Tremors 6: A Cold Day in Hell
Directed by Don Michael Paul
Written by John Whelpley, Brent Maddock
Starring Jay Anstey, Michael Gross, Jamie Kennedy
So last month, I got to type something I never thought I would with "that new Children of the Corn movie." Now, I get to type something I figured I wouldn't but I'm glad I could with "that new chapter of Tremors." Yes, everybody's favorite carnivorous worms are back, but is this an outing you'll want to go on? Let's check out Tremors 6: A Cold Day in Hell to find out!
Tremors 6: A Cold Day in Hell--which I'll be referring to as "Tremors 6" from now on--is pretty much exactly what it says on the box. Everybody's favorite family guy turned gun-crazed sociopath Burt Gummer is dying thanks to excessive exposure to Graboid poison. Now, he's up at a Canadian research station, all the way up in Nunavut Territory, where he's got to once again take on a bunch of Graboids in a bid to get a counteragent to the poison rocketing through his bloodstream. With DARPA taking an active interest in the Graboid population as a potential bioweapon, Burt's going to have a lot more problems than just running out of ammo to deal with.
First, anyone who's having a problem reconciling how the heat-sensitive Graboids are getting along in such frigid climes should probably just fire up their suspension of disbelief engines now. Burt actually had the exact same problem with this concept himself, which is good news. The problem, of course, comes with the explanation. Let's put it this way: global warming is involved.
Really, the farther along a franchise gets, the more often it strays from the basic elements that made it great. Like a copy of a copy of a copy, or Michael Keaton in Multiplicity, it just kind of falls apart. Sometimes, this can be fun. Both Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th didn't do half bad with their later installments. Saw did well by expanding its scope and introducing the "Jigsaw's Legacy" concept. But all too often, it kind of falls apart. Halloween, Child's Play, I'm looking at you. Hellraiser, just go home. You're clearly drunk. And take Puppet Master with you. It's befouled the carpet again.
Sadly, Tremors is starting to look as sloppy sequel-drunk as Hellraiser and Puppet Master. While there's still quite a bit to like, like the reappearance of Chang's Market as the only actual building still standing in Perfection--Burt's apparently managing the place--as well as the odd running gag about Burt changing his hat to reflect the Chicago Cubs' downright bizarre World Series win, it's still built on a foundation so shaky a Graboid would burst through it without breathing hard. Bonus points for "diversion tactic number two," which should more appropriately be number ONE, but still.
The ending takes a little slice of Chekov's Gun and makes it a rather explosive ending. Explosive and funny all at the same time, which is a fantastic way of doing things. It almost makes up for the shoddy premise.
Special features include audio options, your choice of English, French or Spanish subtitles, an "anatomy of a scene" featurette, an "Inside Chang's Market" featurette, a making-of featurette and trailers for "Death Race: Beyond Anarchy" and "Dead Again in Tombstone".
I give Tremors 6 credit for effort, but it's still starting to fall apart. A weak premise executed with surprising verve can only go so far. While this one didn't do too badly, I fear for the seventh one.