Behind The Scenes

Here is a quick tour behind the scenes. These photos come from the Inner Sanctum of the Tremors 2 movie set.

Burt's Big Gun!

Believe it or not, this is a real production model weapon!

Burt used the "Grizzly Big Boar" 50 caliber BMG. This weapon is custom made to fire the 50 caliber BMG (Browning Machine Gun) shell which was originally used in World War I as an Anti-Tank cartridge. The 50 caliber BMG shell is still used by the US military today but it is being fired from a tripod mounted machine gun. There is apparently an ever growing market for this type of weapon although I have no idea what sport (other than graboid hunting) would require this kind of weapon. The cost of these 50 caliber shells are around $2.12 each. This gun was purchased by Tremors 2: Aftershocks Producer Nancy Roberts for a reported $3,000 and later presented to Tremors 2: Aftershocks Director S.S. Wilson as a present.

Also note all the items in the back of Burt's truck. Thermite, C4, TNT, 90mm cannon shell, hand grenades, cans of blasting powder and MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat).

The Large Graboid

One of the single most expensive effects in the film is the opening sequence in which a full scale Graboid comes up out of the ground and eats a Mexican oil field worker.

To accomplish this effect a large platform with built into the side of a hill and covered with dirt and props to give the set the appearance of being on level ground. A full scale Graboid head was mounted underneath the platform and rigged to pop up through an opening.

The set as seen from the top, actor on pipe. The set as seen from the top, graboid comming up out of the ground. The set as seen from the top of the hill, actor in the graboid's mouth. The set as seen from the bottom of the hill.

The full size 8 foot Graboid head section loaded for "launch." Multiple bungy cords yank the 200 lbs. worm up through a hole in the set making it appear to burst through the ground carrying a stunt man in its mouth. Peter Chesney's team added bungy cords and counter balances until the mechanism had enough force to shoot up through the top of the set and stop without damage to the stunt man or the set.

"Stunt" Shriekers

Three unjointed non-articulated rubber monster dummies that were used for scenes where the monsters were required to be dropped, shot or exploded. Most of these creatures were (not surprisingly) destroyed durring the course of filming.

Fully Articulated Shrieker

This is the fully articulated, full scale puppet shrieker. Two of these were built for the film.

Hand Puppet Shrieker

Hand puppet version of the Shrieker (there were 3 of these made for the film). The puppeteer holds the Shriker over his head while other puppeteers work control cables.

How to get a Creature's Point Of View

No, these are not psychedelic muggers, or bank robbers with bad taste.

Shriekers can only see infrared (which is saying the Shrieker can only see body heat). So before filming, the director had to ask, What does a creature see if it only sees infrared?

Apparently, they decided the answer to this question was red and yellow pajamas, or psychedelic jump suits.

To get the infrared effect the actors were shot wearing red suits and yellow stockings so that in post-production the video engineers could render the faces and bodies in different colors. This effect was also shot on High 8 video tape and blown up to 35mm film adding an additional grainy effect.

Clay Maquette of The Shrieker

Tremors 2: Aftershocks Director S.S. Wilson (right) and Andy Schoneberg (left) who is Head of Shrieker part of Amalgamated Dynamics Inc., with clay maquette (model) of the Shrieker.

Full-Scale Graboid Body

Entire production team swallowed by Graboid, FILM AT 11:00!

This is a split open, full-scale Graboid body under construction at Amalgamated Dynamics Inc.

Shrieker Eating A Volvo

Shriekers have a nasty habit of eating your car engine, so you can't go anywhere fast.

Full scale motion Shrieker eating a Volvo.

The Shrieker Controls

This is what it takes to operate the fully articulated Shrieker.

It takes 16 people to operate the fully articulated Shrieker. Each of the levers control a different aspect of the creatures movement. On the films tight budget it was impossible to pay 16 puppeteers to stand around all day and do only 60 minutes of actual work (which is usually the case on large budget films). When filming the Shrieker, cast and crew members were pulled away from whatever else they were doing to operate a lever. Here Tremors Producer Nancy Roberts (left) takes he r turn at the controls. Ron Underwood, (not pictured) director of City Slickers also took his turn right along with everyone else. There were several times when there simply were not enough free people to work all the controls.

Early Artist Concept Drawings Of The Shrieker

Early versions of the Shriekers. This shows some of the steps to arrive at the final design.

Tremors 2: Aftershocks Story Boards


While producing Tremors II, Stampede and Universal also developed Tremors as a TV series. We didn’t proceed on the project but we thought you might enjoy seeing some of the stuff we came up with.

The series premise was that, after their success in fighting the Graboids, Val and Earl would be sought out by the readers of tabloid newspapers, believers in UFO’s, etc. to battle other little-known creatures.

The Killer Shrimp

The Thing in the Trees

This is based on an actual prehistoric shrimp-like thing. It was quite large and, as you can see, pretty fearsome looking. Val and Earl are called to battle it when it suddenly begins attacking boaters in a recently flooded dry-lake bed. We were borrowing on the desert brine shrimp, which lay dormant for years until brought to "life" by the infrequent rain. People are mysteriously disappearing into thin air out in the woods. Their tracks just stop, with no sign of a struggle. Val and Earl eventually discover an arboreal octopus, lurking above to prey on the unsuspecting.

Animated .gif of a shrieker

Tremors 2
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