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Tremors 4: The Legend Begins
Official release poster
Directed byS. S. Wilson
Screenplay byScott Buck
Story byBrent Maddock
S. S. Wilson
Nancy Roberts
Based onCharacters by
S. S. Wilson
Brent Maddock
Ron Underwood
Produced byNancy Roberts
Starring
CinematographyVirgil L. Harper
Edited byHarry B. Miller III
Music byJay Ferguson
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures Home Entertainment
Release date
  • January 2, 2004 (2004-01-02)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5 million

Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (also known as Tremors 4 or Tremors: The Legend Begins) is a 2004 direct-to-video horror Western film directed by S. S. Wilson and written by Brent Maddock, Nancy Roberts, and Wilson. It is the fourth film in the Tremors series of films and released on DVD on January 2, 2004. As a prequel to the earlier films and television series, it depicts the town of Rejection, which is the location that would later be renamed Perfection, the main setting for the first Tremors film. It stars Michael Gross as Hiram Gummer, the great grandfather of the character Burt Gummer, who Gross portrayed in every other Tremors film.

Prim East Coast dandy Hiram Gummer (Gross) arrives in the fictional town of Rejection, Nevada, to investigate a series of strange deaths at the silver mine he owns. Receiving help from local innkeeper Christine Lord (Botsford) and miner Juan Pedilla (Roam), Gummer finds out that gigantic killer worm-like graboids that can burrow underground are responsible for the miners' deaths. Hiram decides to recruit expert gunslinger Black Hand Kelly (Billy Drago) to save the day. However, the graboids grow larger, and the people of Rejection decide to kill them before they reach Carson City.

Plot

In 1889, the inhabitants of Rejection are completely dependent on the income from a nearby silver mine. One day, water from a hot spring causes graboid eggs to hatch, resulting in the death of 17 miners. Hiram Gummer, great-grandfather of Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) and the mine's owner, arrives in town to assess the situation. After juvenile graboids that can shoot out of the ground (later dubbed Dirt Dragons) attack his camp one night, he is shocked by their presence. One of his companions, Juan, kills one with a pickaxe, and the pair escapes while two others accompanying them are killed.

Inexperienced with and not fond of firearms, Hiram puts out a call for a gunfighter, to which Black Hand Kelly (Billy Drago) responds. Hiram and Kelly do not get along well, though Kelly succeeds in conveying to Hiram some of his attitude towards firearms and life in general. Hiram, Juan and Kelly discover that a total of four graboids have hatched, including the one Juan killed earlier. Kelly is later eaten alive by a now fully grown graboid. Hiram decides to abandon Rejection and tries to convince the townsfolk to do the same, but they refuse to leave their homes. They also force him to give them the silver mine, threatening to alert potential buyers to the danger if he sells it out from under them. In Carson City, Hiram learns of a telegram revealing that the fully grown graboids have made it through the pass and are headed for the town. Changing his mind, he buys weapons with the last of his valuable belongings, heads back to Rejection to lead a last stand against the graboids, and helps the town ready itself.

After two graboids are killed, the third one adapts and avoids all of the traps. Hiram tricks it into coming to the surface and then attaches it by the tail to the flywheel of a steam traction engine. The graboid is reeled in and slammed against the front wheels and boiler with such force that it is explosively decapitated on impact. With the creatures dead, the town decides to keep them secret out of fear that no one would settle in the area if their existence were known, and use the proceeds from the mine to pay for their belongings. Hiram settles in Rejection (renamed Perfection), building his home in the same place where his great-grandson Burt's would one day be. He is also given a Colt 1865 Gatling gun and begins target practice, enjoying it.

Cast

Reception

Tremors 4: The Legend Begins received mostly mixed reception from fans of the franchise. In a retrospective essay on direct-to-video horror sequels, Gavin Al-Asif for the Houston Chronicle wrote that "[Tremors 4] is noticeably better than [Tremors 3] in certain aspects, but also noticeably worse in others," critiquing the film for its unconvincing effects and hokey acting while praising the film for its fun characters, often clever humor, and western setting.

Browser game

A browser game tie-in called Dirt Dragons was created to market the film and released on January 2, 2004. The game concept, development, and programming was done by the Stampede Entertainment webmaster Allan Krahl.[1][2]

The game starts off with the premise that the town Rejection, Nevada hires an experienced gunman to eliminate Graboids. The player has a selection of guns. The Sharps 1874 Buffalo Rifle, Henry 1860, Colt Peacemaker, and the Punt Gun. The Sharps has the most range and is the second most powerful but has one bullet that takes a small amount of time to reload. The Henry 1860 has 16 bullets, low-moderate damage, and a fast fire rate but takes around 30 seconds to reload. The Peacemaker has poor range and damage but an extremely fast fire rate with six bullets loaded that takes around 30 seconds to reload and is considered a last resort weapon. The Punt Gun has the most destructive power but only at close range while taking over a minute to reload a single shot. The objective is to kill advancing graboids that pop up while getting closer and strategize on how to conserve ammo to kill others. As a certain number is killed, the player advances to the next level which increases the amount by one for number of graboids that pop up on-screen, with a total of four levels. If all else fails to kill them, press space. If the player loses, they will be greeted with a Graboid tentacle and be eaten, ending the game.[3]

The official game site has since been discontinued, but the game is still available on other sites.[4]

References

  1. ^ "About The Game". DirtDragons. Stampede Entertainment. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  2. ^ Green, Paul. (2009). Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns: Supernatural and Science Fiction Elements in Novels, Pulps, Comics, Films, Television, and Games. McFarland. p. 211. ISBN 9780786458004
  3. ^ "Play Dirt Dragons". www.dirtdragons.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  4. ^ "Dirt Dragons Game". www.playfg.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.