know, that’s a good point. But reptile just sounds better, more lethal. Yeah, we think they’re a very rare form of legless reptile.
We have one fan who says there only 3 Shrieker sacs in the split-open Graboid in T-2. So how come Burt says 6 Shriekers come out of each Graboid in T-3?
Slick Hollywood answer: the second generation Graboids seen in T-3 are a more highly evolved variety that metamorphoses more efficiently than the Tremors 2 Graboids.
Real answer: WE GOOFED!! All four of us who worked on the story forgot the right number and we never checked it! How embarrassing!
A LOT of you have asked about those tantalizing comics. Sorry, as yet they’re not real. We made a deal with Dark Horse to use their logo on the custom-drawn covers. We are told that the covers for the Graboid comics were done by artist Chris Qulliams. At various times we’ve tried to explore doing a real comic book series based on Tremors. So far it’s never gotten past the talking stage.
Sadly, as with T-1 and T-2, it’s still no. There’s not enough interest at Universal Family Home Entertainment to pursue merchandising deals. A few items from the movies have been sold on e-bay (as a charity fund raiser), but that’s it.
So would we at Stampede. It’s another of those things that takes time and money to put together and the T-3 budget was the tightest yet. Sorry. To tell the truth, though, there weren’t too many bloopers. The cast was amazing and Brent, Nancy and the crew worked like maniacs to fit the show into the extremely short schedule. We didn’t have time for bloopers!
I love questions like this. Gang, eleven years ago, when we made Tremors 1, we never thought there’d be a Tremors 2, let alone a Tremors 3. It wasn’t like Star Wars, where Lucas wrote all six episodes before he made the first one. When we got the chance to do the second and third films, we just studied them to try to make the new stories consistent with what we’d done earlier (except for the Graboid/Shrieker conversion factor).
Bixby is the town we’ve never seen that’s somewhere near Perfection. Here you have to re-study your Tremors 1. We explain in that movie that Perfection is in a valley hemmed in by mountains except at one end. The Graboid hatching area is at the other end. So, the Graboids pass through Perfection to get out of the valley. They’d probably like to go to Bixby, but our people always kill’em before they get that far! Tremors 3’s El Blanco stays around because, as Miguel says, he’s got a “thing” for Burt.
We had an idea here that we didn’t work into dialogue. Jodi Chang got rid of abandoned buildings and trailers, and cleaned up the old junk yard in trying to attract tourists. Why doesn’t Melvin still live in Perfection? Obviously, he hates it! That’s what he tells Burt, “I wouldn’t wish this place on anybody!”
Well, yes it is, you sharp-eyed fans. Here again, we wanted to work in lines explaining that Jodi moved the junkyard (and Nestor’s trailer, etc.) further from Perfection to make the town more attractive. With all the other character information we needed to work in, and always facing length problems, we had to drop these ideas from the final script.
Well, it was in a scene in Tremors 3. But that had to be cut to make our budget. He was going to use it to fire a shell into the canyon where the Shriekers are morphing into ABs. We had to change it to just throwing a bomb.
Yeah, we talked about putting that back up. But we had more scenes in the basement than we did in Tremors 2 and the darn thing is so huge, it would have been hard to work around (we had to shoot all the basement scenes in one day). So we decided Burt got tired of it and took it down.
Very good question. We don’t know! Except for the basement, we’ve never written a scene set in any other part of the house. I guess we feel Burt spends a lot of time in his basement, especially since Heather moved out.
Boy, you fans don’t miss much. Yes, again to save money, we lifted a scene of the Graboid bursting out of the ground and another of one moving the dirt around the rocks and used them again. Hey, at least we only stole from ourselves. It’s not like we stole the flying saucer from Forbidden Planet like they did in those old Twilight Zones.
