Kevin Bacon fans will probably have seen Tremors even though it was filmed in 1990. This is Aliens of a different nature. Instead of outer space, these creatures live underground and can detect human life which they feed on. Kind of a cross between Alien and The Quiet Place. This movie is in the comedy horror genre and was the first in a series of Tremor movies. But where was Tremors filmed? This particular location would be the setting for many movies. So let’s talk about the story first.

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What was Tremors All About?

Tremors is a 1990 film directed by Ron Underwood. The story follows Val McKee and Earl Bassett, two small town handymen who are tasked with saving their community from giant subterranean worms, known as “Graboids.” With the help of survivalist, Burt Gummer, they discover that the deadly creatures are attracted to sound and set out to protect the town from them.

Where Was Tremors Filmed?

​​The original Tremors film was shot primarily in California, with the majority of filming taking place around Lone Pine and Olancha, both located in Inyo County. Other areas included Bishop, Independence, and Randsburg in Kern County; Cantil in Kern County; Los Angeles County; Stovepipe Wells Village in Death Valley; Red Rock Canyon State Park; and locations in Nevada.

The most memorable scenes from the movie were filmed at Marl Springs, located in Inyo County in Alabama Hills, an area that has been featured prominently in countless films and television shows including Gunga Din (1939), Iron Man (2008), and Django Unchained (2012).

Who Was In The Cast of Tremors?

The cast of Tremors included some well-known actors and actresses like Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, and Reba McEntire.  Bacon starred as Val McKee while Ward played Earl Bassett. Other notable cast members included Robert Jayne as Melvin Plug, Ariana Richards as Mindy Sterngood, and Richard Marcus as Jodi Chang.

The film also featured a number of cameos from actors like Tony Genaro (as Miguel), Jamison Newlander (as Larry), and Reba McEntire (as Heather Gummer). 

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Who Directed Tremors?

Tremors was directed by Ron Underwood who had previously worked on films like City Slickers (1991) and The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002). The movie was written by S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock and Ron Underwood. It was produced by Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) and executive produced by Steven Spielberg (Jaws)

Did Tremors Receive Any Awards?

Tremors was nominated for a number of awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects, but did not win any. However, the film won several Saturn Awards, including Best Horror Film and Best Supporting Actor for Michael Gross who played Burt Gummer.

Tremors also received a great deal of critical acclaim, with various publications praising its mix of horror and comedy as well as its memorable characters. It has also been an inspiration for many filmmakers, including Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island).

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Technical Information

This movie runs for about an hour and a half. Digital filming wasn’t available in 1990 so it was filmed in 35mm using Arriflex Cameras and lenses.

Fun Facts About Tremors 

  • Kevin Bacon was originally set to play Earl Bassett, but switched roles with Fred Ward so he could play the lead.
  • The film takes place in a fictional town called Perfection, Nevada which is actually located in California.
  • The original script included a character named “Old Fred” who was killed off-screen by the Graboids.
  • The cast and crew had to film at night because it was too hot during the day in California.
  • Michael Gross improvised many of Burt Gummer’s lines, including his famous “Graboids? I hate those things.”
  • The film spawned four sequels and a television series.
  • Tremors was the first major Hollywood feature to be shot using digital cameras.
  • Several of the filming locations have become tourist attractions, including an abandoned mine shaft in Nevada that was used as the entrance to the Graboids’ lair.

Can You Visit the Set of Tremors?

Unfortunately, the set of Tremors is no longer around as it was demolished in 1994. However, fans of the film can still visit some of the filming locations that were used for the movie. These include an abandoned mine shaft in Nevada and several other spots in California. The town of Lone Pine, California was also used for some exterior shots and is worth a visit.

What Are The Alabama Hills Famous For?

For anyone who loves camping, hiking, outdoor photography, dramatic landscapes, desert, and snow-capped mountains, the Alabama Hills are worth a visit.  The Alabama Hills hold many unique rock formations with some pretty cool names like Heart Arch, Hidden Window, Surprise Face Arch, Gene Autry Rock, and Nightmare Rock to name a few.

The Alabama Hills can be accessed by car but it’s recommended that you take a 4WD or other type of high-clearance vehicle. There’s no cell reception out there so you’ll also need a good GPS device.

Things to Do Around The Alabama Hills

The Alabama Hills would be best enjoyed by campers and hikers. Hotel accommodations are pretty far away but there are a few camp sites around. Here are a few places to visit in the area:

Make sure you have a full tank of gas, though. You may even want to carry a canister of gas just in case.

And That’s a Wrap!

Anyone who enjoys camping and the great outdoors would really enjoy taking a trip through this area. You’ll probably encounter plenty of desert insects and other wildlife but I doubt you’ll run into any Graboids!

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  1. Really enjoyed the section on the Alabama Hills. It’s fascinating how many films have used that location and yet it always brings something new to the screen. Great insight, Jay.

  2. Has anyone here actually visited the Alabama Hills after reading about it? Would love to hear about your experience and if it’s as mesmerizing in person!

  3. Tremors has got to be one of the most underrated gems of the 90s! The cast bit was my favorite. Kevin Bacon just makes everything better, doesn’t he?

  4. The technical information section was super helpful. Understanding the camera setups and special effects used in Tremors really gives insight into the creativity of its production team.

    1. Erin, did the article mention which specific cameras were used? Wondering how they managed those smooth tracking shots given the time it was produced.

  5. Tremors is literally the best when it comes to creature features. Those graboids scared the heck outta me as a kid. Also, props for highlighting the unique filming location!

  6. The Alabama Hills segment transported me. There’s something quite poetic about the juxtaposition of nature’s tranquility and the thrilling, suspenseful scenes Tremors is known for.

  7. Fun facts about Tremors had me! Kevin Bacon turning down roles for this? Wild. Also, Jay, kudos for the fresh takes on such a classic film. Makes you appreciate the layers of effort in filmmaking.