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Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors Paperback – 20 Jul 2015
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This high-access tell-all...[is] an unexpected treat - 4/5, Empire
Informative, entertaining and, above all, a joy to read - 9/10, Starburst
Reading Seeking Perfection [has] deepened my love for the first film - Kevin Lehane, Grabbers screenwriter
In Seeking Perfection you'll find all of the answers to all of the questions you never knew you had about the Tremors series - Mike White, The Projection Booth
About the Author
First catching a screening of Tremors on BBC One in the early 1990s, Jonathan Melville has closely followed the goings on in Perfection, Nevada, ever since.
Long before the internet allowed fans to read about the production of their favourite movies from concept to completion, Melville relied on frequent visits to the video store to discover the latest releases, stumbling across Tremors 2: Aftershocks in a Blockbuster just outside Toronto in 1996, before stumbling across the sequels as they were released.
As a freelance film journalist for UK science fiction magazine SFX, Melville was able to pitch a 21st anniversary feature on Tremors for a 2011 article, subsequently deciding to devote an entire book to the subject.
The result is the first in-depth look at the Tremors franchise, including Tremors, Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, Tremors: The Series and Tremors 5: Bloodlines.
This movie reference guide has not only been written for horror fans but for anyone with an interest in cinema and Hollywood filmmaking and the direct-to-video industry.
It looks at the background of Tremors creators S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock and Ron Underwood, their time working with the likes of Steven Spielberg and their first major success creating Short Circuit, before revealing the difficulties involved in bringing a movie about giant worms to the big screen in a risk-averse industry.
Melville's interviews with the likes of Wilson, Maddock and Underwood, plus major Hollywood players including Gale Anne Hurd and Jim Jacks offer a rare insight into what makes the movie industry tick.
Brand new interviews with actors Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, Tony Genaro, Ariana Richards, Robert Jayne and more offer further depth to the history of Tremors.
Jonathan Melville lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, but is planning to move to Perfection when his visa is approved.
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I was but a teenager back then, but have since grown up watching this in all it's guises; and have recently welcomed my 13 year old son into the fold. Suffice to say that this is probably my favourite film of all time.
One thing I've not really had much interest for however, is "this type of book": it just isn't the kind of book that I enjoy reading, but I was always going to make an exception here, so when it came up as free one weekend, I jumped.
For the most part, this book is extremely well written, and I challenge any fan reading this not to pick up their copies of the films and/or series and watch back to back straight after. I'm not a huge film goer, and I certainly couldn't care less to point out any issues with things like continuity, or if you can see the wires when an AssBlaster is flying through the air. I did however enjoy reading about how they did create all the special effects, and monsters used in these films, especially considering the budgets.
It was also great to read quotes from the cast (and crew) on how they felt making these - gives a real insight in to the films, and certainly makes them even more appealing than they already are.
I did however feel as though the final parts of this book were rushed, as though a deadline was being met or the author was writing it when a herd of Shriekers ventured in. It's not a big issue, and it may just be how I read it, but it did feel as though the rest of the book was more lovingly created.
Would I recommend this? Obviously. It does Perfection and its inhabitants a great justice, and for any Tremors fan this should the the Official Guide to Tremors, despite the title suggesting otherwise. If you haven't yet experienced Tremors, your starting point is on the link above. go there and you will not regret it. When you're done, come back here and pick this up to complete the collection.
It's obvious that almost everyone involved in the 25-year history of the Graboids has fond memories of their contributions, and that shines through in Jon Melville's comprehensive book, which commendably devotes a substantial chunk to the sequels and TV series.
The story comes alive in the sections devoted to the business manoeuvrings around bringing the films into production, as well as the creative thought processes of the cast and crew. There are drier sections surrounding production and particularly special effects that were less to this reviewers taste, but may be of more interest to others.
The only thing that lets this book down is unfortunately something outside its author's control. The timing of Tremors 5's rapid announcement and release mean that the story feels incomplete. This must be frustrating as there could have been precious little sign of anything on the horizon when he began writing. It does however mean that the book ends on a high note of excitement and anticipation.
To call it the best book ever written about the Tremors franchise invites the sarcastic response of "no mean feat", so I will say instead that it would not be out of place in any serious genre film fan's book collection.
A light read but densely packed with information, my advice to you would be to re-watch the films and TV show , then bury your face in this book so you're up to date with the imminent arrival of TREMORS 5, and hope it lives up to the legacy that this guide celebrates so enthusiastically.
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