Tonight I watched Tremors (1990) again for the first time in a long time. I really liked it the first time around, but seeing it now is like seeing it in a new light. The cast is good. I especially like Fred Ward, and he plays his part perfectly. He reminds me of guys I have known in real life, in the military or doing other kinds of physical work. Michael Gross and Reba McEntire are great as the heavily armed survivalist couple. The scene in the basement of their bunker is hilarious in its excess, and the punchline is priceless.
I realized something as I was watching Tremors this time around, though. The movie takes place out in the middle of nowhere, or in B.F.E., as people in the military put it. There isn't a city, a suburb, or even an exurb in sight. There are no coffee bars, no microbreweries, no artisanal this or handcrafted that. Nobody works in media, or entertainment, or government, or higher education. They all work with their hands, making ends meet as they can. There aren't any elites to save them from anything or to instruct them on how they must live. In Perfection, Nevada, the cluster of buildings in which Tremors takes place, college degrees are scarce, but everybody has a gun. In short, almost everybody in the movie is a deplorable, or what used to be called a bitter clinger. Towards the end they even get into the back of an old semi-trailer, as close as there is to a basket in the film. My realization--more a question--is this: Who do leftists, or liberals, or progressives, or whatever they call themselves, root for in a movie? They can't possibly bring themselves to root for a bunch of high school graduates living with guns and knowhow out in some horrifyingly remote, backwards place. So who do they root for?
Copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley