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First appearing in Tremors 3: Back to Perfection and recurring throughout the following TV series, El Blanco was a mainstay of Tremors. Believed to be sterile; he was unable to produce Shriekers. The lifespan of El Blanco (and other sterile Graboids) is unknown, but the time between Tremors 3 (2001) and the TV series (2003) indicates at least two years an possibly longer.
While El Blanco was initially believed to have a soft spot for Graboid hunter Burt Gummer, it was later discovered that this was only because of Burt's new watch (which utilized high pitched frequencies) attracted him. El Blanco has been sighted numerous times outside Burt's compound in Perfection without bothering to attack and Gummer has also been known to play with the Graboid with a remote control truck with watches strapped to it.
El Blanco actually saved Burt's life by eating an Ass Blaster that was carrying his watch. In the movie, El Blanco never managed to eat any humans, though he did corner real estate agent Melvin Plugg on a boulder at the end of the film. In the TV series, any villains that appeared ended up being either consumed or arrested. It also proved that even when restrained his tentacles were long enough to capture prey at certain distances. At one point Tyler Reed, Rosalita and Larry fought off a group of gangsters-turned-poachers that were after El Blanco. During the fight Larry managed to drive one backwards and El Blanco killed her, sending out his tentacles even while restrained and eating her. In this instance he probably saved the three's life and the other criminal ran away, was picked up and apparently killed. In the episode Graboid Rights, El Blanco was poisoned in order to 'prove' that the Perfectionites were harming him by being there. He was eventually uncovered and the antidote administered, making El Blanco the only Graboid to be poisoned and cured.
El Blanco shares many traits with the normal colored Graboids, such as the unearthly patience, three snake-like tentacles, ability to hunt by sensing sound, and the aversion to running into a rock wall. However, one aspect he has that other Graboids don't (probably because of the unnatural length of his life span) is his ability to become "full" after grazing on a herd of wild burro or other creatures. This is evidenced by Burt saying "He found a herd of wild burro this morning. He should be mellow for a few days."
El Blanco is also notably one of the few Graboids that has ever actually survived a meeting with Burt Gummer. This is because El Blanco is an endangered species. Due to this, Perfection Valley is a protected habitat, and developer Melvin Plugg cannot build any land there. He once tried to solve this by stealing a machine that increases the hunger response so that Burt would kill El Blanco in self-defense. Burt accidentally destroyed the machine while trying to distract El Blanco, who attacked Chang's Market. The town later used El Blanco to their advantage during Ghost Dance by Jodi and Rosalita having him chase them and block the road so the National Guard couldn't get to town. As he had his tentacles across the road and was an endangered species, the National Guard couldn't go over him and were stuck until he left. As Burt said, this was unfortunate for them as El Blanco is extremely persistent and his actions gave the townspeople time to contain a major threat. El Blanco seems to be Perfection's mascot as he attracts many tourists, in addition, the population doesn't seem to mind the creature lurking their ground often as they treat it as a daily routine. According to Jodi, El Blanco tunnels through Perfection about "once or twice a day." Along with this, the people of the town protect El Blanco from all threats from mobsters to scientists poisoning him to prove a point. According to Tyler Reed in Graboid Rights, the townspeople protect El Blanco, often risking their lives to save him and sometimes it seems like he returns the favor, risking himself to protect them as well. This can be seen at times, even if its unwitting on El Blanco's part, such as when he eats an Ass Blaster and saves Burt and when he eats Kinney and Delores when they were in conflict with and threatening the people of Perfection.
In Tremors 5: Bloodlines El Blanco's fate is unknown as he is unmentioned. He is likely either dead or very old given that the movie takes place 14 years after he was born.
The First El BlancoEdit
While producing Tremors 2: Aftershocks Stampede and Universal also developed the first TV series that never made it to film, a Lost series of sorts. The premise was after their success in fighting the Graboids, Val and Earl would be sought out by the readers of tabloid newspapers, believers in UFO’s, etc. to battle other little-known creatures. The idea was, Val and Earl discover there is one surviving Graboid, a unique albino (all white) creature. The willy worm was to appear off and on throughout the series (similar to El Blanco), tormenting the guys who are never quite able to catch it. Eventually they develop a grudging respect for the beast, echoing the respect the residents of Perfection have for El Blanco. This version of El Blanco seems to be based on the Mongolian Death Worm, the believed inspiration for the Graboids.
El Blanco is sometimes heard making Shrieker-like noises and this is explained by the production team that El Blanco has lived much longer than any previously known Graboid due to his inability to metamorphose into Shriekers. Even so, as he ages, he will logically begin making some of the Graboid sounds that lead up to metamorphose, even though El Blanco doesn’t actually metamorphose.
- El Blanco translates to "The White One" in Spanish.
- He is a nod to Moby Dick by Herman Melville, an albino old whale of behavior unusual for his species. This is confirmed by Burt's comment when he first sees the Graboid, "Call me Ishmael", which is the first line in Melville's novel. However, in an inverted parallellism to Moby Dick, which was an aggressive specimen of a naturally pacific species, El Blanco is a pacific specimen of a naturally aggressive species. Also, in the novel is Captain Ahab who pursues Moby Dick, while in this case is El Blanco which pursues Burt.
- His relationship with Burt is also an inverted parallelism to Captain Hook from the Peter Pan stories and the crocodile that continuosly pursues him: while El Blanco pursues Burt following the sound of his watch, the crocodile pursues Captain Hook who is warned of its presence due to the sound of the clock the crocodile previously ate.