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Trivia / Tremors

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  • Adored by the Network: There was a time in the early 2000s when the Sci-Fi Channel couldn't go a week without showing at least one Tremors movie, or, more than likely, all four. This eventually led to Tremors: The Series, which was...not so beloved.
  • California Doubling: Perfection, Nevada is actually a set just outside of Independence, California. Those huge mountains are the east slopes of the Sierra Nevadas, with Mt. Whitney being visible in a few shots.
  • Executive Meddling:
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    • The studio suggested Michael Gross in the hopes that his Family Ties fame would benefit the movie. Producers were hesitant for that very reason because Steven Keaton and Burt Gummer are practically opposites. However, during the audition, Gross demonstrated his range and greatly impressed them. Effectively a positive example of this trope.
    • On that same note, Reba McEntire was also someone the studio wanted in the movie. Again, the filmmakers were impressed with her audition despite her relative inexperience in acting (Tremors being McEntire's first film role).They use one of her songs over the closing credits, unsurprisingly.
    • on another musical note (pun intended), a lot of credited composer Ernest Troost's score was replaced by a straight-ahead score (sans Southwestern flavouring) by Robert Folk.
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    • The Graboids were originally going to have a fleshy hood over their beaks that would retract when they came out of the ground. Studio executives decided that it looked too much like a foreskin, and so the hood was dropped in favor of the now-iconic multi-part beak.
    • Director Ron Underwood stated once that the famous scene where Rhonda has to remove her pants after getting tangled in barb wire came about from notes from studio heads insisting that the lead female character have a pantsless scene. Having her legs get scratched up from the barb wire was Underwood's attempt at Fan Disservice, to stick it to the execs. Also, actress Finn Carter was asked first if she would be okay with filming the scene, which she had no problem doing.
  • He Also Did: Director SS Wilson also produced the 1975 Short Film Recorded Live, which showed up in the rotation of HBO during the 1970s and 1980s as filler.
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  • Hey, It's That Place!: The valley that holds Perfection seems to have mysteriously relocated to Afghanistan at some point between 1990 and 2008.
  • Inspiration for the Work: S.S. Wilson said that he got the idea for the film while he was working for the U.S. Navy in the California desert. While resting on a rock, he imagined what it might be like if something underground kept him from getting off the rock.
  • Name's the Same: One of the working title's of this film, Dead Silence would be used in a Creepy Doll film 17 years later.
  • Old Shame: The first movie was initially this for Kevin Bacon. Before the film's release, he had a public breakdown in which he ranted to anyone who approached that his career was over because he was starring in a "stupid movie about killer worms". He continued to feel this way for a long time, which kept him from appearing in any of the sequels. Eventually, given that Tremors went on to be seen as something of a minor classic (the film has an 89% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes), he got over it, to the point that he signed up to star in a new/rebooted version of the franchise in 2017.
  • The Other Darrin: Susan Chuang played Jodi Chang in Tremors 3, but was replaced by Lela Lee for the TV series. Charlotte Stewart played Nancy Sterngood in the first and third films, but was replaced by Marcia Strassman in the series. (According to Word of God, the latter was because Stewart had landed a commercial deal and her contract wouldn't permit her to be on the series at the time.)
  • Playing Against Type: Michael Gross started playing Burt literally the day after finishing up his suburban uber-liberal role on Family Ties. Gross (who is himself also rather liberal) enjoys the role, and is proud of the fact that Burt is both a textbook case of responsible gun safety and that his firearms are never so much as pointed at another human.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • The TV series. Stiffed in terms of promotion, shown completely out of order, and then canceled out of spite when it got good ratings anyway. The series was also filmed at the same time as Tremors 4, which meant that Burt had to be left out of the show at times.
    • Stampede Entertainment (creators of the franchise) got screwed by Universal, who refused to let them do a fifth film (and won't let them publish the script anywhere) and instead had another company make one instead, borrowing the basic concept for Stampede's fifth film and ditching the rest.
  • Vindicated by Cable: The first movie barely made more than its budget at the American box-office (though made an extra $30 million worldwide). However, it was a huge hit on video and also did well on TV, leading to the sequels and the TV series.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original shooting script for the first film had multiple changes from the finished film, including:
      • There were six Graboids in the valley, with four initially poking around Perfection instead of two, and two of the Perfection quartet joining Stumpy in the climactic "stampede". The final film reduced the total to four, with Stumpy's last two surviving companions being cut.
      • Walter Chang originated as a Vietnamese man named Phan Vam, who was rewritten into Walter after Victor Wong (who was, of course, Chinese) did the best audition and was cast.
      • An old woman named Viola lived in Perfection and hired Val and Earl to empty her septic tank; she and her yappy dog were both later eaten by Graboids. The pair was ultimately cut, and the tank was owned by Walter Chang instead.
      • Lines were included explaining that Melvin's parents were out in Vegas at the time of the film's events.
    • Had a second season of the series come to pass such proposed developments would've included: more about the origins of Mixmaster; Mixmaster-affected bugs that eat only rubber; Burt trying his hand at online dating and meeting someone... only to learn it's Nancy; Larry taking more of a role in helping defend the town; and Rosalita revealed to have a shady past that led to her coming to Perfection under false pretenses (she was not Miguel's real niece, but an impostor). There was also a proposed appearance by Mindy's father, an ex-rocker (Nancy had been one of his groupies back in the day).
    • Concepts for a TV series were developed during production of Aftershocks. This series would've cast Val and Earl as monster hunters facing a variety of creatures. Some of the details are available here. Of interest, El Blanco, the Killer Shrimp from "Water Hazard" and the "fly fishing" method from "Blast from the Past" were originated there. The original version also included an arboreal octopus, which was slated to appear in the second season of "The Series" as a Mixmaster mutant, but the episode was never made due to the series cancelation.
    • A proposed fifth movie would've been another Sequel Goes Foreign, with Burt traveling to Australia. This one has now happened... albeit substitute Africa for Australia.
    • A new TV series starring Kevin Bacon as Valentine McKee, set twenty-five years after the original Graboid incursion, was in development and even had a pilot filmed, but SyFy passed on it.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Tremors Wiki.
  • Working Title: The film was originally called Land Sharks. This was changed to avoid confusion with the Saturday Night Live sketch. The screenplay was titled Beneath Perfection.
  • Written-In Absence: Filming on Tremors 4 coincided with the TV series, so Burt couldn't appear in the last two episodes (going by production order). In "The Sounds of Silence," he is said to be in Idaho, buying a periscope at a scrapyard. In "The Key," he's off in Montana on a commando weekend. ("The Key" did feature a clip of Burt's survival video playing in the store, but it was reused from a previous episode.)

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