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Monday, 27 July 2015

Graboids - Tentacles FTW - #MonsterMondays 12

Sorry for missing last week - as I mentioned in my last post, I was feeling very poorly last Monday. So this week I am back in the saddle and I have picked a favourite monster from the big and little screen.
Monster Mondays posts may be fiction, film reviews, book reviews or me waxing lyrical about a particular monster. Monsters can be paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy or even simply human. So basically, anything monster goes. I also invite anyone who would like to, to join in with their own post. (See end for details).
Graboids - Tentacles FTW

So, for those of you who have no idea what a GRABOID is, it is a very nasty critter that lives underground in desert environments and eats anything that sounds like it might be tasty. They are the monsters from The Tremors franchise.

If you're playing six degrees of Kevin Bacon this is a great movie to know about because he plays Val in the first movie to Fred Ward's Earl.

The first movie in the series is my favourite because it's the discovery film. No one knows about graboids and you have two losers, Val and Earl, running around trying to figure out how people died of thirst up power pylons and disappeared into holes in the ground.

Your basic graboid is the shape of a giant grub and it can move, very, very fast through dirt, so fast in fact that it can smash through cellar walls and building foundations if it so pleases. It is very, very strong and if you or your vehicle or your mobile home is on dirt, it can pull you under. Only sold rock is it's nemesis. The whole grab part of the name comes from the fact that inside it's gaping maw of a mouth it has three long tentacles that each look like little snakes in their own right. Once these have grabbed you your number is up.

The graboid is the perfect monster in that a lot of the time it is hidden. It is like the shark in Jaws; you can see what it's done, note signs it's around, but you can't tell exactly where it is or when it will strike. Graboids also have incredible patience. They can be ambush predators and locate prey through vibrations, sitting for hours just waiting for the prey to give themselves away and step off whatever is keeping them safe. They are not a stupid enemy.

This creature is also not easy to kill. Their hide is very thick and protective and they can take a lot of damage so high explosives and heavy rounds are the only thing that might stop them. Their sensitivity to sounds can be used to drive them away, but they have very few weaknesses.

In the other Tremors films and the series, we learn that the graboid is only the first stage of development of the creature. Next come Shriekers, which is the second stage and they resemble heavy set dinosaurs followed three days later by AssBlasters as the Shriekers moult. The AssBlaster is the form which lays eggs to produce new graboids. If you would like to know more about the lifecycle there is a very good article at wikipedia.

Graboids are great monsters because they are terrifying and yet slightly absurd at the same time. Tremors is undoubtedly part comedy, part horror and it is a great combination. A few of us are even crazy enough to write fanfic about it: Tentacle are Wuv :). (The Tremors tag at AO3)

Have you seen Tremors? Which parts, the movies, the series, all of it? What would you do if you were stuck up a pylon with a graboid waiting for you, would you wait and possibly die of thirst or would you risk running for it and being eaten by the monster?

Monster Mondays #12 Links 

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  1. I've watched the first movie, I've never seen the series, but I know all about it. Have you linked our mutual friend whose fault that fanfic is to this post? ;P

  2. Somehow I missed the Tremors phenomenon, I'm going to have to go back and watch it someday.

    AssBlaster? Seriously? Is that a play on the Face Huggers from Alien?

    1. You totally should - very entertaining and silly :).

      It comes from the fact that they fly using blasts from their asses - so even sillier than you're imagining. ;)

  3. Had fun watching the first two parts of the Tremors series, but missed the follow-ups so unaware of the graboids's ecology. One reads and learns here.

    1. Tremors just becomes more and more complex with every incarnation :)


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