Tremors FAQ

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.

How big is Perfection Valley? was last modified: by

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?

Why does Burt’s bunker keep changing? was last modified: by

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.

What the heck does Burt do for money? was last modified: by

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!

Where/how are Mindy and Melvin educated? was last modified: by

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.

Is there a girl Graboid or they are all boys? was last modified: by

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.

Which way does Perfection Valley run? was last modified: by

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?

How did we pick Michael Gross to play Burt? was last modified: by

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.

Is there any Tremors merchandise available? was last modified: by

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!

What was the design inspiration for the Tremors creatures? was last modified: by

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.

What inspired you to come up with the idea of underground monsters? was last modified: by

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.

Where were the Tremors films shot? was last modified: by

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.

Is there anything to see at the old Tremors filming locations? was last modified: by

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.

What are the monster guts made of? was last modified: by

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.

Has anyone ever been hurt during the shooting of a Tremors movie? was last modified: by

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.

Why did the first three Tremors films have different directors? was last modified: by

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.

How big are the Graboids and Shriekers? was last modified: by

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.

How long does it take to make A Tremors film? was last modified: by

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.

Which way does Burt’s bunker face? was last modified: by

Underground, along with the fuel and water storage tanks.

Where are Burt’s home power generators? was last modified: by

Eight to ten feet.

How far can a Graboid shoot out its tentacles? was last modified: by

No, sorry, we just made the name up out of thin air.

Did you name the nearby town of Bixby after actor Bill Bixby (who played The Hulk on TV)? was last modified: by

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!

Are the weapons used in the Tremors movies real? was last modified: by

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?

If Graboids are related to worms, and a Graboid were cut in half, could both halves live on and become two worms? was last modified: by

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.

Okay, so a Graboid is like 30 feet long. How come the humps of dirt we see are only a few feet long? was last modified: by

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.

How much would I have to pay to get to be an actor in Tremors? was last modified: by

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!

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?” was last modified: by

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.

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! was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

Do AB’s die after laying their eggs, like salmon, or do they produce more eggs? was last modified: by

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.

With all the hissing they do, do the Graboid tentacles function as snorkels? was last modified: by

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!

If you make Tremors 5, or more Tremors anything, would you consider casting actors who starred in some of the classic monster movies? was last modified: by

No, it sometimes seems like they do, but they are controlled by the Graboid, like an octopus controls its tentacles.

Does a Graboid tentacle have a mind of its own? was last modified: by

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.

Graboid tentacles have mouths. Do they eat? was last modified: by

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.

Which stage of the Graboid is most deadly? was last modified: by

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.

Can a Graboid produce an albino Shrieker? was last modified: by

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.

Is there anyway for a fan to make a realistic looking Shrieker Head? If so could you tell me? was last modified: by

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.

Why are there no black people in the Tremors movies? was last modified: by

Sorry to report there are no plans for any. The only Tremors Game is our Tremors 4 game DirtDragons.

Will there ever be any Tremors video games? was last modified: by

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 do we never see the upstairs of Burt’s house, only the basement? was last modified: by

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.

Why can’t a Shrieker’s tongue grab things like the Graboids’ tentacles? Why is it ABs have no tongue at all? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

What are the dimensions of Chang’s Market? was last modified: by

Yeah, we know. But the answer is always the same: Universal does not seem to be interested in pursuing those ideas.

Why are there no Tremors comics? What about Dark Horse? What about Platinum? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

At the end of each movie, what do they do with all the dead Graboids, ABs, Shriekers, and “dirt dragons.” was last modified: by

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?”

Since the goof with the number of Shriekers that come out of a Graboid, is it now 3-6 Shriekers equals one Graboid? was last modified: by

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?

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? was last modified: by

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.

Would a Graboid’s hearing be affected by rain? was last modified: by

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.

Why don’t I see the spikes that propel Graboids through the ground as much in T2, T3, and T4, as in T1? was last modified: by

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.

Chang’s Market. In the movies is seems to be rectangular, but in the series it looks square. Is it different in the series? was last modified: by

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.

Was it hard to get Michael Gross to return to play Burt throughout the films and series, and then Hiram for Tremors 4? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by
  1.  We never knew about that series (we were hard at work on Tremors 1).
  2. Very cool idea.
  3. See the several other places in the FAQ where we point out that fans are more creative the studio people.
  4. Same old same old: probably won’t happen.
How about Tremors as a cartoon series? After all, way back in 1990 they did Attack of the Killer Tomatoes as a cartoon. was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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 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? was last modified: by

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.

How fast can a Graboid travel in the ground. Many of my friends think it can travel about 40-50 mph. Is that right? was last modified: by

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.

How deep can Graboid “dive” underground before it is crushed by the pressure of rocks and dirt? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

How do Graboids get water? Underground? Or do they get all they need from prey? was last modified: by

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.

We want to go to the Tremors locations. Can you help us? was last modified: by

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.

Why don’t Graboids attack each other when they detect each other moving underground? was last modified: by

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.

In a battle, which one would win: a Tyrannosaurus Rex or and a Graboid? was last modified: by

No. Graboids are not aquatic. They are adapted to dry, loose soil.

Are the creatures ever going to go underwater? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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)? was last modified: by

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!

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? was last modified: by

Check out SS Wilson’s Facebook page!

Where can I find out more about Tremors? was last modified: by

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. 🙂

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? was last modified: by

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.

Which Tremors film is your favorite? – NEW was last modified: by

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.

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 was last modified: by

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.

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 was last modified: by

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.

Which Tremors movie was the most fun to make? – NEW was last modified: by

Uh — what?  Okay, Graboids are seriously NOT political.  Like, at all.

Why don’t you send the creatures to DC to swallow up the sellouts to the IMF? was last modified: by

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.

What were some changes made from the original scripts of the films. i.e. deleted characters, locations, scenes, name changes was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

Not at this point.

Do you have any future involvement in the Tremors franchise, or the announced TV series with Kevin Bacon?? was last modified: by

We’re always trying to sell new ideas for movies and TV shows!

If Universal took over your Tremors franchise,will you make a spiritual successor? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

If there was a free for all with a graboid a shrieker and an “AB” which one would win? was last modified: by

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).

Are you aware that there is a huge market out there for Tremors franchise merchandise? was last modified: by

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!

Can we have all generations of graboid in one film? That is, can we have a fight to the death between all generations? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

Can you set up a petition for fans to convince Universal to lend creative control back to Stampede? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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?

How strong are graboid acids? was last modified: by

We are embarrassed to admit, no!  It never has.  And it’s a great idea!

“Life form!  Subterranean!  Tracking me acoustically!  Danger!  No disassemble!”

Unorthodox question: has the thought of Johnny 5 coming across Graboids ever crossed your minds? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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!


Did you guys notice that each installment has its own theme song? was last modified: by

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!

Me gusta mucho tu sitio, ?sigue haciendolo mejor! hi was last modified: by

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!

What brand of trailer was used in the movie? was last modified: by

Love this question!  We don’t know what movie it’s referring to, but it’s funny, so we’re posting it!

Uh, just a second here while I catch my breath… You mean to say the Graboids aren’t real ? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

Were there ever any plans to reveal more of Burt’s background or introduce any of his family members? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

(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.

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? was last modified: by

Well, as I have to keep explaining, we at Stampede don’t control the rights to Tremors or have any say over what is done with marketing and franchising.   Many years ago we heard they were thinking of putting a Graboid on the Universal Studios Tour, but we don’t think it ever happened.

Would Stampede Entertainment ever consider creating an actual real town called Perfection as a tourist area? Kinda like a Tremors “Disneyland” so to speak? was last modified: by

The graboids did not travel to other continents in our time.  They are an ancient life form and “moved” only as continental drift connected different land masses in the past. South America and Africa were connected millions of years ago, for example, and shared life forms then.  We’re probably stretching the rules of biology a bit, here, but hey, they’re our monsters!  As for why graboids attack certain locations, they are simply predators attracted to noise and vibrations.  If you make noise, they attack. So it’s really a matter of being unlucky enough to be near where they are.

Why did the graboids travel to other continents and how did they? What was the reason for attacking certain locations in the movies? was last modified: by

No answer.  But it’s nice to get an occasional thank you!  Wait, I guess that was an answer.  Thanks again!

No questions, but I love the film and am impressed with your kindness for answering so many questions. was last modified: by

This keeps coming up — sadly only from fans and not studio people.  But I’ve put it on because it’s a new take.  It’s bittersweet for us to read such a well-thought-out pitch for a game.  As far as we know there are no Tremors games being considered at Universal.

I know you have no plans for a video game, but a Left For Dead style co-op game with three phases (survival/chase from graboids, shooter segment with shriekers, and a hybrid survive and shooter with Ass Blasters leading to an escape ending the map) might work really well. was last modified: by

Thanks — we like Burt, too!

Love your work. The Michael Gross character, Burt Gummer, is a great inspiration to me. “Make the most with what you have!” was last modified: by

Many fans have been asking this sort of question — and we appreciate it.  We work independently trying to get other projects going.  If we ever do, we might put in Easter Egg references or homages, since we love that sort of thing.  Ron Underwood directs many, many TV shows.   Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson keep writing and trying to sell new scripts.  Wilson is about to publish new Fraidy Cats book (called “Fraidy Cats, TOO!”)  But we have shut down Stampede as a company.  This website is now just an archive of info on our past projects — and a place for S. S. Wilson keep answering questions!

What are you working on now, since it’s not Tremors? We don’t see anything new on the website. Will future projects feature allusions or nods to Tremors? was last modified: by

When we came up with graboids 30 years ago, you can be sure we never DREAMED we’d be asked questions like this.  But hey, I’m happy you’re all out there still wondering such things.  To be honest, when we did the series we did not have control or input over what the Sci-FI (SyFY) marketing department did.  We were way too busy getting the episodes written and shot.  I don’t think we ever even saw this reference.  However, in reading it now,  it sounds pretty logical!  I will quibble and say that shriekers and ABs look like they have skeletons, so I’m not sure the whole graboid life cycle belongs with mollusks.  But that’s probably already more than most of you want to know. Thanks for a rather science-heavy question!

Quote from Wikipedia: “Promotional material once hosted on the Sci-Fi Channel website gave them binomial names: Caederus americana (Graboid), C. mexicana (Shrieker), C. mexicana combustus (Ass-Blaster). It put them in the Sepioida order in the cephalopod class of mollusks, in a fictional family called Vermiformidae.” Is this, in any way, official or canon? I read the archived page and it gives some decent reasoning for the classifications such as the similarities between Graboids and Octopuses with their lack of skeletal structures and relatively high intelligence. was last modified: by

Our logic is that graboids have a long life span, but also lie dormant for extended periods. So when they appeared in Perfection in 1990, it was the start of a new cycle.  So they began to appear in Mexico, Argentina, and other locations.

Why are graboids starting to appear more often now, unlike the odd case like in Rejection (T4), why did they start popping up more and more in such a short span of time? was last modified: by

We totally agree with you. And, no, they’ve never said why, at least to us.

Do you know why Universal keeps Tremors (the whole franchise) in the dark when it comes to merchandise? I’ve always felt there was a bad vibe from them as Tremors is honestly regarded as one of the best sci-fi film franchises of all time. And it seems like a no brainer to have merchandise to capitalize on that via Funko Pops, t-shirts, collectible figures and comics to name a few. But Universal does nothing about that. Have they ever gave a hint as to why? was last modified: by

Thank you. We get asked this a lot in interviews and podcasts and such. We feel great about fans having made Tremors the success it is.  It is true that we didn’t think there’d even be Tremors 2.  But when Tremors 1 was a huge hit in the then-new VHS video rental business, that made T2  and all the rest possible.  We are grateful to all the fans that have stuck with us and supported the franchise, even while we’re sad not to be allowed to work on it any more.  It’s fun to be part of something that has lasted so long.

