And this time, Val’s out of the picture. He got hitched to Rhonda between the first and second movie, so sorry Kevin Bacon fans! You’re out of luck. Fred Ward is back as Earl Bassett, and accompanying him on his second thrilling journey is the obnoxious and energetic Grady Hoover, played perfectly by Christopher Gartin. This time around, the Graboids pose an entirely different threat to an entirely different area, so keep up, okay?
Earl lost most of the money he made discovering Graboids on an ostrich farm and several other stupid investments, and so he’s a few steps away from living the dream. Senor Ortega, a client from the Petromaya Oil Fields, arrives with Grady Hoover in tow to ask Earl to hunt the Graboids that have been terrorizing his field. Earl, petrified that Graboids aren’t extinct, refuses. That is, until Grady tells him that the oil company will pay $50,000 for every one of the buggers killed, and double that if one can be caught alive. Earl scoffs at the idea of bagging a live one, and heads off the to fields with Grady.
They meet Pedro, the company’s chief engineer, and Kate Reilly, a geologist. Julio, another worker for the company, brings them a seismic monitoring device to help them catch Graboids. Grady provides a chain with cans on it. You know, to hook up to the back of the truck and make noise and… yeah. After a successful hunt, a Graboid snags the chain and takes the two on a merry ride. This happens to draw a whole shitload of other tunneling beasties, so Earl enlists the help of Burt Gummer.
Heather left Burt since the last movie, so he shows up alone with a military truck full of high-powered explosives and oodles of other fun gadgets. The hunting resumes and goes well, until Earl and Grady stumble upon a Graboid that tries to run away from them. They chase it into a small ridge, and accidentally trash their truck when it startles them by breaking the surface. Hours later, they hear it making terrible noises, then return to find that something had busted out from inside it.
Their luck proves to be horrible, as Pedro was called to pick them up, yet his car careened to an ominous stop half a mile from their position. A quick investigation reveals a pair of arms and a destroyed car engine. A long walk to the radio tower reveals more trashes equipment. How the hell would Graboid know to do that? Or maybe it wasn’t Graboids at all… When they finally make it back to the refinery, they find a bunch of tiny little biped creatures that look oddly like Graboids, only smaller. Earl blows them to hell without a second thought. Burt, on the other hand, is ambushed on his way back to the refinery after the radio towers go down.
When everyone gets back together, they begin to hatch a plan to wipe out the newly dubbed Shriekers once and for all. That’s as much of the synopsis as I’ll give you, so if you want to juicy spoilers, you have to see for yourself.
In regards to quality, Tremors 2: Aftershocks is actually a step up from Tremors. A sequel that kicks more ass than the original. Isn’t that something? The humor’s goofy and great, the tone never dips to dark, and the acting is just right. Not too serious, not too corny. All in all, a kick-ass second installment to the cult classic, Tremors. Check it out.
TV Guides has a lovely little review that gives you a shorter layout of what to expect from Tremors 2. Have a look and see what someone other than me thinks about this slice of cinematic wonder: http://movies.tvguide.com/tremors-2-aftershocks/review/131534