Those of you who have taken the time to come out and see one of Long Pork’s performances (Thank you by the way) know that it prominently features a creature known as, a Graboid (From the movie, Tremors). Now in an effort to increase public awareness of these not so gentle giants, here is the life cycle of the Graboid. SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen Tremors 1,2,4, and 3 and want to experience a surprised face when the plots get twisted, then do not read further. I mean it, I will not have any more angry emails thrown throw my virtual window, unless they promise me golden dreams from a Nigerian prince. Ya hear me…errr read me? Okay, here we go.
THE BEGININING (No that’s not mispelled, it’s just fun to say!)
Graboids are large subterranean, worm-like creatures that were first discovered in 1889 in the small town of Rejection, Nevada (Later renamed Perfection). Of course fossil records (As discovered by Kate Reilly in Tremors 2) show that Graboids are pre-cambrian lifeforms (Basically that means they are the oldest lifeform on the planet.) Originally the creatures weren’t called Graboids. (Also they were never called “Tremors” as most people seem to call them, Zack Whittington included) They were referred to as “Dirt Dragons.” The name Graboid came from a shop owner named Walter Chang who named the creatures and was then horribly eaten by them. (Some alternate names were: suckoid, snakeoid, Bing Crosby.) Graboids hatched from eggs that can lay dormant for centuries, thus the reason Graboid appearances are so few and far between. Once hatched the baby Graboid is about 3-4 feet long and tends to kill it’s prey by launching itself like a dodgeball into the victims chest, knocking them down and allowing it’s siblings to pull them apart limb by limb. Pleasant, eh?
GRABOID (Caederus Americana)
Once the baby Graboids have matured and stopped playing with their Graboid Barbies and Graboid Tonka trucks they become the creatures we all fell in love with in the movie Tremors. The adult graboid is about 30 feet long, and weighs around 15 tons. Graboids have no eyes and thus hunt by sensing vibrations. They travel underground at tremendous speeds using a series of spikes on their thick, leathery hides. The Graboid head is a large, hardened, black beak that opens to reveal it’s gapping orange mouth. All graboids (except for Stumpy and the Graboid (made by Lana Crooks) that appears in Long Pork shows) have a series of three serpent like tongues that are used to taste and grab prey, pulling the prey into it’s mouth with ruthless efficiency. Graboids are highly intelligent creatures that have demonstrated the capacity for memory and the ability to learn. For example, in Tremors (Click Link for the scene directly referenced in our show), a graboid was killed by having it swallow a pipebomb. Another graboid saw this trap and thus spit the dynamite back out. So basically the only way to escape a Graboid is to find a large rock, water tower, roof, or other high stable location that “GETS YOU OFF THE GROUND!”
SHRIEKER (Caederus Mexicana)
First seen in the film Tremors 2: Aftershocks, the shrieker is the second evolutionary stage of the Graboid. When it’s time for a Graboid to metamorphosis into a Shrieker, it will come out of the ground and beach itself, much like a whale. After a period of several hours, between 3-6 Shriekers (depending on how much the Graboid ate before evolving) will burst from the Graboid’s belly leaving a hollow, goo filled shell behind. Shriekers are land based bipeds (walk on two feet) that are about 5 feet long and 3.5 feet tall. Shriekers, like Graboids, have no eyes but instead have heat vision (much like rattle snakes). Shriekers hunt in packs and use their large numbers to overwhelm potential prey. Shriekers are aptly named because of the immense shrieking noise they emit when they see prey. However, the noise is meaningless because Shriekers are deaf. Instead, when they shriek they let out an immense amount of heat and this is what signals other shriekers to get their asses over to the big people buffet. This new heat vision attribute makes surviving a Shrieker attack, “a whole new ball game” (Quoted by Earl Bassett). Shriekers are asexual, meaning they reproduce without getting their potential mates drunk and pregnant in a 1972 Chevy Nova. Shriekers actually reproduce by binging on food. When they get enough food, they basically vomit out an infant that grows to full size Shrieker in a matter of hours. Thus their breeding rate is exponential. The best defense against Shriekers is a belt-felt fully automatic gun of your choice or covering yourself in a fire extinguisher and saying “Man this stuff is cold” (You know to really emphasize that you’re being sprayed with something cold.) If you don’t have access to either of these elements, well, I’ll notify your next of kin.
ASS-BLASTER (Caederus Americana Combustus)
The third and final evolutionary stage in the Graboid life cycle. First seen in the film Tremors 3: Back to Perfection. Ass-blasters were named by Jody Chang (Grand-daughter of Walter Chang. Fitting, really…) The Ass-blaster looks like an elongated Shrieker at about 8 feet long and 4 feet tall. They have heat vision just like Shriekers, but have now gained the ability to fly. (That’s right they fly now. It was either that or they got a learners permit and learned to drive. And I don’t know about you, but a pre-cambrian motorist is not my idea of a scary movie killer. I see enough off them on the road already in the form of the elderly. Ah thank you.) The way that Ass-blasters fly relates directly to their name. The Ass-Blaster works two chemicals into it’s tail section that come from separate organs in the body. When the chemicals mix, and are exposed to the air, they react violently, creating an explosion that lifts them into the air. This is similar to the Bombardier Beetle. Ass-Blasters hunt in packs and tend to ride hot air currents while scanning the ground for prey. Contrary to Shriekers, when Ass-Blasters eat a large amount of food, they do not reproduce, but rather go into a food coma. (Once again things that should have been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!) Ass-Blasters carry inside them a single Graboid egg. This coupled with the Ass-blaster’s ability to fly allows them to propogate the Graboid species across vast distances. It is presumed that Ass-blasters migrate together like geese to a location where they will all lay their eggs together, much like sea turtles. Thus started the lifecycle of the Graboid anew in a town near you!
So there you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Graboid and more….much….much more. To find out more about Graboids, visit your local Burt Gummer and see what he has to say. And with this article I have solidified my place in the halls of nerdiness among such greats as Harry Knowles and that kid that said “For-ev-er” in the Sandlot.
Gentleman of Long Pork
• “My Brain” Created by Susan Brown and Djordje Gvojic one drunken Fourth of July ©1982
• Tremors Quiz: Which Are You?
• Stampede Entertainment: The makers of the Tremors films.
• Buy Tremors Attack Pack featuring Tremors 1,2,4, and 3!