First, i wanna say thanks to you guys for bringing Graboids into our lives; I love them. My Question is: Tremors has seen a much longer, larger life than you guys had expected, and if i remember correctly, there was a time where you guys didn’t think there would even be a 2nd movie when the first came out, but 30 years, six movies, a TV Series and a 7th Movie apparently on the way, later, what are your thoughts on the life this monster movie franchise of yours has seen? And if you could say anything to us as fans for giving it such a life, what would you say? was last modified: by

In our view the tentacles are attached far back  along the muscular walls of the creatures’ very long “throat,” past the circular opening they come out of.  They can fold very compactly, like a chameleon’s tongue, but the unfolding step happens before you see them start to emerge. When folded inside, we imagine they can ripple and flex, helping a graboid swallow very large prey, forcing it back past the tentacles into the stomach.

In the first 4 movies, where specifically are the graboid tentacles attached inside the body? Is the graboid able to fit the tentacles completely inside of its body or are the tentacles too long to be fit inside the graboid completely? It’s very mysterious how the tentacles function inside the worm because we never see the inside of the throat. was last modified: by

Uh, we can’t figure this one out.  But we want to answer every question if possible. Can anyone tell us which movie this refers to? Or can the person who submitted it give us more detaiils?

What is “Blacksmining” was last modified: by

Here’s my (S.S.Wilson’s) theory: they smell like super rotten meat. Once in the army I had to carry out a huge pot of meat that had been forgotten for a long time in the back of the mess hall walk-in refrigerator and rotted. The smell was unforgettably awful. So that’s what I think of.

One of the running gags in these movies seem to be the smell the Graboids give off. Any idea what this smell might be like? was last modified: by

It’s an interesting question. I suppose one would expect that he wholly supported it. But Burt is also something of an isolationist, so might just as easily have felt it was meddling in world affairs that have nothing to do with the U.S.  So there you have it: a non-answer.

What did Burt Gummer think of the Iraq War? was last modified: by

Absolutely!  Can you get them for us?!  And can you convince Universal to let us do it?!   Kidding aside, what a fabulous notion.  It’s great to have fans that dream bigger than we do!

Can you do a Tremors remake with al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid and Cameron Diaz? was last modified: by

Well… our only defense is that we just like writing strong, smart women.  Also we try to do movies that don’t have the standard cliches.

How come no token bimbo blondes ? Nothing like a bimbo being devoured on the big screen! was last modified: by

These are important questions for any survivalist with a mistrust of government.  Our feeling is Burt would like a PO Box, but has to settle for mail delivery (at least to Chang’s market) because Perfection itself is so isolated (he’d have to drive the 38 miles to Bixby just to get mail).  By the time of the TV series he has mellowed a bit and probably has a credit card or two.  But it’s also possible he leans on Jodi to order things through her store; and maybe she goes along with it — for a fee.  Win-win.

What steps does Burt take to maintain isolation and privacy? PO box vs mail delivery? Would he have a credit card (has to order stuff for delivery)? was last modified: by

Okay, not exactly a question, but we enjoy fans thinking even bigger than we do, especially since we are barred from working on Tremors any more.  Clint Eastwood and Burt Gummer?  Come ON, Universal!

Fans fans fans…. we want MORE TREMORS !! S.S.Wilson style and old school filming like the first movie. This digital nonsense is offending us — you know — high falootin’ intellectual types; the upper crust of societal devolution. Clint Eastwood can team up with Burt Gummer and finally eliminate the beasts that threaten mankind once and for all. Title: Extra Pale Riders Usher in Peace on Earth via Worldwide Violence against Stumpy’s Offspring. Thoughts? was last modified: by

We did work with some developers on a video game.  Seems like it must have been Rock Solid, as I see references online to their plan to reveal a lab where super-graboids were being developed; and I do remember that.  We had several meetings there and saw various early animation and landscape demos.  We tossed in a few ideas, but they already had a solid concept building on things like having to be stealthy to sneak across ground and not “trigger” a graboid.  They were full steam ahead until, suddenly, we got word they’d gone under.  We heard several times that other companies were thinking of buying the assets and continuing the project, but nothing ever happened.

Were you guys involved at all in the Tremors video game that was being done around 2002/2003 from Rock Solid Studios? If so, is there anything that you can share about your involvement? was last modified: by

As I often do, I have to just step back and enjoy fan creativity.  We would have loved to attempt a film with all these elements, though  it might be a nightmare keeping all of it believable and logical.  It seems like the human characters would have to be trapped in some remote place, unable to escape, trying to survive while all the graboid forms happen, one after another — but I don’t get to work on Tremors any more, so I’ll stop there.

Could a Tremors reboot include all three graboid stages? Could El Blanco be part of the film as anti-hero type of character? I ask because it is never revealed what happened to El Blanco. But fans think he is alive since his lifespan is never mentioned. was last modified: by

If I’d gotten that question back when I never dreamed Tremors would still be popular thirty years later, I’d have said no.  He’s too much fun as a character.  Even today, I don’t think we’d do it.  But if we were the ones still trying to come up with new plots and dramatic story ideas,  and if the studio swore up and down it was really, really the last Tremors film,  I guess we MIGHT consider it.  We’d have to have a long conversation with Micheal Gross first, though, to get his input.  So, I guess…. maybe.

Would you ever consider killing Burt off if all of you at Stampede were given a chance to make a definitive final Tremors film? was last modified: by

The only reason they gave was they felt we didn’t have the experience to do low budget productions. But Tremors 2, 3, 4 and the series were all low budget productions.  We don’t have a theory about the real reasons.

Why did Universal Studios cut ties with Stampede Entertainment? I’m sure they never gave you a reason, but I’m curious. Do you have any theories? was last modified: by

Thanks for the kind comments.  We’ve been told that Tremors is actually used in some screen writing classes.  As to the other scripts, the issue is that a studio buys all rights to them forever, so technically we’re not allowed to release them, publish them, etc.  My hope is that they’ll leak onto the internet at some point (as have some of our other screenplays) , but I guess that hasn’t happened.

I’ve read the Tremors screenplay and I really enjoyed it. I study screenwriting and have learned tons just by reading that script. I’ve looked everywhere for the others, particularly Tremors 2, but had no luck. Where can I find the other scripts? Will you consider posting the others in a PDF format. I’m sure there are many other aspiring screenwriters just like me who would love to read them! was last modified: by

We appreciate these comments, though it is bittersweet to read them.  If you look at the answers to similar FAQs on our site, you’ll see that we were fired by Universal.  They do not want us to work on the movies. Not our choice.

I’m a fan of Tremors and me personally I’ve been disappointed with the last couple of movies, I was wondering when Stampede was going to go back with doing more with Perfection,NV? was last modified: by

When we were creating the sequels and series, we had fans and studio execs ask this question all the time.  But our answer was always the same: we don’t think it works — because an aquatic Graboid is really just a shark!

Did you guys ever consider the possibility of an aquatic variant of Graboid in any future movies or series? was last modified: by

We hypothesize we’d say no.  We tried very hard to create a consistent, logical set of rules and to establish a carefully balanced tone of comedy vs scares.  Tremors 5, 6, and 7 destroyed those norms, so it would be impossible to construct something we believed in.

If, hypothetically, Universal asked you guys if you wanted to come back to do one more film with them, whether or not it pans out to be the last movie in the franchise (T8 or whatever), what would you say in a hypothetical scenario? was last modified: by

Yes, not really a question, but we wanted to post it anyway.  Thanks!

Not really a question, but I just saw T7 and it is as bad as 5 and 6. To add insult to injury [SPOILER COMMENT REMOVED BY STAMPEDE EDITORS]. Thank you guys so much for the first 4 movies (the REAL Tremors movies) and the series. Big, big fan since the first came out. was last modified: by

As we keep saying, “Thirty years later and we’re STILL getting new questions!” We never thought about this.  But it’s surely the first thing any American hunter would have asked.  Our theory is, based on the strong smell and extremely powerful musculature, Graboid meat probably doesn’t taste very good and is extremely tough.  Maybe it would be okay made into sausage with lots of added spices.   Shriekers are technically young, so, maybe, a little better.  ABs are clearly very stringy and lean, so likely are not appetizing.  They’ be like eating crow or vulture.

What do Graboids taste like? Would any part of their body make a good meal and would the others Graboid forms taste better/worse? was last modified: by

Tremors 2 was shot in the hills just southwest of Magic Mountain.  The refinery set was in a secluded valley in those hills. Also,  I remember that we could see Route 126 from the location of the rock that Earl and Grady crash into.  Sorry, can’t be much more specific.  Long time ago!

I live in Valencia, CA where Tremors 2 was filmed. In what exact part of Valencia was it filmed? was last modified: by

I may have answered this elsewhere, but the question comes up a lot from fans bothered by Universal’s handling of Tremors.  In Hollywood, unlike in book publishing or in theater, the studios long ago figured out that they wanted exclusive control over material.  You can ask to withhold or retain some rights, but only the most mega-powerful writers would ever have a chance of getting such a contract. The standard contract,  which we signed when we sold Tremors, states that we are selling all rights for all media that exist (or are invented in the future) for all time. So you just have to hope you aren’t thrown off your own creation, which we eventually were.

How did you end up losing the rights what is rightfully your intellectual property? And is there a chance you can get them back at some point? I’d like the Tremors TV series to be finished at some point. Either animated, comic or novels. was last modified: by

She chose not to.  We asked her to come back for Tremors 2 but she declined, so we had to write her out of the script.  Since her character was gone from T2, we left it that way for T3.

Why didn’t Heather (Reba McEntire) star in any of the other Tremors movies? was last modified: by

You have correctly guessed that Universal is in charge, and to our knowledge has never released those sound tracks.  We imagine you are aware that there are unofficial versions floating around online.

Will there be a soundtrack release for Tremors 2-4 or is that something only Universal is in charge of? was last modified: by

We are glad to hear that it is hard to choose among the ones we worked on.  Tremors 1 does have a special place for all of us because it was first, we had a bigger budget, has our full original cast, and seems to stand the test of time well.  But they are all our “babies” and we don’t want to choose!

What is your favorite Tremors movie? I like all of them myself but if I had to pick it would obviously be Tremors 1. But all of them have so much great stuff in them it is really hard to pick. was last modified: by

Not really.  We thought about each “death” a lot.  And if you think about it, not that many main characters die in the first four Tremors movies and series.  The hardest one was the decision to have Miguel die in Tremors 3.  Amusingly, Tony Genaro, who plays Miguel was totally on board with the idea and loved the emotional quality it would have even though it meant he couldn’t come back!

During the first 4 movies & the series (which are the only Tremors worth watching as the new ones, without your guys involvement, are horrible), did you ever kill off a character and then in a later movie or episode wish that you hadn’t? was last modified: by

We experimented with a lot of things during the early days of the Stampede site.  We have to admit we don’t remember what this link was, or if or when it was active.  The idea, of course, would have been to give fans another route to more info about beloved Burt.  But as Stampede scaled back, the link no doubt got left behind, too.  Fortunately, fans themselves have taken up the cause and a search for Burt Gummer gets lots of hits these days!

Recently I’ve been looking through the old and unavailable pages of this website via Web Archive and I stumbled upon this sentence: “For more on the world of Burt Gummer be sure to visit Burt-gummer(dot)info”. I tried to visit this site through the Web Archive but for some reason, it won’t display any content. What was Burt-gummer(dot)info about? was last modified: by

Well, not funny for the graboid, which would surely lose in that situation, given that  Banner (The Hulk) is a much more powerful, if far more unrealistic, comic book creation.

Ok. How funny do you think it would be if a graboid swallowed Bruce Banner? was last modified: by

We seem to be having a run on franchise-blending questions.  While it is true that a graboid might inadvertently swallow a gun, we did not write Men in Black and cannot predict what Agent K might do if faced with that situation.

