61 Days of Halloween – Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)

Introduction

For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween please go here.

Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)

In the interest of full disclosure, I believe I watched this for last year’s theme, maybe even for the year before, but it was such a demoralizing viewing that I left my notes aside figuring I wouldn’t bother to feature it. A few things come to mind because of it: one, I tend to try and focus on a long-running series (or more) per year and this sequel squashed the possibility of me moving past it any time soon. Two, as opposed to a zeitgeist reaction of “it took too long for this sequel to come around” I saw this many years later and it still felt a disjointed unnecessary edition that takes a leap too many and forgets part of its tonal formula for success in the original.

There is to this film a terribly slow, mercenary start. Most of what it forgets is to incorporate humor. It’s not that it doesn’t try, but it does not try enough and does not succeed. The efforts are far more fruitful and concerted on the horror end, but still a bit misguided. There is a quantum leap in the evolution of these creatures in a short period of time and suddenly there is metamorphosis, asexual reproduction, infrared senses and biped offspring. That’s a lot to absorb especially when you consider that the creatures are MIA for a large portion of the beginning. Therefore, these changes are more jarring, there’s minimal explanation.

Clearly when you go a long time between editions in a series you’ll lose cast members. Michael Gross’ character was perfect as secondary, pivotal nutjob but hardly leading man material.

As the film progresses it does get a little better, but it never rights itself. I’ve been through many long series and slogged through them. In many cases, the badness almost became a sort of morbid addiction. This one is such a soul-crushing departure from the first it compelled me to quit at least for the time being.

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