Hey, we even get comments on the behind the scenes material on the DVD! Keeping us honest, a scientifically oriented fan pointed out that the real-life bombardier beetle (on which the ABs are based) does not use its chemical explosion ability for flight, but rather as a defense mechanism to startle would-be attackers. That’s correct. But it’s not as cool.
One fan says the population number on the sign is wrong. It’s says “five” but he counts only four: Burt, Jodi, Jack, and Buford. Not quite right. It actually it works out like this: Jack and Buford are newcomers and weren’t counted in the latest town census. The actual five members at the start of Tremors 3 are: Burt, Jodi, Miguel, Nancy and Mindy. Melvin, of course, moved out years ago.
Nope. Universal decided not to produce one for this installment. It’s almost like they were testing you guys to see if you would find out about a movie with no advertising at all. You did. The movie is outsold all their predictions. Many thanks to you fans, but there’s still no poster. Dang.
The reason we had Miguel get killed was that we wanted the audience to take the Ass Blasters seriously. Otherwise, they could have easily thought of them as funny creatures (which, given their method of propulsion, they are.) Unfortunately, we love Tony Genaro (the actor that played Miguel) and now we’re trying to figure out how we might be able to have him reappear every now and then in the TV series (as another character, of course.)
Fans continue to suggest new firepower for Burt to pack (a few naming exotics even our gun research hasn’t turned up!) One fan noted that Burt has now run out of ammo in two movies and should learn from his mistake. Here’s our justification for his running out in Tremors 3: He had hundreds of extra rounds in his truck, but had to sacrifice it to lead El Blanco away. Then it blew up. So he was left with what he could grab in the moment.
Burt of course has a following from all three films, but Susan Chuang and Shawn Christian won the affection of fans, too, who want to know more about them. Susan is a sometime stand-up comic and has a semi-regular role on Dharma and Greg. Shawn just finished a TV pilot. Let’s hope it gets on the air!
Interesting, many fans have e-mailed this question. But if one stays true to the Tremors rules, it’s hard to see how it would work. Graboids are not strong enough to break through most concrete, so they couldn’t come up through most streets. They’re attracted to sound, but a city has constant noise from thousands of sources, so they might not be able to hunt at all. They might be “blinded” by all the racket. A Graboid might be a temporary threat in a place like New York’s Central park, eating bikers, joggers, and horseback riders. But it would be pretty easy to track it down and kill it in such a confined area. So we think Grabids, if they ever tunnel into the cinema world again, will probably stick to the country side. Now – if some Shriekers got into the sewer system and started eating all the rats. Hmmm.
Yep, our theory is that Jodi had it taken up and graded. It was too expensive to repave. You’ll notice she had a lot of other things in the town cleaned up, too, like the old mining equipment that was across the street.
This isn’t really a question but some Burt fans were horrified that we blew up the house of the infamous gun-wall. Other fans pointed out that if we’re lucky enough for Burt to come back, he’ll rebuild an awesome place that is Graboid, Shrieker, and A-B proof.
Yes, that was part of the fun of making the third film.
ABs, the Graboid life-cycle form into which Shriekers metamorphose, are three to four feet high at the “shoulder” and five to six feet long.
What firearm is Burt holding on the T-3 cover? It is the black one with the silver looking clip/magazine.
Burt’s weapon is a modified Ruger mini-14 Ranch Rifle, reconfigured using a “bull-pup” design stock. Semi-automatic, stainless steel, it is basically a scaled down version of the military’s M-14, but fires the cartridge used in our army’s M-16.
Miguel was Catholic and the rosary beads were part of his religious beliefs. Burt meant only to keep them safe in order to later give them to Miguel’s family members.
Well, we never really thought of it! Actually we already had great concerns about killing Miguel. We were afraid fans might object. But we also felt it was good to remind people that the danger in Tremors is real, that anything might happen. Wouldn’t it be too cruel to kill two of our original characters in the same movie?
Burt asks Mindy to make noise over his walkie-talkie so he can use it to decoy El Blanco. What the heck is the metal-type music she plays over her CD?