Do you think Agent K from Men in Black would tell a graboid to “Eat me!” to get his gun back like he did that bug? was last modified: by

As we sadly have to keep pointing out, we are interested in anything that takes advantage of Tremors’ notoriety.  But we do not have any say in what Universal studios does with the property.  Over the years they have never followed up on the many ideas like this that have been proposed.

Tabletop games have started making a pretty big comeback recently and several Horror Franchises have gotten in on it. I was wondering if a Tremors Table Top game would be of any interest? was last modified: by

This is a comment/question we’ve been getting a lot since Tremors 5 came out.  We very much appreciate how many fans have been riled up by our being taken off the movies.  But there’s not much anyone can do about it.  It’s standard old school Hollywood legal.  You sell the rights to your screenplay outright forever.  After that the studio can do whatever it wants.

I’m coming from a Reddit thread where I heard Universal took the rights from the original creators of Tremors, and I just wanna know, is there anything I can do to help? Is there a petition I can sign? Do I need to contact my local senator? What can I do to get the original “Tremors” guys to have the rights again? was last modified: by

Someday fans will have to explain to us what the fascination is with various creatures battling various other creatures.   There are other permutations of this question all over the faq area.  But we’ll take a stab at this one.  Stumpy, the injured graboid from T-1, would possibly be at a disadvantage in a battle with El Blanco from T-3.  On the other hand, El Blanco from being an atypical graboid, might be fearful of a confrontation with a “normal” one and try to flee.  There.  No answer.

Old Stumpy vs El Blanco. Whose your money on? was last modified: by

Again, not a question, but an inventive if somewhat outlandish example of how far our supportive fans have gone in trying to figure out ways for us to keep working on Tremors-like-things.

Since you are forbidden from working on Tremors anymore why not just work on ‘Shaky Ground Monsters’ ? The Rocky series morphed to Creed. Instead of El Blanco, just call the critter La Blanca since gender identity is so fluid nowadays. Graboids are now Procurement – flagellates . Burt can be Bubbles, Earl can be Oil ( New Jersey native) , Val evolves to Valveeta (a cheesy name) and Rhonda advances to Rhodium (more valuable than gold) . Perfection becomes OCD-Burg. Who will S.S. Wilson transmogrify into ? was last modified: by

The possibility still seems so unlikely that we’ve not given it much thought. It would be additionally frustrating to have to deal with, or ignore, all problems created and rules broken by the sequels after T4.  Unless and until it really might happen, we will continue to not give it much thought.

With all this talk about trying to get the rights of the franchise back to y’all, if its successful, do you think you’d go forward with a new Tremors project? was last modified: by

Chang’s is around 250-300 miles North of Las Vegas.  As for graboid incursions, the Perfection graboids were hemmed in by rocks and mountains, but theoretically graboids can exist in any sandy desert if ABs can find the right places to lay eggs, so a Primm take-over is not out of the question.  We have implied that graboid eggs need a warm environment, like that provided by hot springs, so they are somewhat limited in where they can hatch.

How far is Chang’s market from, Las Vegas? Could graboids exist there, or shriekers overrun a nearby town like Primm? was last modified: by

We did not catch that particular show.  Tremors seems to be referenced a LOT these days, which is gratifying.  Recently saw [Sept. 2021] a claymation ad for Rick and Morty on Adult Swim that had a graboid!

Did you guys see the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode where you were referenced? was last modified: by

Well… another interesting idea.  It would probably work.  If, say a coyote were very sensitive to graboids moving beneath it and repeatedly avoided being ambushed from below; the graboid might resort to this tactic to lure the coyote closer without tipping off it’s underground location.

Could a graboid use its tentacles as bait? Leave them above ground to attract a victim that assumes they are edible snakes or something? was last modified: by

We don’t think so.  While we never showed the whole transformation, a shrieker builds a sort of a cocoon around itself, like a caterpillar, and morphs into a AB.  So it’s not a violent process.

I know it’s absolutely hell and deathgasms for a graboid to turn into shriekers, but does it hurt when shriekers turn into assblasters? was last modified: by

Versions of this question has come up remarkably often over the years.  While we appreciate that UK citizens would love their own local graboids, it does seem to us hard to explain how the creatures would have remained hidden in a country so densely populated for so many centuries.  And of course, we don’t control the franchise any longer so it’s a bit moot from that perspective.

Have you thought of doing a UK based/version of Tremors based in Birmingham, London or on a farm? was last modified: by

This, of course, is a recurring fan question.  We at Stampede appreciate the loyalty, but as far as we know Universal plans to continue making sequels without our input.

Have there been any talks/consideration of having the same director and crew that made the original film do a remake? was last modified: by
Okay, not really a FAQ, but it made us laugh here at Stampede.  Thanks!
When the snake vomited Jon Voight why did JLo stand there like a idiot and… Ooops wrong franchise!? was last modified: by

Thanks for the thanks!  But to be clear, Stampede did not break up.  We are still all working together trying to get projects off the ground.  Yes, today’s film business is very different from when we started, but we haven’t given up!

It’s sad to hear that Stampede broke up. It seems you have to have skin thick as a graboid to continue in the entertainment industry. I don’t have a question, just a lot of thanks to the Stampede team for years of great productions. was last modified: by

All of us at Stampede have done these sorts of events over the years.   But we don’t regularly go to places like Comic Con.  We have no events on our schedules at present. (April 2022)

I was curious if you or Brent Maddock go out to any conventions or any Tremors fan meet ups and do signings? was last modified: by

The Stampede team has a few pieces of memorabilia from the films.  Not actual props.  More just things that were used in advertising, etc.  As far as we know Universal has not kept anything.

Did you happen to keep any Tremors props for yourself or does Universal have them all locked up somewhere? was last modified: by

Well, an old screenplay adage says characters are best when they are in conflict. But Nancy grew out the hippies and “flower children” we knew in our generation (1960s). We just liked the idea that she’s always a little Pollyanna, is anti-violence, believes in things like pyramid power, etc.  Sorry you don’t like her, but we always felt she’s another sort of person who might end up out in isolated Perfection — a great opposite of Burt!

A character that gets under my skin is… Nancy. [For example,] in T1 what is there not to understand about giant worms that live underground and eat people? In T3 why would she call the Feds? [This question goes on to detail many more examples of Nancy’s transgressions, on into the TV series]. was last modified: by

We always thought of Nancy as a hippie when we created the characater.  Marcia just played that side up a bit more, or in a different way, than Charlotte.

In T1 and T3 Nancy seems like a normal mom who’s into arts and crafts, while the Tseries she’s more of a hippie? Was she always meant to have that hippie vibe, or something Marcia brought to the table? was last modified: by

The graboid life cycle is quite unusual. Graboids (the large worm form in Tremors 1) grow from large eggs. They fairly rapidly achieve full size and from that standpoint might be considered the adults of the species. But in fact they are technically more akin to larvae in other creatures.  After a time, and it’s not clear what triggers this event, graboids slow and die and burst open, being eaten from within by several shriekers, much smaller bipedal creatures whose only purpose is to eat as much as possible and multiply as fast as possible (through non-sexual spontaneous hermaphroditic reproduction).  They were featured in Tremors 2.  Any shrieker that survives long enough eventually forms a cocoon from which emerges a winged animal dubbed an Ass Blaster by Jodi Chang of Perfection (Tremors 3). ABs can glide long distances after launching themselves into the air via a blast of reactive chemicals fired from their hind quarters, hence the graphic name. They are “born” with a graboid egg already inside, and as quickly as possible they seek out appropriate places to lay it, primarily areas with  geothermic activity (like hot springs). When graboids hatch from the eggs, the cycle starts anew.

From a less informed fan, what does the Graboid life cycle look like, and how many different types of graboids are there? was last modified: by

No. We love the fairly family friendly niche we fell into.

If you could rewind time, would you guys actually make all the Tremors movies gnarlier and gorier? was last modified: by

We admit we have not watched all the, tributes, clips, first-time-views etc that proliferate on YouTube.  That said, since you mention it, we at Stampede were all quite impressed with Dead Meat’s Kill Count episodes on the first four Tremors.  They cover the movies in extraordinary detail, with much (mostly accurate) trivia and very clever writing/editing.  Fully entertaining in their own right.

What do you think of YouTube channels that recount your movies? Like the Kill Count on the YouTube Channel Dead Meat? was last modified: by

We are very proud of the music in Tremors 1-4, and would love for that to happen.  But Universal Studios controls all rights.  As far as we know they have no plans to release sound track versions.

Is there a possibility that we’ll ever get an Original Sound Track release, even if it’s just a single? was last modified: by

We are aware that this has been accomplished in certain rare circumstances, but it is a long and difficult legal process even to attempt it, so it isn’t something we feel we want to put much effort into.  We’re all busy with other projects.

You have said many times on this FAQ that Universal stopped letting you work on the Tremors franchise, but other movie franchises have been reclaimed by the creators due to certain rules and limitations in copyright laws. Will you get back control of Tremors? was last modified: by

It may seem like graboids pursue only humans in the movies, but in fact we tried to imply that they do hunt other prey.  Miguel’s cattle.  Old Fred’s sheep. The coyote in Tremors 2.  As to the second point, graboids would avoid cities just due to the sheer noise level.  It would be impossible for them to isolate and attack anything when there’s a steady cacophony of cars, trucks, cycles, pedestrians, etc. coming from all directions.

Do Graboids understand how dangerous humans are to them? Each movie always shows them tracking humans down almost exclusively, despite there having to be other types of prey in their hunting grounds. If it were possible for them to make their way into bigger cities and towns would they know to stay away due to the sheer number of people? was last modified: by

Technically, there is only one type of graboid, the large worm-like creature.  It starts out as an egg, which must be kept warm in order to hatch.  I grows to its full size of around 30 feet fairly quickly, but is pretty deadly even as a “baby” graboid.   After a time, and for reasons still a bit unclear, graboids then go through a transformation.  They metamorphose into much smaller shriekers (Tremors 2) that literally eat their way out of the parent worm, killing it.  These hermaphroditic critters procreate quite rapidly and can become a dangerous carnivorous herd.  But at some point, shriekers undergo a second metamorphosis, changing into assblasters (Tremors 3), a winged version capable of launching itself and gliding.  Each assblaster carries one egg and seeks out a appropriate spot to lay it, usually in or near naturally warm places like volcanic hot springs.  It is unclear how long the eggs then lay dormant before hatching.

From a less informed fan, what does the Graboid life cycle look like, and how many different types of graboids are there. was last modified: by

At first we were going to say, no, that didn’t happen.  But when we examined the history we built into Tremors 4, we had to admit: Walter is a descendant of the original store’s owners, and Miguel is probably related to Juan Pedilla, and Burt did in fact inherit money from his grandfather Hiram’s silver mine.  So, while we think Burt definitely lived other places and did other things (before becoming a prepper and returning), it’s possible he did spend time as a kid in Perfection!  You changed our minds!

Did Burt grow up in Perfection? I love the picture I have in my head that he Miguel and Walter were friends when they were kids. was last modified: by

No.  Audiences have gotten used to that and, we suppose, expect it these days.  But we are of an earlier filmmaker generation and made Tremors just the way we wanted it.  We still like the horror-comedy balance we created.

If you could rewind time, would you make all the Tremors movies gnarlier and gorier? was last modified: by

We are surprised that Universal seems to allow anyone to show any part of the movies for free all the time.  We don’t own the rights, so that’s their call.   But we are huge fans of Kill Count and thought they did an awesome job of both making fun of, and giving tons of off-beat trivia about the movies.

