Guest critic and self-described Tremors fan Cisco Davis Jr. joins us for a look at the new direct-to-video sequel to the long-running franchise, Tremors 5: Bloodlines.
Tremors 5: Bloodlines continues the horror/comedy franchise when doomsday-prepper and survivalist Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) is hired to fend off an Assblaster sighted in Africa. Yes, “Assblaster” is the real name of the type of the monsters in this film. For this rodeo, Burt is teamed up with the wise-cracking, extreme sports nut Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy) in a lackluster action, horror and comedy mash-up that leaves you with a bad aftertaste.
The Tremors franchise has always been near and dear to my heart, with the original Tremors film being my favorite film of all time. The series has been known for focusing these monster attacks around a protagonist and a sidekick to help foster a lot of the comedy, and since the original it seems that each new sidekick gets dumber and dumber. It’s just not funny. Bloodlines reached absolute zero with the idiot sidekick meme in Jamie Kennedy’s portrayal of Travis Welker.
Filming on location in Africa is probably this film’s biggest accomplishment.
Bloodlines also falls short of capturing the quirky and fun “adventure” aspect of the first couple films, and many times solutions to problems are spoon-fed to the protagonists and textbook plot twists are seen coming from light years away. Ultimately, the series has strayed so far away from what made it fantastic in the first place that I don’t know what it would take to fix it, save a complete reboot (BLASPHEMY!). Even Michael Gross at times looked like he was out of it and secretly pondering “what the hell am I doing here?”
Throughout the course of Bloodlines you might find yourself distracted by the blatant ripping-off of shots, scenes and sequences from other movies. Chalk them up to being an homage to other films, but in my opinion if they just focused on making a Tremors film instead of Jurassic Park, Tomb Raider and the Hunger Games maybe Tremors 5 would’ve turned out more enjoyable. The CGI Assblasters and Graboids look good in comparison to their practical counterparts from previous films but they are shown so much by the film’s end that they look far too cheesy for their own good. Bloodlines looks, feels, and smells like your typical run-of-the-mill B-horror movie that you’ll catch on Syfy while channel surfing. I think that’s what they were aiming for … so I really shouldn’t complain.
The Blu-ray’s picture and sound quality is top notch and comes bundled with a DVD and a Digital HD copy of the film. The Bonus Features include Deleted and Extended Scenes (which actually helped understand at least one instance of a “WTF” moment in the film), Outtakes, and a Tremors 5: Behind the Bloodlines featurette. I will admit that the behind-the-scenes featurette and the outtakes really helped save face for this film. As much as I hated Jamie Kennedy’s portrayal of Burt’s sidekick, he was pretty funny in the blooper reel. Should’ve just stuck to the script though …
A review copy of Tremors 5: Bloodlines was generously provided by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.