[This reply came from T-3 director Brent Maddock:] The song, such as it is, is, I believe, just something Keven Kiner [T-3 composer] had or threw together. There was no way we could afford an actual song by a real metal band. Maybe Kevin has a name for it. I don’t know.
Underneath. We may reveal in the future how they decide where to lay them.
Melvin got into real estate and has been buying and selling land not only in Perfection Valley, but in nearby Bixby. Even though he was sort of a lazy kid (Tremors 1), he got his act together and started working really hard once he hit his 20s.
This is where those history and political science classes really pay off. Eminent Domain is the right of a government to take private property for public use by virtue of the superior dominion of the sovereign power over all lands within its jurisdiction. (A very hot topic for Burt)
Throughout history governments have used the concept of eminent domain to justify everything from the taking of a single house to huge sections of a country often resorting to a political upheaval or war. In 1903 President Roosevelt used eminent domain as the justification for taking the Panama Canal from Colombia. It was a strategic section of land to the US so Roosevelt went down to Colombia and took it. The Louisiana Purchase, the Spanish American War and the taking of land from the American Indians are all examples of the use of eminent domain by the US government.
We still see eminent domain used today but most often it involves a city or county government buying houses and tearing them down to build a road, airport or other public facility.
Burt has had two military trucks, one in T-2 and one in T-3. We rented the second one from Valuzet movie ranch (they have many military vehicles). We had only one, no multiples, since we were not doing any stunts or driving which might damage it.
Good question. There’s a spare room in Chang’s market. Maybe he stayed there. Or, being Burt, maybe he slept in an Army tent on his property.
Come ON people! Burt is ready for anything, and that includes floods. Okay, less sarcastically, Burt also lives not too far from Lake Mead. He might occasionally feel the need to get out on the water, eh?
Well… yes and no. He refused to sell it, but soon after that you may remember that Dr. Merliss was killed by Shriekers. Jodi then quietly “appropriated” it for the store. Jack later convinced her the right thing to do was send it to the organization for which Dr. Merliss was doing his research. She cut them a good deal.
Their infrared vision would be temporarily blinded, but there’d be no permanent damage. If they stared at the sun for a long time, it might damage their sensors, but what animal is going to do that?
Jack was living in one of the outbuildings of town, not clearly seen in the movie. Buford lived in Bixby, driving up on the days Jack had tours.
What happened to the Graboid that was killed when it hit Burt’s concrete perimeter wall? Was it destroyed when his house blew up?
No, that Graboid was still relatively intact after the explosion. Like others, it was eventually dug up and sent off for scientific study.
Here again, you fans get into details that are sometimes a bit hard to answer. If you’re seeing a difference between El Blanco and normal Graboids, it’s probably because of the different coloring on his white skull. If you’re seeing a difference between the CGI El Blanco and the full scale mechanical El Blanco, it’s possibly due to differences in “real” lighting and “CG” lighting. Or maybe we just didn’t get them matched closely enough.
It didn’t work out. Jack got tired of life in the tiny town while Jodi remained absolutely dedicated to making a success of her uncle’s store. They parted company, amicably, when he sold his tour business to Tyler.
If you mean the trailer that Val pulled behind the bulldozer to get the townsfolk to the mountains, it’s still out in the desert by the rock where the bulldozer fell into the Graboid trap. No one saw any need to drag it all the way back to town.
There is a limit on how often an AB can “blast off” in a short period of time. It has to generate the flammable chemicals in its abdomen, which it then ignites. That said, under the right conditions, a flying AB which is staying airborne like a glider, using updrafts and thermals, is able to fire a second, or even third burst, and thereby gain greater altitude, achieving very long flights.
The programs used to create the Tremors CG creatures are either custom-designed by the special effects CG programmers, or were heavily modified versions of then-existing CG software. To build your own three dimensional monsters or characters, you should research the commercial software that is available today. It changes all the time.
