Tremors 3: Back to Perfection
directed by Brent Maddock
(Stampede, 2001)

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection proves that the executives at Stampede Entertainment have keenly tuned ears to the voices of the viewers. Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) takes the lead and carries it straight into the series.

The movie opens with EXTREME action. Burt is in El Chaco, Argentina, eradicating shriekers for the government. He is giving a demonstration on killing shriekers, but oddly enough, when he has finished slaughtering 100 or so, nobody is left in the immediate area to bear witness or documentation. Burt certainly knows how to clear an area. This scene will start your heart racing and the tears of laughter flowing.

Burt returns to Perfection Valley to learn a new guy, Desert Jack Sawyer (Shawn Christian), has set up a safari-type graboid tour to con tourists. While he drives them around and fakes an engine stall, his partner works the rigged fencing and dust clouds that signal a graboid attack. When customers complain about not seeing a graboid, he warns them to be thankful and points out he never promised an actual sighting.

This would be bad enough on Burt's disposition, but then he learns that someone has started a land-grab scheme. Melvin Plug (Bobby Jacoby) is now all grown up and running the land development company that is trying to turn Perfection Valley into an urban community called Perfection Valley Ranchettes. Burt is definitely not happy to see Melvin again.

It has been 11 years since the last graboid outbreak in Perfection Valley and most residents have gotten slack with their safeguards. Burt tells them to stay on their toes, but they think he's simply being paranoid. They soon learn he was right; the worms never give up. Perfection Valley faces a new outbreak with a radically changing creature. This time the worms add another step in their transformation; from shriekers, they change into huge bird-bat creatures that launch themselves into flight with a chemical reaction in their abdomens that blasts from their rears. The residents name them "assblasters." The race is on to learn how to stop these creatures, but the U.S. Department of the Interior orders a live capture so the species can be studied.

This is where the plot gets complicated enough to keep the most staunch viewer biting nails. While Burt tries to capture a live monster and save the valley from the land developer, he notes that one of the graboids did not change. It is an albino and the residents decide it must be sterile and incapable of transforming. Unfortunately, it seems to have a diehard determination to eat Burt. Can a graboid harbor a grudge?

Just when you think things could not possibly get worse, the residents figure out the Department of the Interior would like to declare the valley an "endangered critical habitat" and place El Blanco, the white graboid, under federal protection. The good news is this would keep Melvin from developing the valley. The bad news is if the federal agent decides the creature or the residents are in danger, he can order all residents to move and close the valley to humans.

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection has all the elements of a great horror movie. It has those classic moments where the monster suddenly appears and you jump halfway through the roof. It has scenes that will leave you rolling with laughter. It has romance, suspense, drama, intricately interwoven subplots and loads of action. You won't find a better movie than this for pure thrills and entertainment. But I do advise you to watch the entire trilogy in order.

by Alicia Karen Elkins

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