Remember when Sci-Fi was actually good? Remember when you looked forward to that next Sci-Fi creature film that you saw on the TV or on a trailer at the theater? Remember when you actually wanted to see them no matter how corny they were? Well this film don’t back at the end of the 80’s and beginning of the 90’s will take you back to those days. There are no CGI effects in this film but instead are the classic tricks and special effects that made moves of that time so good. Sure you might see a wire or two now and then but does it really matter? This film invites you to get invested in the characters, if gives you a story that you can follow easily so that you can just sit back and enjoy it. It isn’t complicated, there are no emo vampires or space aliens with identity issues, it is simply man versus a freak of nature and how they can overcome it. It is fun, witty and even comedic at times but still a classical horror sci-fy creature film that is going to excite and delight you.
Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are two handy men in the little desert town of Perfection which is thirty some odd miles out of Bixpy Nevada. Perfection Valley which the town is in is surrounded by rock walls and cliffs making it a totally isolated place. The residence of Perfection are a hearty bunch that have either lived their all their lives or came there to get away from it all. In Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) case it was to get totally off the grid and prepare for the end of the world. A survivalist nut that thinks the government are going to take everyone’s land and give them nothing in return. At the beginning of the film we find Valentine and Earl working out in the dry desolate ranges repairing barbed wire fences for the local rancher. They will do just about any job as long as they are paid for it as they argue and bicker with each other while they do it. They are getting feed up with the town and when they get showered with septic tank goo they pack their things and run for the hills. They are going to get out of the valley and back to Bixby just as fast as they can. The only problem is that the new wildlife of the valley is not going to let them get away that easily.
Just when they think that they have it made with clear sailing they find Edgar (Sunshine Parker) up on an electrical tower dead. They don’t know what to make of it so they take him down and go see the only doctor in the valley. Dr. Jim (Conrad Bachmann) tell Val and Earl that the man died of thirst. The two men can not understand why a man would stay up in the girders of the electrical tower for several days and not get down. While trying to figure it out they come across the farm of Old Fred (Michael Dan Wagner) with all the sheep tore up. While looking for him they find his hat, under it is Old Fred’s head. They are scared and want to get the hell out of the valley and try to make a run for pass to Bixpy only to find that the road is completely blocked off by a rock slide. Things just keep getting weirder and weirder in the valley of Perfection. They even find the Doc’s car completely buried in the dirt with barely it’s headlights sticking out.
It is on the way back to town that they find out what is truly going on as the horses that they are on (I know I didn’t tell you how they got them, see the movie and find out how) get attacked by tentacles that are coming out of the ground. They think they are some kind of giant snakes at first till the ground starts to swell up underneath them. They start running like hell for their lives and jump a concrete ravine and the creature smashes into the wall of it killing itself. As they are trying to figure out what it is the grad student Rhonda LeBeck (Finn Carter) happens upon them to ask if they have noticed anything weird in the last few minutes. She is out in the desert doing seismographic studies for college and is seeing all sorts of anomalous readings. Just as the three think that the threat is over Rhonda looks at her graphs and charts and tells Earl and Val that there are still probably three more Graboids, that is what Walter Chang (Victor Wong) named them, still in the valley. Fearing what might be coming they see the ground start to move in the distance and run for the large rocks that are all over the valley floor. It is the one thing that the Graboids are unable to travel through and they now see why it is that Edgar never got down out of the tower. The graboids (designed by Tom Woodruff Jr.) don’t just leave, they wait for you to come down from where you are safe. They will wait until you are dead before they will leave or until they can sense some other food source that would be easier to get.
This film has a lot of drama in it but is also an action packed adventure with thrills along the way. The humor that Val and Earl add in with their one liners are classic and will give you a laugh or two along the way. Even though this is a horror film it is one that the whole family can enjoy, even if it is over 20 years old. So ignore the wires that you might see that didn’t get edited out, remember the film has no CGI, and sit back and just enjoy this classic. It is the way horror films should be made with a bit of humor and a lot of suspense to keep you wondering what might happen next.
I give this film a Musing review of