Tremors - In the land of rocket worms

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German title Tremors - In the land of rocket worms
Original title Tremors
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1990
length 92 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Ron Underwood
script SS Wilson
Brent Maddock
Ron Underwood
production Brent Maddock
S. S. Wilson
Ellen Collett
Gale Anne Hurd
music Ernest Troost
Robert Folk
camera Alexander Gruszynski
cut O. Nicholas Brown

Successor  →
Tremors 2 - The Return of the Rocket Worms

Tremors - In Tremors is a horror comedy from director Ron Underwood from 1990 . The film, produced by Gale Anne Hurd and costing around 11 million US dollars, grossed only 17 million dollars in US cinemas, but exceeded this grossing figure many times over on the video market. The film and its first sequel are now considered models of the funny horror film, which have also been copied several times in other monster films. The main roles were played by Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward . The film opened in German cinemas on May 17, 1990.


Friends Val McKee and Earl Bassett earn their living doing odd jobs in the secluded desert village of Perfection in Nevada with 14 residents. One day they meet the seismologist Rhonda LeBeck, who is writing a scientific paper on earthquakes and who has noticed unusual seismic vibrations on the measuring devices scattered around the area. As they continue their journey, Val and Earl find the body of Edgar Deems, who is clinging to his rifle on a high-voltage pylon. The village doctor determines that Edgar died of thirst and must have spent at least four days on the mast. A little later, the friends discover Farmer Fred's torn off head and his flock of sheep. They suspect that a psychopathic murderer is up to mischief and panic and make their way back to the village. On the way they warn two road workers who are killed shortly afterwards by something that triggers a scree avalanche. This will block the only road out of the valley and destroy the telephone line. The villagers decide to send Val and Earl to town 38 miles away to get help, but the two hit the rubble blockade and find the remains of the workers. Back in the village, they discover a dead, snake-like creature that has bitten into their car.

It is decided to send Val and Earl on horses to get help. They find the village doctor's remote property devastated and his car buried vertically in the ground. Suddenly they are attacked by a huge worm, whose three tongues resemble the snake-shaped creature on their car. The monster moves through the ground at high speed and follows them. On the run, they jump into a concrete sewer, the worm crashes into its concrete wall and dies. As they examine the carcass, Rhonda emerges, who discovers that the worm is blind and can apparently sense vibrations like footsteps on the surface of the earth. From her earthquake records, she discovers that there must be three more worms. When they puzzle over the origin of the creatures, they are attacked by another worm. They save themselves on a rock group that the worm cannot reach and have to spend the night there. Due to Rhonda's witty idea of ​​swinging from rock to rock with fence poles like pole vaulters, they get to their pick-up the next morning and can use it to escape to the village.

There is no long break, because two worms attack the village, kill the shopkeeper Walter and force the remaining residents to escape to the roofs of their houses. Burt Gummer and his wife, Heather, who live off the beaten track and are gun freaks, subconsciously lure the third worm when they turn on a polisher in the basement of their house. They manage to kill the worm with their large arsenal of weapons. Meanwhile, the worms in the village are trying to bring down the buildings, which Nestor does not survive. Realizing that they won't hold out much longer, Val and Earl organize a heavy bulldozer and trailer to pick up the rest of the residents. With supplies and weapons from Burt and Heather's house, they make their way to the mountain range, through which the worms cannot dig their way.

On the way there, the two remaining worms dig a trap and stop the vehicle. People can save themselves on a rocky group and blow up one of the worms with one of Burt's dynamite sticks. Val and Earl use a trick to lure the last worm to an abyss, where he digs himself into the open and falls to his death.

Back in the village, they alert the authorities, and Val summons up all his courage and kisses Rhonda as she is about to leave.


" Oriented in the dramaturgy to thematically similar horror films , the genre-typical story gains its own charm through distancing irony and a certain wink."

Vincent Canby wrote in the New York Times in 1990 that the rocket worms were "probably not to be understood metaphorically " . The film "try to be funny" . In particular, the question of why would “never be answered” .


Shortly before the cinema release, the composer Robert Folk was asked to replace the film music of his colleague Ernest Troost , as the film producers were dissatisfied with it. Since Folk only had five days, his work only lasted for about the second half of the film; the other half of the original score remained. Folk renounced attribution in the credits and published in 1993 - under its own soundtrack - compilation - a 18-minute orchestral suite his composition on CD .

The film was shot in Lone Pine , California . The mountains in the background belong to the Sierra Nevada .

Awards and nominations

1991 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
  • Nominated for:
    • Best science fiction film
    • Best Supporting Actress: Finn Carter
    • Best Supporting Actress: Reba McEntire
    • Best special effects: Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis (4-Ward Productions, Fantasy II Film Effects)
1991 Young Artist Awards
  • Nominated for:
    • Best Supporting Actress: Ariana Richards



All sequels were direct-to-video productions and could not financially surpass the debut.

TV Shows

This series was produced by the US broadcaster Sci-Fi Channel in March 2003 , but canceled after the first season due to a lack of audience response. It has not yet been broadcast on German television. The series has been available on DVD since March 2010.

  • 2015: Tremors - The Series

In November 2015, Universal Cable Productions and Blumhouse Productions announced plans to continue the movie again as part of a TV series. As showrunner was Andrew Miller committed while Kevin Bacon is to return as executive producer and lead actor. One series was ultimately not produced.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Tremors - In the Land of Rocket Worms. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. Vincent Canby : Tremors (1990). In: The New York Times . January 19, 1990, accessed on August 9, 2016 (English): “not easy to accept them as metaphors […] That question is never answered. [...] "Tremors" wants to be funny "
  3. Robert Folk: Selected Suites, Intrada Records: Soundtrack Review (English)