The stakes are raised for survivalist Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) in his most dangerous monster hunt yet. When Gummer's hired to capture a deadly Assblaster terrorizing South Africa, he and his new sidekick, Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy), find themselves in a battle to the death against the fiercely aggressive Assblasters and Graboids. Discovering that the monsters have evolved into even more lethal creatures, their mission takes on a whole new level of unseen terror -- far more than they bargained for.
Yes, we live in a world where we have five 'Tremors' movies, all star Michael Gross as Burt Gummer (the dad from 'Family Ties'), and that's a good thing. When the first 'Tremors' film came out in 1990, it starred Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward along with Michael Gross and his onscreen wife Reba McEntire, where the few citizens of a town called Perfection had to deal with giant, human eating alien worms that would travel quickly underground. 'Tremors' became almost an instant cult classic due to its comedic silliness and genuinely fun thrills.
Twenty-five years later, we are on movie number five, which still stars Gross, who has been a staple in each and every 'Tremors' film since part one. The other actors have not shown up quite as much in the direct-to-video sequels. Over the years, we've seen Michael Gross or his character Burt Gummer mow these monsters down with his endless supply of weaponry. As the film franchise has continued over the years, so has the evolution of the giant alien worms, known as the Graboids, or now known as the Ass-Blasters. I'm not making that up.
We've seen these creatures crawl up from under the ground and even swoop down from the sky to kill the innocent human characters we've seen in each move. We even see them squirt fire from their rear-ends, hence the Ass-Blaster name. You can't expect much from this fifth installment, although, it might be the best looking and most entertaining film since the first movie twenty-five years ago, due to Gross's commitment to his character. Make no mistake about it, 'Bloodlines' is all about Michael Gross vs. the Graboids and it's solid gold fun, no matter how cheesy and over-the-top it may get.
Nowadays, Burt Gummer has his own survivalist reality show, as he films his encounters and utter destruction of the Graboids for better ratings. He crosses paths with a guy named Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy) who thinks Gummer's charm and wit could push him to the top of the networks. They team up and work together when they are soon told about a new Ass-Blaster in South Africa. As quickly as you can say Kevin Bacon, Gummer and Welker are off to South Africa, which looks a lot like their old town of Perfection. Once there, the duo seems to get more than what they bargained for, in that these Ass-Blasters are hell-bent on taking out Gummer and anyone close to him. It's like they remember all the past Graboids he has killed, and yet I still laugh.
'Bloodlines' is focused and centered at all times, and knows exactly the type of movie it wants to be, which is again, Burt Gummer destroying the Ass-Blasters, and it does a great job at that. Gross has fully entrenched himself in this character, which is why this fifth film works so well. It's so much fun to watch him yell and shoot guns at these monsters from start to finish. There are some fun gore scenes, one-liners, and even a bit of character development to move this fast-paced story into the next level. I know we've all heard the rumors that Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward want to come back for a big reunion film, but until then, Michael Gross is perfectly capable of holding down the fort until that happens. Here's hoping for a sixth film.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Tremors 5: Bloodlines' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray that is Region-A locked along with a DVD version of the film and a digital copy. All are housed in a blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. There is no insert for the film.
'Tremors 5: Bloodlines' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Overall the image doesn't have a total digital look, which is good, but rather a fine balance in between something that looks filmic and something of the digital age. For being a low budget movie, this video presentation is quite good. The detail is very vivid and sharp, showcasing the South African fields quite nicely in the background, giving the image some good depth.
Closeups reveal excellent facial features, such as every beard hair on our two main actors as well as all the blood and guts of the Graboids. It all looks very good. The colors pop off screen as well and are all well balanced and saturated. There are no muted colors or saturation problems of any kind here. The black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are always natural and smooth. There is tiny bit of video noise that shows up from time to time, but it's barely noticeable. Other than that, there were no other compression problems, leaving this fifth 'Tremors' film with a top notch video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds great. It also comes with a few other DTS 5.1 options in other languages. This is the kind of soundscape you want with a movie like this. Each sound effect is powerful and full of energy. Each gunshot, bite, chomp, fly-by, and explosion is incredible, and uses the full array of the speaker system with excellent directionality. The smaller ambient noises are robust as well. Needless to say the surround speakers will get a great workout here, as everything is loud and full, but never at a rocky level.
The score always adds to the mood and tone of the film, whether it be a dramatic element or a bit of comedy, and it never drowns out any of the sound effects or dialogue. Speaking of the dialogue, it's always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills. There is a good amount of bass as well that always adds to the suspense. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is rather wide for this sort of release, leaving this audio presentation with great marks.
'Tremors 5': Behind the Bloodlines (HD, 9 Mins.) - Here we have a better than average promo reel for the film with interviews and a behind the scenes look at the film franchise, the characters, this particular production, and the themes of the story. Decent extra.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 11 Mins.) - Just a random group of deleted scenes with no rhyme or reason, let alone scene names.
Outtakes (HD, 7 Mins.) - A generous portion of flubbed lines, mussed cues, laughter, and jokes.
'Tremors 5: Bloodlines' is a fun and entertaining addition to the 'Tremors' movie franchise. Michael Gross has definitely stepped up to the plate and owns this character. He's so much fun to watch kill the Graboids and Ass-Blasters day in and day out. What's so good about this film, other than Gross and how well made it is, is that it knows exactly the type of film it wants to be, and never strays from that. The video and audio presentations are both excellent, but the extras could have been a bit better. Still, if you're a fan of 'Tremors', don't think twice about picking up this highly entertaining film.