31 Days of Terror: Tremors (1990)
I'd be a broken record if I keep comparing films to Jaws, but I'm sorry that movie's perfect and everything since then has been trying to re-capture that lightning in a bottle. Halloween, Cujo, and Predator all emulate Spielberg's classic, but one of its gone-but-not-forgotten progeny is Tremors. I mean, just look at the poster.
When giant underground worms, nicknamed Graboids, start attacking the small town of Perfection, Nevada, it's up to a couple of handymen named Val and Earl to stop the menace before the town is devoured from below.
One of the few movies I can quote from start to finish, Tremors is just that memorable with enough humor and action that you'll be coming back for more. There's rarely a dull moment as the film begins with the introduction of blue collar workers Val and Earl ripping on each other. The characters are vibrant and comical, and Val Kilmer and Fred Ward are like peanut butter and jelly; their charisma is so good you'd believe they were playing themselves. Other standouts include Michael Gross and Reba McEntire as Burt and Nancy Gummer, a couple of paranoid survivalists that have enough ammunition to start World War III. When they're attacked in their armory underground by a Graboid, it is a spectacle unto itself, as they unload round after round into this almost unstoppable monster.
The creature effects are really well done for such an sleeper hit. The Graboids are brought to life using only practical effects and the film works a lot like Jaws, showing the monsters as little as possible by way of POV shots and other means, but when they're on screen, they're believable. The film also plays with you at first, making you think these snake-like creatures are the villains, but they're actually just the "tongues" of the Graboids.
For a film that Kevin Bacon felt to be the lowest point of his career before its release, Tremors has become an undeniable cult classic, spawning four sequels and a TV series. Bacon's also gone on record saying that Val's the only character of all his films he'd be interesting in returning to so here's hoping something may come of that.