What do you think of YouTube channels that re-show your movies? Like Kill Count on the YouTube Channel Dead Meat? was last modified: by

We don’t control the rights to the franchise.  But you may have have seen online (Feb 2023) that Kevin Bacon has publicly stated his interest in doing something new with Tremors.  That’s a change from how he felt about the movie earlier in his career, so we guess one could say anything might happen.

Will Kevin bacon ever return in a Tremors movie? Also, with the success of Chucky, might the SYFY network be more open to another Tremors tv series? was last modified: by

Actually, we feel we’ve shown, or implied, that graboids hunt a wide range of things.  In Tremors Miguel mentions some of his cattle are missing, and they eat Old Fred’s sheep.   In Tremors 2, the graboids eat a howling coyote (off screen) while Earl and Grady listen.    But graboids are pretty rare, and their interactions with humans relatively infrequent, so we feel, no, they haven’t learned, as a species, that humans are potentially dangerous.  Fans often ask about graboids coming to big cities, but they’d be very confused by all the constant noise and would be unable to hunt effectively, so would likely choose to avoid any urban environment.

Do Graboids understand how dangerous humans are to them? You seem to always show them tracking humans down almost exclusively, when there must be other types of prey in their hunting grounds. If they found their way to bigger cities, would they know to stay away due to the sheer number of people? was last modified: by

In our original script for Tremors 5 we had a sequence we liked where Burt has to face the mini graboids (first seen in Tremors 4).  There is a swarm of them, and he guns them down using a 6 barreled super-rapid-fire machine gun, that he fires from the top of a careening Land Rover as he and two other characters try to out run the beasties.

We also had many ideas over the years for how we’d bring back Kevin Bacon as Val if that ever happened.

What would have been a cool Tremors idea that you and the team never got the chance to work on? was last modified: by

We wish we could ask Rhonda. We feel graboids is correct. It’s how they are referred to in Tremors 2. But we’d be curious to hear fan opinions!

What is the proper collective noun for a group of Graboids? was last modified: by

Well, Blood Beach predates Tremors by nearly 10 years, so I’m afraid we’d have to say it’s the other way around (if there were a Blood Beachverse). We don’t remember seeing it back in the day, but looking at it now, certainly the shots of people getting pulled under the sand are very similar to Tremors.

Would you consider Blood Beach – with its snakelike creature that hunts by sucking people under the sand – to be spiritually an offshoot of the Tremorsverse? was last modified: by

Graboids prefer to stay in their element: loose dirt. It’s difficult for them to move in the open. So if a graboid did happen to poke its beak into a cave, it would mostly likely back up and go another way. Another consideration: caves tend to form in solid rock, not in alluvial soil, so graboids would rarely encounter them anyway.

What if a Graboid encountered a cave system it had no prior knowledge of? Would it tunnel right into it or just go around it? was last modified: by

We checked the game out after getting this FAQ. Yes, it certainly looks Tremors inspired! But of course there were sand worms and underground critters that predated our movies. There’s even a really old TV show called Outer Limits that had a sand-shark like monster – “Invisible Enemy.”

Have you heard of the mobile game death worm? It’s basically a Tremors mobile game. You play as a giant worm and you eat as much people possible! It’s a really fun game and just wanted to mention it. was last modified: by

We tend not to be fans of mash-ups. We liked creating a world where the only super strange thing is the graboids and everything else is played straight. If a whole city were on the run from Godzilla, seems like graboids would be only a minor annoyance.

Could (or would you like to see) Tremors exist within a monsterverse with Godzilla and Kong? was last modified: by

That’s a tough one. Add lots of sound-proofing to your house?

I’ve got a graboid in my back garden. It’s really annoying and whenever I try to do anything whatsoever, it goes under the house and starts throwing itself around like a maniac. Any advice on what I can do? was last modified: by

We hope so, but we are never told anything about Universal’s plans for the franchise. It was Arrow who let us know that Tremors 2 was being done.

Not sure if this is something you can talk about yet, but I thought the 4K restoration of Tremors was phenomenal and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Tremors 2 4K release this weekend. Are there plans to work with Arrow to get Tremors 3 and 4 out on 4K discs as well? was last modified: by

The creatures for Tremors 1, 2, and 3 were designed, built and operated by the team at Amalgamated Dynamics.

The creatures for Tremors 4 were built and operated by KNB EFX.

Who/what company made the Tremors puppets? was last modified: by

Our bad dreams are about Hollywood rejecting our scripts.

Any of you guys have bad dreams about the creatures like me and Kevin did? was last modified: by

As we’ve said many times in this FAQ, we don’t own or control the rights to Tremors and have no say in what Universal does with the franchise. Over the years we have been approached multiple times by people wanting to produce comics, board games and video games, but always have to tell them to contact Universal and “good luck.” Since S. S. Wilson mostly writes novels now, he might be interested in some sort of expansion of the world in book form.

Will we ever get any new Tremors content in other media like books, games, whatever — and if you could give us any more, which form of media would you prefer? was last modified: by

We wouldn’t agree that the graboids of Tremors 1 have a distinct music cue of their own. Certainly not something like the shark of Jaws. In any case, we strove to give each sequel it’s own definitive music.

Why did you guys take away the graboid’s badass theme song that’s only present in the original film. Why? was last modified: by

Wow, a long but very science-based question! Not having kept up with the literature, we’ll make some educated guesses. ABs are the primary way that the species spreads to other locales, given that the shrieker stage is fairly short. Yes, graboids have the “seeds” of shriekers in them from the start. It isn’t clear what triggers the transformation (age? environmental factors?). We don’t think shriekers carry eggs. They probably pass on some sort of stem cell when they metamorphose into ABs, and those cells then differentiate into eggs. Yes, it does seem all these creatures are clones, so how they maintain genetic diversity is a mystery. However, there are examples in nature of creatures that reproduce asexually yet still maintain that diversity, so graboids must fall into those groups.

Are shriekers the proper reproductive stage of the Graboid life cycle, since thats the stage in which the animals primarily multiply? Extending that, are Graboids all essentially clones of each other? How is genetic diversity maintained? Are Graboids “born pregnant” with Shriekers just as ABs are with Graboid eggs? Do Shriekers actually contain Graboid eggs themselves that they can only lay once they “mature” into ABs? was last modified: by

The creature puppets for Tremors 1, 2, and 3 were made by the FX company Amalgamated Dynamics. For Tremors 4 they were made by KNB EFX.

I know you have said that the location of th puppets is up in the air, but who/what company made them? was last modified: by

Having no control at all over Tremors, we’ve long been dismayed at what we consider lost opportunities for marketing and expanding the franchise. Yes, in that alternate universe we’d be interested in supporting novelizations — but it’s not our call.

If you got the rights to the Tremors franchise back would you be willing to work with writers on publishing books based Tremors as I would love to write some books based on Tremors. was last modified: by

Okay, it’s not a question, but it’s such a nice thought we thought we’d share it!

I buy lottery tickets quite often… if I ever win a jackpot of several hundred million dollars then I will make Universal an offer on the franchise and then return full rights of all things Tremors back to Stampede. was last modified: by

While Burt does tend to lean toward “wipe them out,” he does so because he feels he sees threats more clearly than others. That said, we think he’d guardedly agree with your proposal. In T3 an AB was sent to Las Vegas (where it is hopefully being studied). And he has somewhat reluctantly made his peace with the protection of El Blanco.

Given that Burt has often been blindsided by various Tremors creatures’ unexpected transformations (into shriekers, into Abs), might he not reconsider his resistance to the idea of letting one of them live so they can be studied? Especially if it means they can get a better gauge of their abilities and intelligence? He is always going on about things like “know your terrain” and what not. was last modified: by

Somewhat unexpectedly, no. Comfortable financially (due to inheritance of Hiram Gummer’s silver mine), once he drifted into a prepper mindset, he did all his own research and training in weaponry and survival.

Was Burt in the military? was last modified: by

Yes, not a question, but many of you have used the Stampede FAQ over the years to comment about simply enjoying the movies. We’ve seen many about sharing with grandparents, sharing with kids, even weathering hard times or loss of loved ones. So we’d like to take a break from questions to say thanks for all those kind remarks and stories!

WE LOVE TREMORS! was last modified: by

Surprisingly (to us) this question comes up a lot. Sorry that we really can’t track down what watches the prop departments got for our actors all those years ago except for the Storm Navigator Michael Gross wears in T3. Unless a prop is important to the story, often times the decision is left up the the prop people and/or actors feelings about what their characters would wear.

Here again, as with the Storm Navigator, we always appreciate input from fans who happen to recognize a given watch!

I have been a fan of tremors for as long as I can remember and I was curious if you have any info for the different wrist watches used in Tremors 1, Tremors 2 and Tremors 3. was last modified: by

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.

Where are our action figures, toys and such? was last modified: by

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.

Where can we get MREs? was last modified: by

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.

Can I be in the next Tremors film? was last modified: by

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.

How do I go about getting into the film business? was last modified: by


Sorry but Stampede cannot accept unsolicited scripts, music, story ideas or artwork except that submitted through talent agencies or bona fide entertainment lawyers.

Can I send Stampede my script to read, plot ideas I have for another film, sketches, artwork or music for future films etc.? was last modified: by

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 would like to work on a Stampede film. Can I send you my resume? was last modified: by

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.

Has Kevin Bacon ever commented on any of the sequels or the series? – NEW was last modified: by

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.

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 was last modified: by

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.

Will there ever be additions or expansions to your Dirt Dragons game? Has the thought of a making a new mini game occurred? was last modified: by

Sadly, Dirt Dragons, the remarkably ahead-of-its-time shooter game developed by Stampede’s webmaster, has been showing its age and yes, will be retired, if it hasn’t been already.  (Feb 2019 – there are major changes ongoing to the website).

Is the score submission for Dirt Dragons defunct? I recall my computer mentioning something was out of date. was last modified: by

Back in the day, in the studio system, an “A” movie had a big production budget, and a “B” movie was low budget. I don’t know that people use the designations much any more, with so many projects being made at so many budget levels by so many different companies.

What classifies a movie as a B or A list monster movie? was last modified: by

Unfortunately, not us.  We do not own or control the rights to Tremors. You’d have to try to get to someone at Universal Studios and see if they’ll license the rights to you to make a game.

I have an lots of detailed ideas for a video game based on Tremors. Who do I talk to to get the rights? was last modified: by

We would be willing, but we do not own the rights to the Tremors franchise. Such decisions are made exclusively by Universal studios with no input from us whatsoever. We did not even know they were remastering Tremors until Arrow contacted us for additional material.

I’ve just bought the remastered Tremors Blu-ray from Arrow and I am so glad I waited for the day it would get a proper release – Would you guys be willing to restore and remaster T2-thru-4 as well, given the opportunity? was last modified: by

We have not explored the option of reacquiring the rights.  Having the franchise taken away from us left us less inclined to think about what we might have done had we been allowed to keep creative control.

You stated you sold the screenplay/rights to the original Tremors to Universal. Recently, a lot rights to famous film franchises have reverted back to the original writers after 35 years because of U.S. Copyright Laws such as A Nightmare on Elm Street reverted back to Craven’s estate, The Terminator reverted back to James Cameron, etc. Will you be obtaining the rights to Tremors back in 2025? If so, what would you like to do with the series? was last modified: by

Some of our early history is posted in various places on the Stampede site.  Short version is we nearly all started making movies as kids, using 8mm film cameras.  Ron Underwood, Brent Maddock, and S. S. Wilson went to film school (USC) and met there.  But it took years of low budget animation and short film work and screenwriting-on-spec before we finally “broke in” to Hollywood (with the script for Short Circuit).

Hi there, some of my earliest memories are my dad and I watching the Tremors movies. They created my love for movies and I find myself studying video production in college. How did you get your start making movies? was last modified: by

Three?  Well, that’s a lot easier than having to pick one.  For S. S. Wilson it would be the Jeep Gladiator, Burt’s truck in the TV series — and the awesome steam tractor in Tremors 4!

