Our old friend Burt Gummer is facing a lot of change since last we saw him. He’s managing Chang’s store, the IRS is after him, he and his son continue to dance around their tense relationship, and he’s wearing a different hat (No, a different team).
But for all that’s changed, the sixth Tremors offering gives us plenty of what we have come to know from the franchise. “Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell” is the sixth Tremors creation and once again stars Michael Gross as beloved survivalist, anti-government, pro-conspiracy, gun-toting curmudgeon Burt Gummer.
As a fan of the Tremors world, as I know many of you are, “A Cold Day In Hell” drops May 1 in a Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, digital and on demand from Universal 1440 Entertainment and provide us with another 90 minutes of hunting, killing, and even capturing Gummer’s arch-nemesis, the Graboid. It’s not easy and it’s often a splattering mess, but that’s what we love about this series, isn’t it?
While much of the Graboid crusade in Tremors 6 will feel fairly familiar, there’s more than enough different elements and interesting characters to give the franchise a fun little boot in the rear. Through the first five iterations of the franchise, it appeared that Graboids preferred the dry, sandy climates to do their thing. That changes drastically in this one as a team of youthful science nerds in the Arctic accidentally discover, then reawaken slumbering Graboids in the permafrost. That’s right, the multi-tentacled killing machines are alive and well in the Arctic. And after being awakened, they are hungry.
Scientists die, questions are asked, and at last a phone call is placed to the one man who knows his way around a Graboid carcass – Gummer. (How’d you get this number?).
“A Cold Day In Hell” not only delivers a good-sized chunk of Graboid feeding and the requisite orange-yellow blood and body parts of death and destruction, but includes some nice throwback moments and homages to other movies and earlier Tremors offerings.
That’s something I found endearing to the film as we get flashbacks and call backs to characters and events we remember well. Turns out long-lost Val has a daughter and she’s part of the science team (Note, Oregon State University alums may enjoy her attire – and Burt’s recognition of same). She knows all about Gummer and her admiration and fandom help spur him into action and then more action.
Also back is Jamie Kennedy as Travis, Burt’s right hand son, and he teams nicely with Valerie McKee (Val’s daughter played smartly by Jamie-Lee Money). There are some other new faces on-board as well that add depth to the proceedings. Gummer will experience some self-discovery along the way while being forced to give up some of the control he so happily covets. This time, Burt Gummer won’t have to go it alone.
Tremors 6 does provide some nice social commentary on environmental issues we are dealing with right now, as well as secret government projects and their dangers. It also puts Gummer in real danger as a Graboid infection threatens his life — a life that can only be saved by a Graboid. A nice little twist there that makes for some very fancy planning, flying and execution on the part of our other players. And I have to note that the Graboids look pretty darn cool in this one. Definitely an improvement over Tremors 5.
As it turns out, our beloved Burt Gummer is not quite ready to say ‘adios’ to the world. Whether there’s another Tremors movie in the offing is hard to pin down, but if there is, Tremors 6 would seem to have set the stage for the next generation of Graboid hunters to take their turn.
Again, as a Tremors movie, you kind of have an idea of what’s to come. But that’s okay. While discovering new characters along the way, we’re also reacquainted with some familiar faces and the never-ending (seeminly) battle of pushing back the Graboid menace. In the end, it’s still a lot of fun.
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