Thirty years later and “Tremors” has become one of the longest lasting horror comedy franchises out there. From its cult classic original to endless sequels, short lived series, and notable attempt to reboot it with original star Kevin Bacon, “Tremors” promises to keep powering through for a long time. This year Arrow Video unleashed a special edition of the 1990 monster movie classic on Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD, and it compelled me to list five of my favorite monster movies of the 1990’s.
Feel free to let us know what some of your favorites are below!
Honorable Mention/s: Kraa! The Sea Monster (1998), Lake Placid (1998)
5. Mosquito (1994)
Gary Jones’s monster comedy is another of those so-bad-its-damn-good movies that mixes the nature run amok sub-genre with science fiction. This time normal mosquitoes are turned in to behemoth predators after on alien blood after an alien ship crashes in the woods. This leaves some park rangers and on the run criminals to fend them off as best as they can. “Mosquito” has a ton of great schlocky gore and grue with a sharp sense of humor. There’s also the late great Gunnar Hansen wielding a chainsaw to do battle with giant mosquitoes in the action packed climax. It’s a tough flick to beat as perfect late night movie watching with some beers and chips.
4. Anaconda (1997)
Yes, it’s silly, and cheesy and generally looked down upon, but I have a fondness for “Anaconda.” The so bad it’s great movie about giant CGI snakes terrorizing a documentary crew in the jungle is so much schlocky fun. It has goofy effects, a weird premise, and garners a great cast including Ice Cube, pre-fame Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer, Eric Stoltz, Danny Trejo, and of course, pre-fame Jennifer Lopez at the height of my sheer obsession with her at the age of fourteen. I was so absolutely in love with her from 1995 to 1999.
3. The Relic (1997)
“The Relic” is still a balls to the wall action horror film with a unique monster, to this day. I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention since its release in 1997 as it’s considered a small classic but isn’t as celebrated as it should be. “The Relic” centers on a scientist who is transformed in to a shape shifting monster that makes its way to a city museum. During the opening night of a gala, the monster begins to wreak havoc, and now it’s up to a young scientist and police officer to stop it once and for all. “The Relic” is a rampaging monster movie with a ton of surprises, and holds up damn well, even in the age of CGI.
2. Jurassic Park (1993)
Still considered a masterpiece among genre fans despite its inherent flaws, “Jurassic Pack” is a marvel of science fiction and adventure cinema. Spielberg’s intense and exciting throwback to “Westworld” pits scientists against genetically revived dinosaurs in a futuristic theme park. This yet another hybrid filled with laughs, scares, suspense, and special effects that have aged very well, and still look great on screen. It also set off the wave of dinosaur fever in the decade with a slew of knock offs, and some great dino themed pop culture.
1. Tremors (1990)
Despite being PG-13, the movie sets a high bar for the rating with some pretty gnarly moments of carnage, all with the table dressing of a unique movie monster. “Tremors” is a giant monster movie with an adventure aesthetic in where two handymen find themselves fighting giant ground burrowing man eating worms (known as “Graboids”) in a small town in the middle of the desert. “Tremors” has it all from action, comedy, suspense, horror, romance, and characters that we genuinely care for. There are also some excellent action scenes including a pole vaulting escape, dynamite fishing, and a face off with a Graboid, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, and a room filled with fire arms. While the sequels never quite lived up to the potential that the original film set, “Tremors” is a mini-masterpiece in its own league.