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June 14, 2010

Random Horror Throwdown - Tremors vs. Rogue

OK, just take a look at the two posters below. If this were an Arnold Schwarzenegger film from the late '80s, I believe the one-liner would be "DALK ABOT AN UNDAHBITE!" (You know, because there's stuff coming up from below...and it's got teeth and looks mean...and...well, you know.) Point is, we've got monsters attacking all over your unders in this week's Random Horror Throwdown!


The Movies:

(1990, Dir. by Ron Underwood.)
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Victor Wong.
IMDB Synopsis: A small town gradually becomes aware of a strange creature which picks off people one by one. But what is this creature, and where is it? At the same time, a seismologist is working in the area, she detects _tremors_. The creature lives underground, and can 'pop up' without warning. Trapped in their town, the town-folk have no escape. (
Note from The Mike: This is one of the few times I've ever seen underscores and apostrophes used for effect. As someone who also _abuses_ punctuation, I 'approve'.)

Rogue (2007, Dir. by Greg Mclean.)
Starring: Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington.
IMDB Synopsis: An American journalist on assignment in the Australian outback encounters a man-eating crocodile. (Note from The Mike: Yup. That about does it.)

The Directors:
Ron Underwood hit his peak of popularity with Tremors and 1991's City Slickers, never making a huge impact after. He shows a lot of competence in these two films, but nothing really shines. Greg Mclean, on the other hand, has impressed me greatly through two films. His first feature, Wolf Creek, was unfairly panned by many - but I've always felt like it's one of the more effective films to come out of the "torture porn" movement of the mid decade. Rogue is even more impressive, and it's a film who's style I often compare to Jaws. Thus, I'm going with Mclean and awarding the first point to Rogue. (1-0, Rogue leads.)

The Casts:

Everyone loves Kevin Bacon. Everyone knows Kevin Bacon. But no one really knows why. Seriously, off the top of your head, what's Kevin Bacon's most popular movie. Don't say this one, and don't say Friday the 13th. A Few Good Men? That's not a Kevin Bacon movie, really. Flatliners? Sleepers? The Air Up There? OK, I'll give you Footloose. But I'm honestly confused as to how this guy is so well known. Anyway, he's in Tremors. So is the awesome Fred Ward, and the awesome Victor Wong of Big Trouble in Little China and Prince of Darkness. (It was seriously easier for me to think of two Victor Wong movies than it was to think of two Kevin Bacon movies.)

Rogue's got Michael Vartan, who I think I like even though I can't name anything he's in, and Radha Mitchell and Sam Worthington, who are kind of in everything. But Victor Wong's in John Carpenter movies, and thus I'm giving the point to Tremors. (1-1.)

The Plots:
I love movies about giant crocs/gators/snakes/etc. in the jungle/swamp/etc. They're just so fun. Heck, I even liked parts of Primeval that weren't Brooke Langton's cuteness. I even liked Anaconda 2. I get the point. (By the way, was I the only person that had NO IDEA Primeval was a movie about a crocodile when it came out? That was possibly the most poorly marketed horror film of the last decade, and there have been some VERY poorly marketed horror films in the last decade.)

But Tremors is just so unique. It's got Graboids, man. Are they less real than a giant croc? Yup. Are they more fun? Yup. Tremors gets the point. (2-1, Tremors leads.)

I've always fathomed The Blob killing (and hopefully not chilling) in a desert or in a swamp. Which one sounds more fun?
Look, The Blob is a natural desert dweller, considering its only weakness. But I've always thought deserts are kinda boring. The Blob would munch on scorpions, cacti, weird naked indians, etc. That's dull.

Blob vs. Swamp Thing? That's freaking epic. Rogue has swampiness, Rogue makes me think of that battle, Rogue gets a point. (2-2.)

My Experience With The Films:
I really, really dig Rogue. It's as tense a natural horror as has been made in many, many years. I've seen it 3-4 times already, and even shown it to friends for a few smiles. Tremors is perhaps not as proficient, at least in technical terms, but it's so darn memorable. It's a perfect "party horror" flick too, which I always love.This Choice is Like:
I was a big fan of the WWF as a kid, and one of their all time great "throwdowns" occurred at Wrestlemania 3 between "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Both men were among the greatest of their generation, but on that day Steamboat prevailed due to his techinical edge over Savage.

BUT, Steamboat's success in that match never really got him over in the WWF, and it was Savage - who had failed technically on that day - who ended up becoming a WWF Champion, Slim Jim spokesman, and all-around superstar.

Rogue is technically fantastic. But in the long run, I've got the feeling Tremors will always be the more important film to me. So, despite my confusion over Kevin Bacon and the projected Swamp Thing/Blob tie-ins, I'm gonna go with the flashier pick and give Tremors the "push" (3-2, Tremors wins.)

(Note from The Mike: Tremors 'held steady'? I was hoping it would _shake things up!_)


Christine Hadden said...

Oooh, I'm gonna side with Rogue here - I was genuinely surprised by that movie, happily I might add. Tremors has a nostalgic feel to it, and I love Kevin Bacon...but Reba's voice.. oh my! And it was on the corny side - intentionally I know, but still...

Nice post:)

R.D. Penning said...

I really really really hate Wolf Creek! It is one of my biggest pet peeves to market a movie hardcore by saying based on a true story, then having the movie have damn near nothing to do with the true story. I hate it. If they would have marketed it as just another horror movie, I might have been able to see it as mediocre, but they didn't. Ok, rants over, haha. I did feel that Mclean redeemed himself with Rogue, as it was a badass movie. They still marketed it as based on a true story, but they didn't market it as hard. Not too mention the Giant Croc earns it some points. Overall I would have given the same result, as Tremors will always remain in my top ten horror series of all time, and they are still going! New one out this year!!! haha. Great job Mike!

Jose Cruz said...

Damn, I haven't seen Rogue at all and Tremors was viewed on my small television screen back in grade school! This post has got me yearning to dig into some giant monster mayhem. It sounds like these two are going to need some discovering/rediscovring. Thanks for this!

Extra points for mentioning my man Savage! Oh yeeeeeah!

Jinx said...

Cool. I really enjoyed Rogue, I do love water based toothsome creatures attacking movies, but I think Tremors still wins it for me.

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

Sorry, I had to delete my last comment, because there were too many errors in it!! It would have bothered me the whole day- stupid OCD!!

Tough battle! I think Rogue would probably have won this one for me, although I really enjoy Tremors. I did not have the pleasure of seeing Tremors in my youth, (I know, I have no excuse!!), so while I enjoy it, it does not have any nostalgic factor for me, which I feel is important for many people. Rogue of course does not have any nostalgic factor either, so these two are on the same level for me in terms of my experience with them. I loved the tension that Rogue was able to produce for me, and maybe it was scarier imo, and had more impact, because realistically it would probably be more likely that I'd be terrorized by a crocodile, rather than a graboid.

venoms5 said...

ROGUE all the way for me. Never been a fan of TREMORS.

The Mike said...

Thanks for commenting all! I'm kinda surprised, in a good way, to see so much support for Rogue. Maybe a rematch someday will go in its favor.....

I Like Horror Movies said...

Rogue = teh terrible, I dont know how the films has garnered so much support over the years when it is just a nicely shot version of every other boring killer croc flick. My money is entirely on Tremors!!