When I was young, my parents would take me to a movie of my choosing after the last day of school. (Yes, my parents were that awesome) There were some classics we saw (Batman), some clunkers (Tank Girl), but the most memorable movie I ever saw was Tremors. I don't exactly know why I picked it- I wasn't even a fan of "scary" movies at that age-but I'm sure glad I did. The combination of old school monster movie and comedy had an enormous effect on my movie taste and left my family with quotable lines to this day. You could argue that my desire to make a horror/comedy like Love In the Time of Monsters was born the moment I watched Tremors.
Now I assume most of you reading this blog have seen the original (it's on pretty regular rotation on cable), but if you haven't you need to go get it NOW. Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, and Egg Shen fight off subterranean monsters attacking their small desert town. And that's the thing: watching the movie later in life, I realized another reason the movie holds up so well: the characters. I KNOW these people. I have seen them driving around in my hometown. I believe Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward acting like an old married couple. I had a neighbor just like gun-hoarding Burt Gummer. It taught me that characters count, not just jokes or cheap scares. That's another reason I was drawn to LiToM: Mike worked just as hard on the characters as he did on all the other aspects.
Tremors is also a great example of low-budget filmmaking. Shot by the creators of Short Circuit on a modest $11 million, they use the lack of massive special effects to their advantage. Tone, character, humor, and an original monster is all it took to make this a classic. Our goal is to match this level of excellence with our film.
Enough talking, watch this clip! (The pan over to the gun rack is one of the all time classic shots)