Out of all the vehicles used across all 4 films and the series, which 3 are your favourites?? was last modified: by

Hey, a question is a question. The info on prehistoric graboids is very sketchy; so, I guess the answer is:  COULD BE!

And thanks for the kind comment!

Did Covid infect prehistoric creatures beamed in from the Aztec Pyramid designers and thus the morphology alterations resulted in graboid DEVOLUTION? Thanks for the memories of Tremors – it elicits nostalgic bygone years. was last modified: by

In Tremors 4 we established that his great grandfather did well with a  silver mine in the area.  We were implying Burt inherited at least some of his money.

Where does Burt get his money to buy those expensive firearms? was last modified: by

This isn’t a Tremors question, but we try to accommodate. Night Crew was a script Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson wrote. We jokingly called in “Tremors in a building” since it was about the night cleaning crew of a high-rise building finding themselves sealed inside with a creature pursuing them upwward, floor after floor. It got shopped around Hollywood for a few years, but never sold.

What ever happened to Night Crew? was last modified: by

Questions about Tremors

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.

When everyone discovers the Graboid tentacle attached underneath Earl/Val’s truck, what/why does Burt throw something underneath the truck next to him? was last modified: by

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.

In Tremors 1, it looks like we see eggs among the internal organs of one of the blown up Graboids – are they eggs? was last modified: by

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.

How did we get the station wagon under the ground in Tremors? was last modified: by

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?

What is old Fred growing in his garden? was last modified: by

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.

Who was the adult guardian of Melvin in Tremors? was last modified: by

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.

Was it just coincidence that the university had students monitoring seismic activity in the valley, or was someone at the University expecting a hatching? was last modified: by

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.

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! was last modified: by

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!

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? was last modified: by

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.

When they are stranded on the rock at the end, is the cannon Burt refers to the same one Hiram obtained in Tremors 4? was last modified: by

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.

Update:  Mar 2021. I thought I had corrected this answer years ago, but apparently not.  The gun is an 8 gauge shotgun made by William and Moore, not Darne.  The info about our dummy cartridges is correct.

The Internet Movie Firearms Data Base has much more info on the  guns in Tremors.

What is that dang elephant gun Burt uses to kill the Graboid in his basement? was last modified: by

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.

How did Fred Ward come by that Alumax Industries hat? was last modified: by

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?

Update:  Mar 2021. The Internet Movie Firearms Data Base has more answers than you probably want about guns in Tremors.

What model bolt-action rifles do Burt and Heather shoot the tentacles with? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.

Were swear words cut out or “looped” (replaced) in the original Tremors to get the PG 13 rating? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.

Can you tell us more about Burt and Heather’s backgrounds? Was Burt Ex-Army? was last modified: by

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.

What is “Burt” short for? Perhaps, “Bertram”? was last modified: by

That is what we call in professional film making circles: a mistake.

At the end of Tremors 1 why is Fred Ward’s character credited as Earl Bass not Basset? was last modified: by

We thought of them as being in their mid-to-late 30s.

What was Burt and Heather’s age intended to be in Tremors? was last modified: by

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 kept the Graboids from diving deep below the floor of Perfection Valley and emerging at the bottom of the “Cliffs to the North”? was last modified: by

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).

What exactly were those construction workers doing when they were killed by Graboids? Burying phone lines? was last modified: by

Nestor Cunningham.  Jim and Megan Wallace.  Old Fred does not have a last name in the script, so apparently that’s up for grabs.

Do the characters of Tremors all have last names? What’s Nestor’s? The Doctor’s? Old Fred’s? was last modified: by


Are Val and Earl related in any way? was last modified: by

It was returned to the private gun collection from which it was rented.

What happened to the 8 gauge elephant gun (actually a Darne shotgun) Burt used to kill the Graboid in his basement? was last modified: by

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.

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”? was last modified: by

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 –??

Update 2021 – a fan encouraged us to point out that someone HAS tried to name all the guns:  The Internet Movie Firearms Database.  It’s an exhaustive list.  BTW, if you wade through the whole Tremors page, you’ll see they say we shot the Burt and Heather’s gun basement in multiple locations. That is not true. It was all shot on the one set.  We did shoot over several days, and the wall had to be “rebuilt” each day, plus partially after each take, so their reasoning for why some guns change position during the scene is half right.

Burt’s gun wall: Exactly how many weapons does he have on that wall? Could you please name them all? was last modified: by

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!

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? was last modified: by

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.

After Tremors 1, what exactly happened? Did [the town] automatically start attracting tourists? And when did Jodi move in and fix things up? was last modified: by

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.

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 Also, if they ever release a new release Tremors, ever consider doing an audio commentary for the film? was last modified: by

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.”

How come Burt wears an Atlanta Hawks hat was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

How many people do the Graboids kill in Tremors 1? – NEW was last modified: by

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

What’s the song playing when Val and Earl are trying to clean out Melvin’s septic tank? – NEW was last modified: by

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.

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 was last modified: by

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.

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 was last modified: by

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 come the tentacle on their truck is not seen when they drive away from the hillside where “Stumpy” grabbed their axle? was last modified: by

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.”

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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!

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? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.

Did you guys ever think of having Val and Earl have a revolver battle against the tentacles? was last modified: by

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.

Did the doctor and his wife have any kids? was last modified: by

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.

If Tremors had been rated R, what changes would you have made? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

Do you think Val and Earl would have survived a gunslinger battle with the graboids’ tentacles? was last modified: by

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 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? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.

The first film had the best distinctive theme song why didn’t you guys keep it as the main theme for all the films? was last modified: by

Actually, there is a very clear closeup of him stepping into the loop of hose right before the jack-hammer takes off.

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? was last modified: by

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.

Did Walter really not have a gun or did he just lie to keep Earl from getting it for free? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

Why is Rhonda bold enough to go without a bra but still wears full coverage panties? was last modified: by

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.

Who was Nancy’s husband? What happened to him? Why does she hate Earl? was last modified: by

No, but you can be sure Burt never misses an opportunity to point it out.

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? was last modified: by

Uh —- what?  I think this one went over our heads.

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. was last modified: by

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!

How different would the movie be if there were 8 Graboids instead a of 4? was last modified: by

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.

When Walter was being eaten by the Graboid that came through the floor, why didn’t Earl help him with that axe he had? was last modified: by

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.

What was the purpose behind the film? was last modified: by

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.

Out of all the victims in the first film which one do you think got it the worst? was last modified: by

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.

How come the 1st film felt more cowboyish than the others? was last modified: by

REAL cameras!  MOVIE cameras!  Shooting big heavy rolls of 35mm motion picture film!  Mostly they were by Arriflex.

What kind of cameras did you use on the first movie? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

In T-1 there was a faded white name painted under “Walter Chang’s Market”. What did it say and was this intentional? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

Had you guys gone with the original script, in which Walter was Vietnamese instead of Chinese, would he have gotten eaten up as well? was last modified: by

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.

Whose idea was it for the tentacle to eat that can of spinach in Chang’s market? was last modified: by

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!!!

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 “ was last modified: by

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!

Where did you find Val and Earls truck for the film? Did you modify it? What happened to it after filming ended? was last modified: by

Well, great question, and one that stumped the studio marketing people, too.  Nobody knew quite what it was.  Here’s what happened: S. S. Wilson had a love of old horror movies.  His partner Brent Maddock is mostly a comedy guy.  So it started as sort of homage to 50s horror,  but the first drafts kept getting more and more funny as we came up with jokes.  Later in the process (we did seven drafts), we felt that the comedy was ruining the scary moments, so we began taking jokes out until we ended up with only comedic moments that arose naturally out of the situation.  So it became a scary movie with genuinely funny moments.  Ultimately that hurt it when it went to theaters, because the ad campaign made it seem more like a goofy comedy.  But people who don’t like “monster” movies also avoided it.  It was only later that it found a big audience — and years later we started to hear studio people say they want something with “the Tremors tone.”

Was Tremors written as a horror movie or a comedy? was last modified: by

No, we had not seen Razorback.  It does sound interesting.   Now we have to track it down!

In addition to the classic 1950s creature features to which Tremors so effectively pays homage, it shares many stylistic and thematic similarities with Razorback (1984). Had you or anyone else working on Tremors seen this other modestly budgeted horror and if so, was it an influence? was last modified: by

Love this question!  This is totally something we talked about during writing and even during shooting, but we never worked explanations into the script.  Our thinking was that Melvin’s parents go off to Vegas and leave him alone, somewhat irresponsibly.  And he just skips school (where ever it is!)

Mindy is easier.  Nancy is absolutely a dedicated home-schooler — which is why Mindy became so successful later, though Melvin did pretty well in real estate, too, it turns out.

Where did Melvin and Mindy go to school? It certainly didn’t seem like one was nearby. was last modified: by

Yes, we feel they stayed in touch.  Earl might’ve been a little jealous, but he’s a loyal friend and wanted Val to be happy (after all, Earl is the one who pushed Val to realize Rhonda was the right woman).   And Earl met Kate in Tremors 2, so it worked out!

Did Val and Earl keep in contact after Val got married? Was Earl jealous of him? was last modified: by

It’s a good question because, really, it’s an emotional moment we kind of skipped over.  Looking at it now, Burt and Heather probably should have noticed Nestor and Walter were missing when the people arrive with the bulldozer and trailer.  So we’ll have to say they found out right after the bulldozer leaves and on the long drive up to the mountains.  And of course they were very upset to hear that two long-time friends were gone!

When did Burt find out about Walter and Nestor’s deaths and how did he react? was last modified: by

Hah, again we are challenged to explain more about the graboid life cycle.  Here’s what we think: the Tremors graboids were at an early stage of development (earlier than in Tremors 2).  Researchers dissecting them did find small hard-to-identify embryos, but assumed that they were undeveloped eggs that the graboid would lay at some point.  A few scientists argued that there was no apparent birth canal, and that something else must happen for the embryos to be “born,” but their comments were ignored as being too outlandish, because no one imagined an animal spontaneously “erupting” into young the way graboids do.  So no, Burt did not get the heads-up he would have liked.

At end of the movie Rhonda says there is going to research on the graboids. I’m assuming this would be inspecting the dead graboids’ bodies. So wouldn’t they be able to see that the new creatures (shreikers) were developing inside? And therefore, Burt would have had his critical, need-to-know information in Tremors 2. Anyways, I love the films. Thanks. was last modified: by

Well, it’s one of those movie action-scene editing things.  Editors and directors like to “stretch” such moments to get maximum dramatic impact.  But we also often disagree on how much stretching is too much.  At some point, the timing gets so unrealistic it works against the drama.  This one is probably right on the edge.   Yes, Val has a really good arm.

And, yes, I’m amazed that I’m still answering NEW questions 30 years later.

At the end, Val chucks Burt’s explosive device PAST the Graboid. Yet the Graboid then takes a full 10 seconds — much of that going at ‘super-graboid-speed’ — to even reach Val before exiting thru cliff-face model to its untimely demise. Can Val chuck a boom pipe 100 yards? {and perchance you thought us fans were out of questions} was last modified: by

I confess we did not think of that.  But I’ll defend our position as follows: the boulders are not “floating” on the desert sand, but rather are sticking up from, and are connected directly to, the underlying ancient layer of solid rock beneath the whole valley.  So the graboids would not have been able dig under them or sink them.   Rhonda could probably explain it better than I, but that’s the idea.

In the first film near the end, did you guys ever think of having the graboids start digging really deep and sinking the large boulders the people were on — just to keep the horror going on? was last modified: by

He was not stupid, but yes, he did make bad decisions under pressure.  Also, to be fair, when you watch the movie, you have to imagine these people are encountering graboids for the very first time.  No one in the world knows anything about them, so Nestor can’t be blamed for not quite understanding the threat.  When he gets toppled off his house trailer, he does try to find cover as quick as he can.  The big tire isn’t the best choice, but the way we designed that set, there weren’t a lot of good places for him to go.