When Burt enters his house for the first time what would his Level One Security do if it “went off?” (It threatens to activate until Burt enters the correct code).
Burt is extreme, but not insane. Level One Security wouldn’t do anything like open fire on trespassers. However, it would send a coded signal to Burt’s cell phone, as well as to Chang’s market, signaling that unauthorized personnel were on site. In addition, tear gas and pepper spray bombs might “accidentally” get set off in the event of attempted forced entry.
Burt disdained its low rate of fire and short range.
In Chang’s market Jodi has a display case with a Graboid tentacle inside. But there are other items in the case. What are they?
If we’re talking about the same case (the one she is cleaning as she talks to Jack), there are Graboid hood ornaments (like on Jack’s jeep), and Graboid beer glasses, mugs, ball caps, t-shirts and buttons.
[We love how this question was worded so we present it in nearly its original form]. When the first [AB] appeared and they killed him he falled into the fence with the head down but when they got to see the [AB later] it had the head in the centre of the metal. is this a mistake in the movie??? say the true!!!!!!!!!!!
Ah, you sharp-eyed fans. Yes, to say the true, it’s a mistake; what we call a “continuity error.” The live action of the actors approaching the full-sized AB on the fence was shot weeks or months away from when the CG AB was animated falling onto the fence. I’m sure director Brent Maddock felt it looked better with the head visible on top of the fence – and we all hoped no one would notice the difference. Dream on, eh?
Is the truck that Jack is playing “rodeo” on in the junkyard in T3 the construction guys’ truck from T1? It surely looks like it!
How do you people make these connections?? No, it isn’t; at least I don’t think it is, but it would have made sense for that truck to end up there, and would have been totally cool if we’d thought of it.
At the end of “Tremors 3” Nancy makes a deal to sell the sole surviving AB to Sigfried and Roy to pay her daughter’s way through college, but in “Blast From the Past” it’s said she sold it to Sigmund and Ray instead. Why the name change?
I believe it was because, while we had the rights to use Sigfried and Roy in Tremors 3, we could not get the same permission for the series. The series was very low budget, so it may have been that we couldn’t afford to pay for them, but I don’t know for sure. I just remember being told by higher-ups, “You can’t use Sigfried and Roy. Make up some other name.”
We feel that they die after laying their one egg.
In the opening, did the camera crew leave or just get in their car when they saw the Shriekers coming?
They got into their van, and were ready to run for it, then realized Burt had it under control.
The potato gun is technically real, but it would be really dangerous to try it the way we had the characters in the movie do it. When ours shoots it’s just an optical special effect, much safer than using an explosive or flammable fuel!
What is that old car that has the hula doll in it? You see it at night as the camera moves in on the jiggling doll. Do you know the car’s name? Model? Make?
Sorry! We don’t know! Some old wreck our set dressers found out in the desert I guess. Can any car-buff fans help us out on this one? The old car appears at about 15:45 into the movie, but the shot is pretty dark.
Well, actually they did eat Miguel. We had some shots showing his demise in more detail, but decided they were too gory and took them out.
Well — these are supposed to be family movies. He was definitely a creepy guy, but we don’t like to think he was really THAT creepy.
Since ABs seem to be the most stable form in the Graboid life cycle, could you domesticate them — teach them not to eat human-shaped objects? Then you could keep them as pets that could help you hunt like a hunting dog.
Well —— sure. Why not? AB hunting dogs. Gotta love how fans think!
Well, we’re not sure. There are many unanswered questions about Graboid biology. For example, why were they seen in the late 1800s, then not again until the 1990s? Were their eggs dormant all that time? Unfortunately, nearly all Graboids have been killed (so far) each time they’ve appeared, so El Blanco is an anomaly. Our best guess is that he/she can live more than fifty years. We’ll have to wait and see.
We need help from the fans on this one. Do two ABs fight in any of our movies?