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Monday, April 15, 2024

Tremors 2: Aftershocks (Limited Edition) (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


Graboids return in Mexican oil fields and Earl Bassett, a hero of the last invasion, must help bring them to heel with the help of a group of his friends.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Tremors 2: Aftershocks returned as a sequel six years after the original film, sans Kevin Bacon. The original creative team returned for this sequel to 1990’s Tremors that set off a franchise of films no one was really clamoring for. The Graboids return in a story that finds once-heralded Earl Basset (Fred Ward) who helped save the town of Perfection, Nevada from the invasion and survivalist Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) teaming up to take down the creepy creatures once again when they turn up in the soil of Mexican oil fields.

Earl has not been doing well since helping Perfection, Nevada. His ostrich farm is not going well since he cannot get his birds to breed. Eager for money, he is willing to take on a job in Sonora, Mexico battling the Graboids who are feasting on the oil workers. At a bounty of $50,000 a head, it is a job Earl cannot turn down. With the help of a gorgeous geologist (Helen Shaver) and a new hapless sidekick (Christopher Gartin), plus his old friend, survivalist Burt Gummer (Michael Gross), Earl takes on the creatures, and wild, dangerous, hilarity ensues.

This sequel to the creature feature B-movie throwback does not quite live up to its predecessor in terms of the cohesion of the story or even the comedy. The lack of Kevin Bacon returning also deprives the film of one of its most nuanced actors. That said, there are still lots of fun and laughs and the visual effects – using CGI for the first time – are generally in keeping with the first film. The twist in how the Graboids behave is a big change that makes this second entry a little more interesting.

  • Chris Gartin and Fred Ward in Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)
  • Chris Gartin and Fred Ward in Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)
  • Tremors 2: Aftershocks 4K Ultra HD (Arrow _AV539)
  • Tremors 2: Aftershocks 4K Ultra HD (Arrow _AV539)
  • Tremors 2: Aftershocks 4K Ultra HD (Arrow _AV539)

The Video

Tremors 2: Aftershocks is a new 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director S.S. Wilson. The film is presented in its 1.85:1 OAR in an HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. The Dolby Vision grading adds lots of brightness and color vibrancy in the enumerable outdoors, daylight scenes. Flesh tones can look just a tad too reddish, but it is a minor issue when one sees the vivid blue skies and stunning primary colors. Grain structure is crispy, with a relatively dense grain and sharp detail, although some frames look a little soft with coarser grain.

The Audio

The original 4.0 and 2.0 mixes are included in DTS-HD Master Audio. The 4.0 mix, likely from the original DTS-Stereo mix, is dynamic and has good ambience in the surround channels. There is some distortion in sound effects and occasionally on louder dialogue passages, but it is generally clean. The 2.0 mix sounds similar, but obviously flatter and less ambient.

The Supplements

Tremors 2: Aftershocks gets Arrow’s premium, limited edition packaging and included collectible content. There are two new audio commentaries and a number of featurettes with interviews and more.

Limited Edition Contents:

  • Illustrated perfect bound booklet featuring new writing by Jonathan Melville on the Tremors 2 scripts that never got made, and Dave Wain & Matty Budrewicz on the history of Universal’s DTV sequel division
  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank
  • Small fold-out poster featuring new Shrieker X-ray art by Matt Frank
  • Limited Edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank

Bonus Features:

  • New feature commentary by director/co-writer S.S. Wilson and co-producer Nancy Roberts
  • New feature commentary by Jonathan Melville, author of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors
  • Graboid Go Boom with Peter Chesney (1080p; 00:19:44) – Newly filmed for Arrow Video in 2023, special effects designer and second unit director Peter Chesney looks back on the making of Tremors 2: Aftershocks.
  • Critical Need-to-Know Information with Phil Tippett (1080p; 00:07:24) – Newly filmed for Arrow Video in 2023, visual effects legend Phil Tippett looks back on the CGI effects in Tremors 2: Aftershocks, one of Tippett Studio’s first projects in the digital realm.
  • The Making of Tremors 2 (1080p/60; 00:08:43) – A short promotional featurette produced by Universal Studios upon the film’s release, featuring on-set footage and interviews with cast and crew.
  • Outtakes (1080p; 00:07:45)
  • Trailers:
    • Tremors (1080p; 00:01:55)
    • Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1080p; 00:01:53)
  • Image Gallery (1080p)

The Final Assessment

This disc looks good. It maybe gets a little boring saying that about Arrow releases, but it is true. Excellent colors and little to no source damage, with an organic, filmic appearance. That said, the film itself is not as good as the original but there is still something here to enjoy and pass the time with as a popcorn flick.

Tremors 2: Aftershocks (Limited Edition) is out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray November 28, 2023, from Arrow Video

  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for sci-fi creature violence and gore)
  • Studios & Distributors: MCA/Universal Pictures | Stampede Entertainment | Arrow Video
  • Director: S.S. Wilson
  • Written By: Brent Maddock | S.S. Wilson | Ron Underwood
  • Run Time: 100 Mins.
  • Street Date: 28 November 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 4.0
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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Graboids return in Mexican oil fields and Earl Bassett, a hero of the last invasion, must help bring them to heel with the help of a group of his friends.Tremors 2: Aftershocks (Limited Edition) (4K UHD Review)