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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.
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?
We’re not sure where this fascination with members of the Graboid life cycle attacking each other is coming from. But of course, in the case of Tremors 3, it is our fault, since we had Jack TRICK El Blanco into eating an AB. That said, we don’t think El Blanco would be changed in any significant way, except maybe for getting indigestion. He wouldn’t end up with mangled AB/Graboid DNA or anything. He would simply digest the AB and move on to his next meal.
We do try to work out the details on every bit of action. Note that Burt takes cover inside an oil drum as he is swallowed. So a little air is trapped with him. He mentions that he has “limited air” on the radio. Also, a person can survive at least three minute without air. From the time he is swallowed til the time he is cut out of the Graboid is 3 minutes and about 14 seconds, actual screen time, although in “movie” time it does feel longer. Finally, Burt plans for everything, and has probably done breath-holding exercises like deep sea free divers, right?
I’ve heard rumors that El Blanco may be a Mixmaster mutant. Is this true? It could explain his albinism and sterility.
We have not heard these rumors, but this is an excellent theory! We can only hope that Rhonda or another Graboid researcher will put it to the test. Perhaps by sampling El Blanco’s DNA?
Hey, our movies are PG13! That’s Jack and Jodi’s secret — if there is a secret.
When El Blanco eats the last A@@Blaster, shouldn’t the chemicals inside it cause it to explode and kill El Blanco?
We LOVE Tremors fans. All these years later you are still coming up with provocative questions. Yes, technically it is possible that, when El Blanco’s jaws crushed the AB, the chemicals would mix and explode. But we would argue that it is equally possible that the chemicals would be mixed first with blood and other fluids (not to be too graphic) and then be too diluted to explode. But you have a point. El Blanco probably got lucky.
We were open to it, but Fred was not. Some actors are not interested in playing the same character over and over.
Will their be super evolution of Ass Blaster as a result of genetic engineering to become a military weapon, thus becoming a new form? It would transform into a new stage gaining arms instead of wings, a longer neck, a bird-like mouth with tongue for gripping, vision as good as a human’s, but still with the heat sensor organ on its head, and with more intelligence and the ability to make moral decisions. It would also have the ability to detect vibration through its talons when touching the ground. But then it all goes wrong as it becomes a native of Perfection Valley, living with El Blanco as a friend.
Okay, wow. This seems like less of a question and more of an idea for a whole new direction for ABs and Tremors franchise. Sadly, we at Stampede aren’t working on Tremors any longer, so — uh, maybe?
Can someone visit or buy property where Tremors 3 was filmed? I ask because it looks like a nice place to semi retire. Thanks.
Like most movies, Tremors 3 was shot in several different locations and we just made it look like they were near by each other. If you are talking about the town site itself, it was near Valencia, California, actually not too far from Interstate 5, north of Los Angeles. We shot on private land, so it could have been bought, sold, or even developed by now. None of us have ever been back out there!
There were many props to fill the shelves of Jodi Chang’s store, since the plot had her selling Graboid memorabilia. We believe Universal auctioned some of it for charity soon after production ended. Other items were sold by individual cast/crew a different times. But, except for stuff that might turn up on eBay, nothing is “officially” for sale any more.