Was Nestor stupid or did he just make really bad decisions under pressure? was last modified: by

I have to say we did not think about those things.  Building a miniature set would have been time consuming and more expensive (we were a low budget movie!) Also, when we went out to do the shot we thought it was going to work like we planned it. Only when it didn’t did we have to quickly improvise.

I was watching one SS Wilson’s “Lost Tapes” of Tremors, and it showed how how you guys made that little “tremor” scene with the pebbles moving down the dirt bank before you cut to Rhonda, with it being done originally with little pops of a sort, before changing it to a wire. I’ve had to wonder, did any of you think about instead using a little stage, creating a desert themed layout with sand, mounting it onto a sort of vibration generator and attempt to get the same desired effect? was last modified: by

We continue to be amazed at what fans think about. It’s actually a good question. We certainly hope it did not involve a “splat!”  That would have been rather disrespectful to old Edgar’s remains.  We imagine that Val and Earl, being clever handymen, figured out a way to gently rope Edgar down.

When Edgar was up on the electric tower, how did Val get him down and did it involve a splat? was last modified: by

There is not one specific town.  SS Wilson and Brent Maddock had done a lot of camping in the southwest deserts and had visited a number of ghost towns and small towns like Glamis, Randsburg, Rhyolite and others.  Perfection is a composite of places like that and of the people we met when hanging out in such places.

Is there any town that inspired the idea for perfection Nevada? was last modified: by

There are lots of things we would like to have done — but we were a low budget movie! I think we did discuss the possibility of seeing Burt’s cannon, but decided against it either for reasons of budget or other plot ideas we liked better.

Why did you not get a cannon at the end to tie in with Burt’s line: “My cannon”? was last modified: by

Not exactly a question, but we very much appreciate the vote of confidence! Thanks!

I met Ron Underwood at the 30th anniversary, I bought a 1964 Jeep Gladiator that is very very similar to the original vehicle (T1). I’ve decided that I want my purchase to be a part of the franchise, but only if original directors are involved. was last modified: by

Great question.  Sadly,  we’ve long ago lost touch with the sound designers and don’t know what they based the graboid sounds on.

What sounds were used for the Graboids? was last modified: by

It’s possibly a valid point, but I will defend our famous population sign thusly: Edgar and Old Fred lived far enough from town that they were not included.  That said, yes, we did joke on set about Melvin’s parents being off gambling all the time.

The population for Perfection in the first movie should not be 14, but 15 or 16. Melvin’s parents were not included. Was the joke on set that they were in Las Vegas all the time? was last modified: by

I think we’ve answered this one before, but I know how much people would love to find one of those old military version Jeep Gladiators.  They date from the early 1960s. The two we rented for the first movie were sent back to where ever we rented them from.  The ones we used in Tremors 2 and Tremors 3 were also rentals and were returned.  We have met a few fans who have found and bought them (search the FAQs for one lucky fan’s comment), but the old trucks are just becoming more rare!

Hello there! I’m looking for information on the whereabouts or existence of the jeep truck used in the original movie. I would very much like to purchase it if possible. Any info would be appreciated thank you was last modified: by

We can’t say — exactly.  SS Wilson’s memory, increasingly subject to question, is that we felt Perfection was in central Nevada, like somewhere  East of Reno.

Where in Nevada would you say Perfection is exactly? was last modified: by

We’re probably answering this question too late (we’ve been busy!).  Hope the convention went okay.   The Graboid tentacles were made in a number of ways.  Most were sculpted in clay and then cast in various kinds of rubber, then elaborately painted.  Some had extremely complex mechanical skeletons.  Some were simple hand-puppets.  The reference to panty hose probably refers to the graboid intestines, seen in the movie after the monsters are blown up.  Some “guts” were panty hose filled with things like canned pureed pumpkin, or other things the creature effects people dreamed up.  The Tremors Blu-ray DVD has some very nice behind-the-scenes extras showing most of this.

How were the “snake” parts of the graboids made? I think I read somewhere a long time back they were pantyhose with “stuff” stuffed in them? (OK, I’m planning to go to a convention cosplaying as Val and a graboid would help sell it…) was last modified: by

We don’t actually agree that he’s greedy.  He’s just a smart small town businessman.  He sees opportunity and goes for it.  His opinion would be that if Val and Earl don’t recognize the value of their monster tentacle, he might as well be the one to capitalize on it.

Why is Walter so greedy? was last modified: by

We think this question refers both to Tremors and the opening of the TV series. There are a couple of ways to answer it. 1) With a movie reality joke: the graboid didn’t catch Val and Earl because they are the STARS!  Or 2) with S. S. Wilson’s penchant for analysis:  El Blanco is unique in the graboid pantheon, and is probably much faster than regular graboids. Furthermore a graboid’s speed of movement is very dependent on the soil it happens to be in.  The unlucky hiker was probably on very loose easy-to-push-through dirt that gave El Blanco the edge in that case.

How did the graboid not catch Val and Earl when El Blanco easily caught hiker who was running faster than them? was last modified: by

It’s both a movie review AND a question!  But hey, the internet has unlimited space.  As to the question part, all of us creators of the first Tremors grew up when westerns were very much in vogue.  So at least subconsciously they had influence.  But we’d also spent lots of time wandering around the small towns and ghost towns and abandoned mines of the southwest. It was the people and the look of those modern day Western places that had the most impact on writing and later shooting the film.

Obviously, the Tremors franchise has many fans. However, I’ve personally talked with many fans that do not particularly like the fourth film, and it’s common to see it listed as the “worst” in articles that cover the whole series (sometimes even behind the fifth and sixth movies, which is just nonsense). I quite like it, if not necessarily as much as the first three or the series. My thinking is that this perception has more to do with a bias against westerns, as they’re no longer in vogue, as opposed to anything that’s actually deficient about the film on a qualitative level. Here’s the question: what western influence, if any, was there on the first Tremors movie? To my eyes, there are several elements that are similar between it and many classic westerns, but I want to hear what the people behind the film have to say. Thanks! was last modified: by

I continue to be amazed at what fans think of — and/or what I don’t think of.  It never occurred to us that it might have been the same graboid that got Walter.  It’s possible.  All we know for sure is it’s not the one Val nicknames “Stumpy.” So, yeah, let’s say it was the one that got Walter!  Payback!

Was the graboid that Burt and Heather shot to pieces the same one that got Walter? was last modified: by

S. S. Wilson is prejudiced because he wrote that line.  But I don’t think you’d get 100% agreement from the Stampede crew.  Some like the pole vaulting scene.  Others have other favorites.  All would agree that it is ONE of the best scenes.

Do any of you guys also agree that “Wrong Goddamn Rec Room” was the BEST scene of the ENTIRE franchise? was last modified: by

Here’s the story.  It was totally planned by the stunt crew.  S. S. Wilson was not there the day it was shot, so he only saw it when it was shown the next night during  dailies.  Even HE thought it was an accident and had to be reassured by director Ron Underwood that it was planned and our Val stuntman wasn’t hurt.

When Kevin Bacon jumps off the roof (going for the bulldozer) the awning collapses under him. Was this planned, or is it an unfortunate accident that ended up fitting in nicely with the shot? was last modified: by

We think it’s a tie between the one in Burt and Heather’s basement, and the one Val drives over the cliff at the end.  Being mercilessly shot to pieces or falling a huge distance seem about equal.

I asked you which victim in Tremors got it the worst. Now I’m asking you guys: which one of the graboids got it the worst? was last modified: by

They are totally props, hollow forms covered with chicken wire, sprayed on the outside with a material similar to stucco, and then painted.  We simply could not find rocks of the right shape and size that also had that great view of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Most of the pole vaulting rocks are fake, too, even though there were hundreds of rocks all around, because they had to be exactly the perfect distance apart for the stunt people to make their jumps.

Are the boulders in the bomb-throwing scene towards the end props? Or are they real boulders? was last modified: by

It’s an understandable request. We love Tremors, too! Unfortunately all the graboid parts and tentacles were custom made at Amalgamated Dynamics shop.  There’s nothing left over.  Universal has never supporting doing any action figures or any other kind of merchandise.  So fans are on their own.  We’ve seen some pretty impressive home made graboid creations over the years, so hopefully you can go that route.

Can I get a graboid puppet like in T1 and how much would it cost? I’m asking for research purposes. I love tremors so much. was last modified: by

Answer: Sept 27, 2020. You are obviously one of our beloved super-fans. We have had to keep quiet about this for months, and it’s been driving us crazy.  But now the official announcement has been made about the release of a super deluxe edition of Tremors from Arrow Films of UK.  They have not only re-mastered the movie from the original negative, they have put together an incredible collection of extras.  We’re not sure it’ll have everything you’re asking for, but it has a lot!

Can there be an anniversary “Directors Cut” of Tremors to include all the language that was cut out? Plus any extras like interviews with cast and crew? THANKS… I have owned/currently own copies of this movie in VHS, DVD, Bluray & digital, so I kinda like this movie. was last modified: by

No. We had great animal wranglers and the company took very good care of them.  The only horse that got nervous was the one that had to lie on the ground and “wear” the rubber tentacles after Val and Earl are thrown off their mounts.  The horse didn’t like those tentacles very much, but its handlers were able to keep it calm enough to get through the scene.

Were any of the horses injured in the filming of “Tremors”? was last modified: by

It’s actually a hand-held CB radio. Walter had a counter-top version in the store (that Val and Earl use when they’re on the roof).  Even though cell phones have largely replaced them, Citizen Band radios are still used for short range communication in some situations.

What was the walkie-talkie Burt was using in the first Tremors movie? was last modified: by

Well, in our defense, we’ll say that our intention was that Val and Earl were repairing the fence, not building it.  They were just adding a strand to replace one that had broken.  The points you make are valid, of course. I don’t think we consulted fence professionals about the specifics.

In the beginning were Val & Earl building that fence all wrong to show us they weren’t the brightest, or did the actors and director actually not know? Posts weren’t dug, or tamped. Wire nailed on top of the post as opposed to a few inches down the face. Wire wasn’t pulled taught with a stretcher, etc. was last modified: by

In our minds Burt’s cannon is totally real.  We imagine it’s a replica of a smallish Civil War era muzzle loader.  It’s probably on display in his living room, which we also never see, but is also totally real.

Is Burt’s canon a non-canon since we never see it? was last modified: by

Nice to see that Universal allowed someone to release the sound track.  As to your question, at the time we felt Robert’s additional music was  overblown, too bombastic and “traditional.”  However, we respected Gale Ann Hurd’s decision that we needed a different “take” on the big action cues, as Ernest’s versions were too subtle.

Are you familiar with the recent Limited Edition release (3,000 units) of the full Tremors soundtrack by La-La Land Records on Dec 2, 2020? Also, can you talk about your opinion on the original music by Ernest Troost compared to the additional replacement music by Robert Folk? was last modified: by

We are long out of touch with the people who provided the vehicles for Tremors, so can’t be much help.  I will add that the trucks (there were two used on the movie) were custom painted by the transpo dept and they quite possibly didn’t use a standard auto paint since it only had to last for the length of our shoot ( a couple of months).  If other Tremors Gladiator fans (and there seem to be many) have info to the contrary, please let us know and we’ll update this FAQ.

BTW, until getting this question we never knew there were two Gladiator models:  the Thriftside we had and the (not as cool) Smoothside.

What is the exact name of the color of Val & Earl’s 1963 Jeep Gladiator Thriftside Pick-Up? Obviously, it can be described as “light blue”, but I was hoping you could provide additional details. was last modified: by

Yes. It never made it into the deleted scenes, but there was a shot where Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson drove into Perfection in a police car.  Also in that scene, Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff played the third set of phone line workers (the first two teams having been killed by graboids).  But during editing, Ron Underwood felt the end of the movie was just taking too long, so we all got cut out! A few stills of us in costume are all that’s left.

