Movie: *** 1/2 out of 5
Audio: **** 1/2
Extras: ** 1/2
Article first published as Blu-ray Review: ‘Tremors 5: Bloodlines’ Shows There’s Still Some Fun Left in the Series on Blogcritics.
After the first Tremors
became an instant fan favorite/cult classic, it was only a matter of
time before a greenlit sequel. Unfortunately, to an extent, Tremors II: Aftershocks
only saw the return of Fred Ward and Michael Gross — Kevin Bacon did
not. The second entry also wound up going straight-to-video and the
“Graboids” have never returned to the big screen. Thankfully, the series
has at least never forgotten what makes it work: action, comedy,
horror, and plenty of monster carnage. The tongue-in-cheek formula may
not work quite as well in Tremors 5: Bloodlines,
but at least the series has never lost its sense of fun. It knows the
ridiculousness of the premise and runs with it every time.
The third sequel — Tremors 4: The Legend Begins
was a prequel — finds us in South Africa, where the “Assblasters” of
the third film have been discovered in the Cradle of Humankind. Brought
onto the scene is film mainstay Burt Gummer (Gross) who is in need of
fixing his image with his show “The Survivalist with Burt Gummer” not
doing so well. New cameraman Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy) has just
arrived and may have ulterior motives, but joins Burt on his quest to
rid another homeland of the odd Graboids that seem to have found their
way across the Atlantic Ocean. Now, Burt and the local yokels are up
their asses in blasters, while someone else has taken part on the hunt
for their eggs, as the creatures continue to evolve into even more
Universal Studios Home Entertainment blasts Tremors 5
onto Blu-ray on a spacious 50GB disc, presented in a screen-filling
1.78:1 aspect ratio. For being released straight to video, this is one
top notch presentation. Banding, aliasing, and crush are awol — some
have mentioned a few instances of noise, but I didn’t see any on my TV.
Colors are bright and vibrant with an extreme amount of detail bringing
every inch of dirt, thread of clothing, or sun-cracked skin to light.
It’s a shame the original film has never gotten this treatment.
Universal keeps releasing top tier video like this on lackluster sequels
while the original is still one of their worst looking presentations
The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
track is also mighty engaging. Surrounds make the most of the action
with dialogue never getting drowned out no matter how much growling,
shouting, or exploding occurs. A lively amount of LFE also helps keep
the film’s title ever present. Additional audio tracks include French
European, Castilian Spanish, L.A. Spanish, and Italian 5.1 DTS Digital
Surround, with subtitles in English SDH, French European, French
Canadian, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish, L.A. Spanish, Swedish,
Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, and Icelandic.
special features aren’t overflowing, but what’s offered are at least
pretty fun — even if they don’t add much to the film. A collection of
“Deleted and Extended Scenes” (10:21) are only available as a whole,
with no context whatsoever. The only one of interest is a deleted action
scene that would have seen the Graboids diving into aquatic territory,
but for whatever reason — possibly budgetary — it is seen here in a
workprint version. “Outtakes” (6:58) run way too long and never have any
laugh-out-loud moments, but at least the cast and crew appear to have
actually enjoyed making the movie. And finally, “Tremors 5:
Behind the Bloodlines” (8:10) gives us a look back at why the franchise
is still chugging along, and how the power of Burt keeps the tone
intact after all these years.
Tremors 5: Bloodlines
could have been a disaster. It is, after all, the fifth of a series
that no one probably ever saw coming, aside from selfless fans like
myself who love the series even 25 years later. Director Don Michael
Paul doesn’t have the greatest resume — Half Past Dead, Who’s Your Caddy?, and other DTV sequels: Jarhead 2: Field of Fire, and Sniper: Legacy — but he sure seems to be feeding a niche for Universal. He’s also been tapped to helm Kindergarten Cop 2 replacing The Governator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) with Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren).
If that’s where his career is taking
him, this may be the one highlight and could wind up being his
masterpiece. It’s a good thing screenwriters Woodrow Truesmith, M.A.
Deuce and John Whelpley understood what’s kept the Graboids digging
along all these years. Fans will be more than pleased that the action,
laughs, and thrills still hold up, with a top notch video/audio
presentation to boot. The series may never live up to the original’s
charms, but at least it hasn’t hit rock bottom yet either. Tremors 5 is way more fun than you’d expect.