Archive for Michael Gross

MOVIE REVIEW: TREMORS: A COLD DAY IN HELL

Posted in DVD, Gore, Monsters, Movies, Sequels with tags , , , , , , , on May 4, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

graboid in air

The timing of the announcement seemed both odd and strangely fortuitous. Just one day before the May 1 home video release of the latest Tremors sequel, A Cold Day in Hell, the Syfy network declared that it was not picking up the Tremors TV show after all, despite shooting a pilot with the original film’s star Kevin Bacon last year. And while the prospect of seeing Bacon reprise his Valentine McKee character was tempting, perhaps it is for the best, as two Tremors franchises would be just too many Graboids for anyone’s taste. Plus the film series, starring the first film’s other star Michael Gross as cantankerous survivalist Burt Gummer, is, against all odds, entertaining as hell in its own right.

Tremors 6

This sixth Tremors film sees Burt on the verge of having his property in Perfection seized by the government – truly his worst nightmare come true – when he receives a call from scientists in the Canadian Arctic who report Graboid sightings. An incredulous Burt, accompanied once again by his smartass son Travis (Jamie Kennedy) and a small arsenal, hightails it to Canada to deal with the creatures, who turn out to be ancestors of the desert varietals previously seen, this time stirred up by global warming.

burt and graboid

Helmed by Tremors 5: Bloodlines director Don Michael Paul, A Cold Day in Hell sticks to the series’ strength: lean, mean Graboid action and snarky banter between Burt and Travis. The creature effects are impressive, and Gross and Kennedy are endearing as macho idiots who every once in awhile let their guards down to acknowledge their humanity and love for one another.

graboid pounces on jeep

There are weaknesses. Despite plenty of our flags being on display, the film’s Canadian credentials are a bit dodgy. (Even the excuse of global warming cannot hide the fact that the film was shot, like Tremors 5, in South Africa.) And a subplot involving a local military base that feeds into Burt’s conspiracy mindset is never really explored.

But those issues aside, A Cold Day in Hell is a strong Tremors film. Gross’s Burt Gummer is one of the great action movie heroes; a man motivated by resentment and paranoia but also fear. Despite Burt’s bravado, Gross engenders real affection and pathos with his portrayal of a rugged individualist whose devotion to his ideals has cost him dearly.

Leaving that seriousness aside, Cold Day is also fun, with lots of ooey, gooey Graboid guts splattered across the screen. We’re not sure where the franchise can go from here (Graboids in space? ), but wherever Burt Gummer goes, we are sure to follow.