Year: 1989

Production: No Frills / Wilson-Maddock / Universal

Director: Ron Underwood

Starring: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter

Screenwriter: S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock

Based a story by S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, and Ron Underwood

96 minutes; Color

A thiny populated valley in the Nevada desert is ravaged by 4 monstrous subterranean worm creatures, apparently possessed of some intelligence, which are finally destroyed by the courage and wit of the handful of local residents, along with a woman seismologist, who survived the initial attacks. This unambitious, textbook monster movie is notable for good dialog and ensemble acting and for its very convincing monsters, usually seen in broad daylight: a triumph of the special-effects teams. However, the monsters are hardly convincing as sf: arbitrary and unexplained - and probably "pre-dating the fossil record" - they have no apparent food-source underground to enable them to grow so big. They are very like the sandworms in Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) in appearance and in their sensitivity to vibration.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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