Saturday, February 25, 2006

“They move very easily through Pleistocene alluvials”

“… the dirt”

When I spend time ranting about bad geology movies I may as well give some time to the good moments for geoscience in American cinema… or, failing that, discuss the redemptive, amusing bad moments. Tremors may be the best movie out there we can claim for our field, which is fairly illuminating regarding 1) my appreciation for lousy movies and 2) the fact that the best movie I can claim for my discipline is a cheesy horror B-movie starring Kevin Bacon. The sole claim we have to it would be that the key heroine is a geologist (or, quoting the movie once again “seismologist, actually”), played by Finn Carter who acts the role with much-appreciated credulity, delivering many of the best lines in the movie (well, those not delivered by the grotesquely exaggerated survivalists).

The central theme of the movie is the sudden appearance of wormlike subterranean monsters dubbed “Graboids” (one pauses briefly to honor Frank Herbert for coming up with his sandworms 25 years before Tremors came out) in an isolated Nevada desert town, “Perfection.” The main conflict of the movie is, predictably, the avoidance of being eaten, and I can hardly claim that Tremors is at all inspiring regarding science. The title quote above and “we just stay where they can’t get us—on these residual boulders” are potentially the best lines calling for alleged scientific authority.

Or perhaps the exchange: “Where do they come from?”
“These creatures are completely unprecedented!”
“Yeah, but where do they come from?”

Pure gold.


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