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TREMORS: SHRIEKER ISLAND Has The Same Sweet Moves As The Last Time (Movie Review)

Oddly enough, it appears I’ve become the de-facto “Tremors guy” here on Why So Blu. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy these goofy little camp classics (Some of them). But, I’m not super deep into lore and rewatches aside from the first one every so many years. But, I find myself writing a review for a third direct to video sequel in the series. And I’m not mad about that, they are what they are and they really do know what they are doing. Feels like back handed praise, but I’m not sure how else to put it. The latest is title Shrieker Island. Of course, it brings back Michael Gross, but Jamie Kennedy has opted not to return. Instead, he’s been replaced by Jon Heder (Though as a different character). What could Burt Gummer be up to now?

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When a group of wealthy trophy hunters genetically modify Graboid eggs to create the ultimate hunting experience, it isn’t long before their prey escapes the confines of their small island and begin terrorizing the inhabitants of a nearby island research facility. The head of the research facility and her second-in-command Jimmy (Jon Heder) locate the one man who is an expert in killing Graboids: the one and only, and now reluctant, Burt Gummer (Michael Gross). Once on board, Burt leads the group in an all-out war against the larger, faster, and terrifyingly intelligent Graboids and the swiftly multiplying Shriekers!

Tremors celebrates its thirtieth anniversary with a brand new film, the seventh in the ongoing series. In that time, the show also saw itself attempt a TV series based on the show.  Its more apparent now with the release of Shrieker Island, but there’s a nice effort with the last three sequels (Others being 2015’s Bloodlines and 2018’s A Cold Day In Hell) to drastically change up the locale from film to film and also to differentiate from the desert setting of the original four. Its sort of a way to acknowledge that the action, monster mashing and character drama is all gonna pretty much to form, but this little shake-up can add some key differences and visually give you something to set it apart on a core level.

They definitely have some beautiful scenery in the film. That, or they did a great job of faking it. The “Shrieker Islands” look very much like Jurassic Park or Hawaii stuff from an Andy Sidaris movie. This environment plays for the illusion of a grander, bigger scale than what is really happening in the film, and brings a jungle-type environment into the graboid canon. Heck, they even do their best to bring a volcano into the equation.

The cast for this, considering what it is, isn’t too bad and brings some familiarity. Gross gonna be Gross and its your typical Burt Gummer affair. He gets some Apocalypse Now/Logan type flair in this one. Jon Heder works just fine with this series, and easily fills in for the spot probably meant for Jamie Kennedy (But a different character). Jackie Cruz caught my eye and has some real fun in this role. But, it might be Richard Brake who steals the show. Like Michael Gross, he just brings what you ask Richard Brake to bring and the chemistry of he and Gross works to pretty nice levels. A very nice villain to have in here both as actor and character this late in the series.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for something fresh and new with the next Tremors film beyond the cast and location, you’re not probably going to find yourself super satisfied with Shrieker Island. By all means, the film is a “fine” trashy B-movie watch. And if you’ve been still keeping up with them after all these years, you are pretty much getting more of the same without very much extra to offer. By all means, that’s perfectly fine for this series that comes around every 2-3 years or so. With where the film leaves us, its a wonder if the seventh Tremors is the one that stays underground and doesn’t rise out from beneath again. We will have to see.

Tremors: Shrieker Island is available on DVD & Blu-ray and to Rent or Purchase Digitally

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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