In the bonus features for the new Arrow release of Tremors, there is a photo of Brent Maddock dressed as a State Trooper. But I did not see a deleted scene showing what this could be from. Was something filmed where the writers played police officers? was last modified: by

Sadly no.  S. S. Wilson’s Dad shot most of the VHS on Tremors 1. He wasn’t available to hang out as much when we got around to making Tremors 2. And, since Wilson was directing, he had no chance to shoot anything either.

I’ve really been enjoying the Tremors: Lost Tapes Episode(s) online. Do you have VHS tapes showing behind the scenes of TREMORS 2 to show us someday? was last modified: by

No, it was created by the prop department to match how we described Perfection Valley in the movie.  So it’s unlikely they used any other real locations or names on it.

Was the map that Val tears off the wall at Walter’s store based on a real location; if so where was it? was last modified: by

Ron Underwood confirms that all the test screenings were done without any titles.

During the test screenings of the original film, do you remember if the opening title was shown as Tremors, Dead Silence, or Beneath Perfection? If the title was shown as Dead Silence or Beneath Perfection, are there any surviving photos of that title listed? was last modified: by

Most of us at Stampede have been back to Lone Pine twice, once for an anniversary of the movie in 2002, and again for the 30th anniversary in 2020.  As for the arches, we or our location manager may have been aware of them at the time, but  many decisions went into picking our locations. Each one had to be easy to drive to (with all our many vehicles), had to be as close as possible to other locations, etc.  And since the script didn’t actually call for an arch, nobody would have been actively looking for one.

I love Tremors and its my favorite monster movie especially because it was filmed near where I lived. When are you going to come back and visit Lone Pine? With all the natural arches in the Alabama hills why didn’t you show at least one of them in Tremors 1? was last modified: by

Ron Underwood and S. S. Wilson were both very surprised to see these — and liked them a lot!  No, we had never seen them.  As far as we remember, when we were called to a marketing meeting at Universal, we were only shown the Jaws-rip-off poster that became the one the studio used; as well as a few in-joke posters that were done just for fun, but also not used.

Famed movie poster artist Drew Struzan recently posted [early 2021] posters he did for Tremors (that were not used). Have you seen them? Can you provide any details? was last modified: by

She would have been deeply affected, certainly, but we don’t think to the point of it being debilitating or preventing her from continuing her scientific work, as she mentions she’ll be doing at the end of the movie.

Do you guys think Rhonda had severe PTSD from seeing Walter get eaten? was last modified: by

We can’t offer legal advice, so don’t quote us, but we think if it’s your own creation and you don’t try to market it or sell it, you’d be on pretty safe ground.

Can I make a t-shirt with a quote from the movie and a graphic of my own design (based on a Graboid), or would that get me in copyright trouble? Not for sale; just for my own, personal use. was last modified: by

It’s one of many twists on movie cliches we enjoyed doing.  Most people seeing the movie the first time are POSITIVE Melvin will get eaten.

I can’t believe Melvin gets the honor of being the 1st person to be grabbed by a graboid and survive. was last modified: by

It’s an evolution. And it came from our surprise at learning how family-friendly Tremors proved to be, even with the violence, swearing, and smoking.  We were like, “Parents are showing Tremors to their kids??”  When we got the opportunities to make 2, 3, and 4 we felt a responsibility to go in a slightly lighter direction, hopefully not too far.

Why was the original film a lot darker than the others? was last modified: by

We actually got into this question in T-1.  I wanted to show that, as you suggest, the graboid in Burt and Heather’s basement was partially helpless, not completely. We had shots of its spikes slipping on the linoleum floor but the director and editor decided not to use them. Love the idea of a graboid pulling itself forward with its tentacles.  Wish we’d thought of it!  BTW, the rig we built to shoot the spike shots will be featured in an upcoming Tremors: The Lost Tapes episode on S.S.Wilson’s youtube channel. [This answer is being posted August 2021]

If some graboid ends up on a solid surface like a concrete floor would it be able to move itself forward like a caterpillar? Or maybe its tentacles have enough strength to drag the graboid forward if they grab onto some anchor? Or this poor worm will be completely helpless out of its lovely dirt? was last modified: by

You’re right that sort of character was not on our radar back then.  We thought we were cutting edge enough making Rhonda smart and tough and having Victor be the most successful guy in town.  Certainly these days we’d be open to any sort of character!

I know it was the 90s/early 00s, but did you ever consider having any kind of queer characters in the franchise, or would you do such a thing now? was last modified: by

Our hope was that it was clear that after she saw her husband pulled into the dirt she knew it wouldn’t be safe to get out of the car onto the ground.  She assumes she has to be safer in the car (and can’t imagine a creature that is able to “sink” it).

Why didn’t Megan get out and run in the trailer while the graboid was sinking her car? was last modified: by

No. The humans were always playing catch-up.  It didn’t occur to anyone the monsters were strong enough to come through the floor until it actually happened.

Did no one think to get on the rooftops as soon as the graboids 1st arrived in Perfection? was last modified: by

She wasn’t a fantasy.  She was a former girlfriend.  Earl gets her name wrong, calling her “Bobbi Lynn Dexter.”  Val corrects him, “Tammy Lynn Baxter!”  An bit of trivia, the photos are actually of our 2nd unit script supervisor in an outrageous blonde wig.

What was the name of Val’s fantasy girlfriend (the one he had pictures of in his visor)? And what did Earl call her? was last modified: by

We wrote Rhonda to be a strong independent woman but did not specify her sports history.  That said, we agree there is a very athletic quality to her run.  That came totally from Finn Carter and her commitment to the character.

Was Rhonda a track star or something. She runs fast! was last modified: by

Lacking Rhonda’s can-do creativity, she’d have needed a lot more help from Val and Earl if she were to make it.

Do you guys think Tammy Lynn Baxter would have survived the 1st film? was last modified: by

Low budget movie!  No need to see it, so don’t build it!

How come we don’t see inside Val and Earl’s house? was last modified: by

There was more information planned for both Edgar and Old Fred.  We thought of them as old-timers who had lived in Perfection Valley longer than anyone else.  And we shot scenes with them where we learned that Edgar takes good care of his donkey, Fred brings her carrots,  and the two guys like to get together to play cards; but those scenes were cut from the final movie.

Was there any more information about the character of Edgar, since we don’t see much of him in the film? Did you think of a backstory for a character that would only be dead on screen or not even bother really? was last modified: by

The gummy worm version:  they would tear off.   It’d be like what happens in Tremors 1, when Val and Earl’s truck tears off one tentacle.

If you tied all a graboid’s tentacles to the back of a monster truck and took off, would it pull the graboid or would the tentacles just tear off like pulling a gummy worm apart? was last modified: by

In that draft, the owner of the store was a Vietnamese immigrant. When we got the opportunity to cast well-known actor, Victor Wong, we went for it.  Since Victor was Chinese American, he asked if we’d change the character name to Chinese, which were were happy to do.

Neither Brent Maddock nor S. S. Wilson remember writing the character of Viola, but other fans have asked about here.  We’ve been unable to find those early drafts of the script.  We must’ve dumped them many years ago.  Mostly likely she was cut in order to help hit our low budget.  Even the character of Mindy was cut for a while, but the studio relented and let us put her back in.

I found a script for the first movie online that had a few differences from the movie. Walter was called Pham Vam and there was a character called Viola, an old lady who lived in Perfection. Why were these changes made? was last modified: by

Despite that fun image, we’re fairly sure Burt and Heather came to Perfection as adults, and chose it very deliberately, after much study, driven by their increasingly survivalist tendencies.  Remember how Burt touts “geographic isolation” as one reason they settled there.

Did Burt grow up in Perfection? I love the picture I have in my head that he Miguel and Walter were friends when they were kids. was last modified: by

OMG, Nancy haters?  Well, not damsel in distress, certainly.  But from the beginning we felt it would be fun (and hopefully not annoying) to have a character who is the polar opposite of Burt and who would also seek out the isolated lifestyle of Perfection.  Given our ages, we thought of her as an ex-hippie.  That said, yes, the nature of Tremors is that Burt is more often right about the extreme situations they get into, but Nancy has to be given credit for standing up for her beliefs!

A Nancy question. This was a very long one that listed many, many things the character of Nancy has done that were deemed annoying, especially her doubting or chastising Burt. It concluded: “What was her purpose? A damsel in distress? A rival to challenge Burt in opposing view (which she was mostly wrong in)?” was last modified: by

The Perfection store owner was originally Vietnamese.  We chose that because, way back when we wrote the original, there were a lot of Vietnamese immigrants coming to the US. But when we got the chance to cast Victor Wong, we jumped at it, and he asked if the character could be changed to Chinese, which we were happy to do.  Amusingly, we don’t remember the character of Viola, but the question has come up enough that apparently there are early versions of the script  in which she appears.   We had to cut many things from the original script in order to get our budget approved (and even cut the character of Mindy for a short time), so that’s when Viola would have been taken out.

I found a script for the first movie online that had a few differences from the movie. Walter was called Pham Vam and a there was a cut character called Viola, an old lady who lived in Perfection. Why were these changes made? was last modified: by

We don’t own the rights to Tremors and have no say over what Universal studios does with the franchise.  In the past they seemed to have no interest in promoting it or creating merch or anything.  Lately, it does seem like there is more interest at the studio, especially with the success of the fantastic 30th anniversary DVD by Arrow.  So while we would have said, “probably not,” we will say now there could be hope.

Update Dec 2023. It appears to have finally happened. Apple Music has a sound track featuring both Ernest Troost’s and Robert Folk’s music.

Is there a possibility that we’ll ever get an original sound-track release, even if it’s just a single? was last modified: by

We’re afraid we’ve long ago published or posted the known existing supply of graboid photos.  That said, if you’ve not already gone ahead, you might peruse the behind the scenes Tremors videos from Amalgamated Dynamics or S. S.Wilson’s Tremors: the Lost Tapes video series, as those might have glimpses of graboids that are new/different.

Hi guys! I’m looking for a little favour! Tremors is my all time favourite movie, it was my childhood fave and I still regularly watch it to this day! I want to get a Tremors tattoo, looking to get a realistic looking graboid tattoo! My problem is that I cant find a photo of a graboid that I really want, I want a sot from the front with its mouth wide open and tentacles out! I’m just wondering if any you guys have any old secret photos maybe from set that haven’t been posted online? I’d greatly appreciate the help! Really want it to be perfect! Or perfection 😀 was last modified: by

No.  We always do opposite if we can figure out what it would be.

Burt and Heather were the opposite of the cliche of the overly prepared dying at the hands of the monster, to establish the threat. But was there ever a point in production you actually considered going the cliched route? was last modified: by

We just thought it seemed like Burt’s sense of humor to refer to a machine gun on his custom plate.

Is there a significance to Burt’s license plate : UZI 4U? was last modified: by

Sadly that’s one of those details that we don’t remember, if we knew it.  It would have been bought by the costuming department, probably one of many different types that then would have been presented to director Ron Underwood and actor Michael Gross to choose among. These decisions get made in a rush, and possibly only the costumers knew the actual make/brand.

But like with the question about Larry’s car in the Tremors TV series, if any fans know the answer, send it to the FAQ page and we’ll add it here!

What was Burt’s tactical vest and where can I get one that’s authentic to it? was last modified: by

With details like her folding lawn chair, we always felt she was camping out (maybe sleeping in the bed of her truck?), since she was only planning to be there a few days. Guess we should have added a small tent to her gear. Would have been more clear!

