Monday, December 12, 2016

Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)

Number Rolled: 59
Movie Name/Year: Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)
Tagline: The giant, man-eating graboids are back and even deadlier.
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Capacity Relations, Universal 1440 Entertainment
Producer: Ogden Gavanski, Lisa Gooding, Alan Shearer
Director: Don Michael Paul
Writer: William Truesmith, M.A. Deuce, John Whelpley, C.J. Strebor
Actors: Brandon Auret, Natalie Becker, Emmanuel Castis, Michael Gross, Daniel Janks, Jamie Kennedy, Ernest Ndlovu, Rea Rangaka, Zak Hendrikz, Lawrence Joffe, Ian Roberts, Sello Sebotsane, Wayne Smith, Matthys Kuhn, Pearl Thusi, Nolitha Zulu,
Stunt Doubles: Dylan Davidson (Jamie Kennedy), Janine Terblanche (Jamie Kennedy), Owen Macrae (Michael Gross)

Blurb from Netflix: When he is hired to capture a deadly creature terrorizing South Africa, survivalist Burt Gummer brings along a new tech-savvy partner.

Selina’s Point of View:
I have to say something super weird right now.

That was like… a real movie.

I mean, all creature features are technically real movies. Actors, directors, writers, etc. When something like this comes up, however, I expect to sit down to a basic-shot, badly acted, campy piece of entertainment. Not really something I would ever have tried to see in theaters, but amusing enough to either be background noise or hold my attention for at least certain parts.

What I just saw was the kind of movie that I may have wanted to see in theaters (if it hadn’t been a straight to DVD thing).

The Tremors (1990-2015) series is a guilty pleasure of mine. I’ve seen the first four, and they’re kind of basic for B-movie creature features. They’re good for people like me who enjoy that kind of stuff. Tremors 5: Bloodlines really kicked things up a notch or two.

From the upgraded monster visuals to the much different cinematography, everything was better in this film. I love the series in general, but after seeing Tremors 5: Bloodlines, I can’t help but wonder if the franchise would have had Jurassic Park levels of popularity if the rest of the films had been handled the same way.

Roughly five minutes into the film I absolutely knew that the people who were once in charge, were not in charge of this one. I wasn’t surprised at all when I turned to IMDb after the movie and found that it was the product of a new director to the series. I’m not familiar with Don Michael Paul’s (Dead Above Ground, The Island, You) body of work, but I’d like to be.

The script was classic Tremors, though. With everything that changed, I’m glad the crew managed to keep the feel of the series alive.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s riddled with tropes and corny jokes, and roughly 98% of the storyline is completely predictable; but you don’t watch a movie like this because you think it’s going to be groundbreaking. You watch this kind of film because it campy, familiar, and entertaining. Also, after spending all day at work, or with your kids, or otherwise trying to pretend to be an adult, maybe you just want to turn off the logic center of your brain for a while.

That’s what movies like Tremors 5: Bloodlines is for, and this film succeeds tremendously at its job.

This film was my favorite of the Tremors series. I’m actually excited for the next one.

Cat’s Point of View:
The Tremors series is really a batch of B-movie creature features that you pretty much have to take with a grain of salt. The original was one of the first horror movies I was allowed to watch when I was younger, so it tends to have a special place in my heart.

I’ve always cringed a little at the name for the killer worms – graboids. I had a toy, when I was little, called popoids. That association could be part of my disconnection. It could also be that the phrase ‘you’ve got graboids’ sounds like the diagnosis of some horrible condition; something a step up from hemorrhoids.

The good news is that, generally, watching these movies doesn’t leave you feeling like you have that affliction. They’re decidedly not Oscar material – but we all know that going in, right?

I have to hand it to the creative team behind these movies. They have certainly tried to keep the story fresh with evolving their big bad critter through the course of the sequels. They’re all still a little bit of a rinse and repeat of the original formula – this movie was no different in that regard.

There has been a long stretch between this new seismic-sensing terror flick and the last offering in this series (which was actually a prequel). Fret not! There’s a framework that sets up a review for you so that you’ll feel like you haven’t missed a thing in spite of this being movie #5.

I remember my reaction the first time I saw Michael Gross (Rosemont, Becoming Santa, Holidays) playing survivalist Burt Gummer. It was a bit trippy to see the dad from Family Ties (1982-1989) as this big hunter ‘gun-nut’ type. Funny enough, he’s the only member of the original cast to have been in all five movies as well as the TV series.

There were some new cast members that brought something interesting to this movie. First, Jamie Kennedy (Ghost Whisperer, Good Deeds, The Sand) was a bit of a surprise here. His dynamic with Gross was enjoyable. 

Out of the rest of the supporting cast, two people stood out to me.  Pearl Thusi (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu, Quantico), who played Nandi; and Brandon Auret (Elysium, Alien Outpost, Chappie), who played Johan Dreyer. (I affectionately refer to him as ‘steampunk goggle guy.’)

I love that Thusi’s character seemed to be a community leader, as well as being smart and badass. As for ‘goggle-guy,’ I’m not sure how much of his role was supposed to be comedic – but I was giggling at the levity he brought to some of the scenes all the same.

This new installment was set and filmed in South Africa. It was a refreshing change from Perfection, it still felt a lot like the same old scenery – just this time with lions and elephants.

I’m fairly on the fence with this movie. I didn’t hate it, and it was pretty good in the context of this series. I don’t think I’d recommend it to anyone that wasn’t already a big Tremors fan, however. For those that are giddy for graboids, I do have some good news. In late September of this year, Michael Gross announced on his Facebook page that the studio had green-lit production on a Tremors 6 and he’s already growing his Gummer mustache. Kennedy is said to reprise his role in the next movie, as well.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 37%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. There’s an extra scene just after the beginning of the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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