By AL J. Vermette


      You thought by breaking down in the desert would be the worst part of your day. Knowing that the car
is done you start walking knowing that there is a town a few miles down the road. But as you hoof it atop
the sand, something of inhuman origins is stalking you just below the surface of the sand. As you step
each and every placement of your feet give away your location as the thing draws closer. Then without
warning, it appears from out of the ground, immense skull rising out of the sand followed by serpent-like
appendages as they reach out for you. Within their grasp, you scream but not even God himself can save
you now. Dragged into the monster's mouth, it gulps you down whole as the beast dives back under the
send.

      In 1990, not only was a new creature feature franchise, born but a new monster became part of the
monster movie landscape. The creatures known simply as Graboids made their debut in the 1990 film
Tremors and ever since for 28 years have had a run on the big screen, DVD and even television. The
creatures are like giant worms, think of the movie Dune only not that large. Still, these beasts are easily the
length of a semi-truck as the hunt just below the surface of the sands of the desert from where they live and
track anything that moves. Blind but with a high keen sense of smell and the ability to follow the vibrations
of their victims, the Graboids can sneak up on them and drag anything below the sands where they will be
eaten alive.

      The creatures sport an enormous triple hinged mouth with numerous tongues that can snake out of its
jaws and snare their victims like tentacles for each as their own little mouth with rows of teeth upon each
one. Once grabbed, the poor soul within the creatures grasp is pulled to their doom as they are dragged
into the monster's mouth. The creatures are very hard to kill for their outer hide is very tough as bullets just
bounce off when fired upon. Their only weakness is to fire into their open jaws to cause enough damage in
their mouth and then only a high powered weapon will do the job. That or blow them up from the inside if
one is able to get an explosive into their mouth in into the creature's belly.

      Although Graboids are giant blind worms, they can move very fast under the surface of the sand
swimming after their victim as easy as a shark under the water. They seem to only live in areas of high
deserts where the sand is deep and soft. The sand acts as not only their means of transportation but it
also hides there attack as well. When on the hunt, the creature will launch its great enormous head out of
the sand and using its tentacle-like tongues grab hold of a person, as other times the creature will simply
just reached out through the sand to grasp its victim before they even know what’s happening. In any case,
death soon follows as the beast consumes the victim whole.

      As big and mean as these creatures are, the Graboid itself is only one stage in the creature’s lifespan.
After time in a Graboids life, the creature explodes from within and gives birth to an all-new creature. This
new incarnation made its debut in Tremors 2 and was called The Shrieker, named for the screeching
sound it makes. These all-new creatures, unlike the worms that they spawned from, are two-legged
creatures that walk on top of the sand. Smaller in size but just as deadly, The Shriekers have the ability to
reproduce more of their kind once they are born from ripping their way out of their host Graboid. Each
creature simply vomits out an egg like form and it soon grows into an all-new Shrieker. But wait there’s
more! After the Shrieker, there is still another form that this these beast take on.

      Ass Blasters, as they are so named, due to their release of gas out of…well their asses to launch them
into their air where a set of wings help them glide over the sands. Unlike the Shriekers who burst out of
their hosts, the Ass Blasters form out of the Shriekers when they undertake a molting process. The Ass
Blasters also seem to be smarter than the other two creature incarnations and can learn and remember
from their mistakes. Like the creatures before them, the Ass Blasters are not as large as the worms but
being able to fly and hunt from the sky, they are a great danger to all as the Shriekers prowl the land and
the Graboids attack from below.
Creature Feature
Grabiods from Tremors Franchise