Where was Rhonda staying while she was out in Perfection? Or did she commute? Love these movies so much! was last modified: by

Great question, and one that actors would love answered. Some writers and directors come up with that kind of background to help actors. And some actors create it on their own if not given it because they feel it helps guide their performance. In our case, I confess we didn’t give a whole lot of thought to Val and Earl pre-Perfection. They just evolved rather quickly as we went through the early drafts of the script.

Where did Val & Earl’s friendship come from? How did they meet? They obviously started a small business together & had good chemistry. was last modified: by

We checked with Ron Underwood on this, but he does not remember picking the watch, so we can’t say for sure. It is very unlikely that it was custom made (given our low budget), so it is probably a real watch from the time, found by one of our costumers and offered to Finn/Ron when they were finalizing her look for the movie. If any fans recognize it, please chime in!

What was the name of calculator watch that Finn (Rhonda) wore in Tremors? Was it just a prop or a real type calculator watch? was last modified: by

We actually struggled to come with with a cool name for the creatures. We threw different names around (grabbers, chompers, crunchers), and we don’t remember who first said “graboids.” We didn’t love it, and kept trying, but never came up with anything we liked better by the time we had to start to start shooting.

So we know in-universe where the name of Graboid comes from, but where did the name come from out of universe? was last modified: by

Yes. When Val is racing to get the bulldozer, we wrote that Melvin’s little shed gets knocked apart. Only the metal roof is left and he ends clinging to it as it is slid around like a surfboard by a graboid underneath. Val arrives and saves him.

During the earliest scripted drafts of BENEATH PERFECTION, were there any other sequences that you wrote which you would have liked to have seen filmed, but had to be cut during the scripting phase so the film could come in on its $10-11 million budget? was last modified: by

Well, we’ve gotten lots of positive comments from other industry folk over the years. Can’t say any were out of the ordinary. One fun event was Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino hosting a screening of the film in LA. And of course it’s been gratifying to have studio execs sometimes talk about wanting “the Tremors tone,” meaning the mix of comedy and horror that was pretty fresh when we did it back then.

Have other writers and directors in the filmmaking industry expressed or articulated their love of TREMORS to you in interesting or unexpected way? was last modified: by

Ron Underwood thinks “Yes, and No.” We have not saved a TV version of the movie, so can’t double check. But he’s pretty sure they did use an alternate (non flip-off) take of Melvin for TV. On the other question, we did not shoot footage of the townsfolk jumping into the semi trailer, so TV version could not have had that.

Does the TV edited version of TREMORS contain any new footage or alternate takes not in the theatrical version? When Earl asks, “Hey, Melvin! You wanna make a buck?” Melvin has a sarcastic laugh in the TV version instead of flipping Earl off and yelling, “Eat it!” I also thought the TV version included a montage of the townsfolk jumping into the back of the semi trailer in town, before they drive the Caterpillar to Burt & Heather’s. Am I misremembering these details? was last modified: by

Well, 1) we’re not fans of blood and gore. 2) we’re family oriented and like to think we make family-oriented films.

What made you guys decide to make Tremors a PG-13 rated monster movie with little gore instead of an R rated one with lots of blood and gore? was last modified: by

Earl is a less hot-headed than Val. He’s mad, but we think he still would have said something like he says later: “They’d have torn your place out from under you in half an hour.” Maybe adding, “Burt, you really don’t understand what we’re up against here.”

When everyone is stranded on the rocks at the end, what do you think Earl would have said to Burt if Val had not butted in? was last modified: by

Egad! No! I suppose we can postulate that it was Stumpy who got the road workers and line workers, but we really didn’t track the other three in that sort of detail!

Do you know which graboids killed which characters in the first film? was last modified: by

No, the tentacles are just part of the graboids, like tongues, or maybe octopus arms. From a script writing standpoint, we invented them so we could have the surprise that the graboids are actually much larger than everyone thought. Also, the tentacles saved us money during production, as they were easier to work with than the full sized puppets.

Were the snake things ever intended to be the actual creatures? If so how different would the film have been? was last modified: by

Well — that actually hasn’t come up before. But perhaps it’s because of the number of people who get attacked as the movie gets going. Road workers, Old Fred, doctor and his wife. But it was just four — moving fast and — always hungry.

Why did it feel like there were more like 8 graboids instead of 4? was last modified: by

We assume you are looking for the shooting location, not where the house was in movie story terms. You may have some trouble, as that’s the one location that was nowhere near Lone Pine. The set for the house and the car sinking scene was just north of Los Angeles, along Route 14, somewhere just off Soledad Canyon Rd. No longer remember specifics.

If any diligent fans have better info, please let us know!

Do you know where Doc Jim Wallace was building his home? I know Burt and Heather’s was the most remote location, some 15 miles from Lone Pine. I am trying to locate real locations on Google Earth. was last modified: by

What can we say? Finn Carter is the kind of actress you hope for, always in the moment, always reacting in character to everything going on in the scene.

Love when Rohnda cringes at Walter when he comes up with the name “graboids.” Pretty cute. was last modified: by

If he did, given his success as he moved on in life, it doesn’t seem to have held him back.

Did Melvin get PTSD from seeing Nestor get eaten? was last modified: by

Hammering and shooting a rifle are two entirely different skills. Val excels at the latter.

How was Val able to bullseye that graboids tentacle when he had trouble hitting a nail at the beginning of the movie? was last modified: by

No. They are just part of a graboid’s mouth.

Were the snake things ever intended to be the actual creatures? was last modified: by

She is 9. Here’s the line introducing her, from the shooting script: “While they talk, Nancy’s daughter, MINDY (9), comes bouncing
along on her pogo-stick…”

How old was Mindy in Tremors 1? was last modified: by

It’s a question scientists like Rhonda would love to answer more fully, but graboids are pretty hard to test in the field! That said, evidence indicates they can sense something as small as a rabbit if it is moving on the surface nearby. Even so, walking slowly does help because you are both making less noise and spacing out the time between steps, thus hopefully preventing the graboid from investigating.

How sensitive is a graboid’s hearing? Like what is the range of hearing they have, and would they be able to sense a person walking really slow? was last modified: by

No, it was not a set up or a reference to a cut scene. We were just having Val express his feelings and frustration about what would really help them in that moment. And of course the reference to tank is what triggers Earl to think of the dozer.

Was there supposed to be a fight between Burt and the graboids with him in a tank because of the line where Val said “A helicopter is what we need or a god damn tank”? was last modified: by

No, we didn’t happen to see this episode of that old show, but we did check it out. We agree the boy’s creepy creation certainly looks similar to a graboid tentacle. And it is attracted by sound! Funny coincidence!

Were the graboids inspired by that robot that little boy made in Tales from the Darkside “Hush”? The woman that babysits him kinda even looks like Rhonda. was last modified: by

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)

What kind of truck did Earl drive in Tremors and Tremors 2: Aftershocks? was last modified: by

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.

Why did it take so long to come out with Tremors 2 Aftershocks? was last modified: by

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.

Was Helen Shaver really Miss October 1974? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.”

Why did you call the new little monsters is Tremors 2 Shriekers when you didn’t use that name in the film? was last modified: by

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 was there less gore in Tremors 2 was last modified: by

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.

How’d we choose Burt’s Big Gun? was last modified: by

They got married and are running the theme park established by Earl and Grady with the money they made Graboid hunting.

What happened to Earl and Kathy? was last modified: by

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.

Why was Heather never heard from again? was last modified: by

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.

If Shriekers can only see when the lift the flaps on their head, how do they know when to open them? was last modified: by

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).

If the Shriekers can only see body heat, what keeps them from attacking each other? was last modified: by

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?

How did you get the idea of having Graboids turn into Shriekers? was last modified: by

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?”

Why wasn’t Tremors 2 set in Perfection? was last modified: by

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.

How much did a Shrieker cost to make and what were they made of? was last modified: by

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.

How big are baby Shriekers? was last modified: by

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.

What is the title theme music to Tremors 2: Aftershocks? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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 happened to Burt’s .50 cal Grizzly rifle? Was it blown up in the big explosion? was last modified: by

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.

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.” was last modified: by

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.

How can Shriekers do so much damage to prey? They have no teeth and their beaks don’t look that sharp. was last modified: by

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!

When Shriekers run across the ground, why don’t the Graboids sense them? was last modified: by

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.

Are the Graboids really from the Precambrian era? That’s pretty far-fetched, isn’t it? was last modified: by

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.

Is that a silencer on the end of the barrel of Burt’s 50 cal rifle? was last modified: by

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.”

Why do we only get to see a baby Shrieker only once during the whole Tremors franchise? was last modified: by

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.

Why do the animatronic Shriekers look so much different in the series than in Tremors 2? was last modified: by

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.

Can a Shrieker produce an endless supply of baby Shriekers or do they have a limit? was last modified: by

He wisely beat it out of there before things got bad.

What ever happened to Senor Ortega? Was he eaten by Shriekers or did he leave before the Graboids metamorphosed? was last modified: by

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.

If Shriekers give off heat when they shriek, do the flying ABs do the same? was last modified: by

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.

Are the red pouches on the sides Shriekers’ heads where they keep babies before they spit them up? was last modified: by

Yes, they were. They had to give a discount price, since:

  1. there were so many Shriekers and,
  2. the refinery they were supposedly “protecting” was destroyed. But Earl, Grady, and Burt came out quite handsomely in the end.
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? was last modified: by

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 the Graboid on the surface is about to go into the stage of producing Shriekers, its tentacles aren’t moving. Why is that? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.

Will Grady Hoover (Christopher Gartin) appear in any future Tremors? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.)

Can Shriekers see through glass? was last modified: by

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).

Any possibility that a young Gummer might have been in the womb when Heather left Burt pre-Tremors 2? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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?

March 2019 update.  A fan has responded with the detailed analysis below!  Thanks!

Regarding the “writing” in the dirt behind Earl in Tremors 2, I just now watched that scene several times on blu-ray and the only “patterns” I can see behind Earl in the pen are the sparse, naturally random growth patterns of the grass and some of the fence’s shadows in the dirt, along with the inevitable patterns of Earl and the ostriches’ movements within the pen.

What is written in the dirt behind Earl in the ostrich pen? was last modified: by

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.

Did the Mexican Army fine Burt for destroying their truck? was last modified: by

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.

Why do Shriekers only drag their tongues on the ground at certain points, such as when Grady thows the MRE into the cage? was last modified: by

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.

Did the grabiod hunters charge the refinery owner or president for the shriekers they killed? – NEW was last modified: by

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?

How many shriekers were killed in total in tremors 2? – NEW was last modified: by

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.

When using his remote control cars, why did Michael Gross video tape his kills? – NEW was last modified: by

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.”

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 was last modified: by

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.

What ever happened to Earl’s ostrich ranch after he moved down to Mexico? Did Miguel take over it? was last modified: by

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.

Did grady and earl end up establishing a Graboid theme park? was last modified: by

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.

What happened with Earl and Kate? was last modified: by

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.

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? was last modified: by

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.

How many graboids did Earl and Grady end up blowing up in total? And how many did Burt blow up on his own? was last modified: by

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.

what sounds were used for the shriekers in tremors 2, 3, and the series was last modified: by

Absolutely.  Shriekers are all about eating — anything, anytime, as fast as possible.

If a shrieker sensed a dead shrieker, would it resort to cannibalism? was last modified: by

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.

Is there a reason that the oil field in Mexico had so many graboids, considering that later attacks had so few graboids. was last modified: by

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.

What kind of cowboy hat does Earl wear? was last modified: by

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.

Did Jodi inherit Chang’s market before or after Tremors 2? was last modified: by

Hey, those fire extinguishers have pretty limited capacity.  It was used up!

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. was last modified: by

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!”

What does Pedro say when he first meets Earl and Grady? The subtitles skip over some it it! was last modified: by

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.

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. was last modified: by

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.

Do Shriekers have a pack mentality? was last modified: by