In the vein of the other creepy crawly bug film, The Nest, also released by Scream Factory, Squirm goes to great lengths to make you… well squirm. For the most part, it does an admiral job making you wiggle about and feel disgusting at the thousands and thousands of worms on screen, but sadly, most of the action does not take place until the very end. The many minutes leading up to that have barely a worm in sight and that my folks is the wrong thing to do when your movie is called Squirm…
RUN-TIME: 93 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
PRODUCTION DATE: 1976
Short nitty-gritty plot description from Scream Factory is as follows: When a powerful storm knocks Fly Creek, Georgia’s power lines down onto wet soil, the resulting surge of electricity drives large, bloodthirsty worms to the surface – and then out of their soil-tilling minds! Soon, the townspeople discover that their sleepy fishing village is overrun with worms that burrow right into their skin! Inundated by hundreds of thousands of carnivorous creatures, the terrorized locals race to find the cause of the rampage – before becoming tilled under themselves!
Tatlock’s Quick ‘n Dirty Review: The Nest did it wonderfully when it came to bugs. It got them front and centre for the most part and just had fun with the silly plot. Jeff Lieberman’s Squirm unfortunately doesn’t follow suit and instead spends a good amount a time on characters, which honestly, isn’t normally a bad thing, but I’m going in expecting millions of worms chowing down on people, not the misadventures of Mick and Geri. Yes, I don’t mind a little character development, but come on, give me something to squirm about already!
Honestly, I didn’t hate the movie and in fact I ended up enjoying it. There are some cool special effects later on in the movie, provided by the amazing Rick Baker and there are definitely some gross scenes worthy of praise. I appreciate what director Jeff Lieberman did with the story, which is silly when you think about it. In addition, the cast did a wonderful job selling the quirky little town of Fly Creek, even if some of the acting is cringe worthy.
Squirm probably hasn’t looked this good in forever. With hardly any print damage and grain still intact, Scream Factory does a great job. Audio is loud and clear, featuring 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio. It was actually so loud I had to turn down my speakers!
Scream Factory goes and gives us a nice little collector’s edition of Squirm and it is full of some wonderful special features, although none is super lengthy. First up is a commentary with directory Jeff Lieberman, a man who I could sit down all day with and just listen to him talk about his career. Second, you get a roughly 33-minute making of video, which features new interviews with Jeff Lieberman, Actor Don Scardino and Special Effects Artist Bill Milling. This feature was informative and provided some great insight into how Squirm came about and what it was like shooting this low budget film. (The initial idea of having the movie on the New England coast would have been something cool to see.)
Other features include a short little segment with Jeff Lieberman, talking about how he came about the idea of Squirm. He visits his old family home and discusses his childhood memories of bringing up worms from the ground using electricity. It is a short feature, but fun to watch. Last, but not least, is a trailer, TV spot and Radio Spot for the film. Also included are trailers for other Scream Factory releases.
– Audio Commentary By Writer/Director Jeff Lieberman
– EUREKA! – a look at where the idea for SQUIRM came from with Jeff Lieberman (approx. 7min)
– DIGGING IN – interviews with writer/director Jeff Lieberman and actor Don Scardino (approx 33 min)
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spot
– Still Gallery
– More from Scream Factory
Verdict: Squirm sadly does not feature enough worm action for my tastes, but it isn’t a bad movie, even if MST3K thinks it is. I actually ended up enjoying it for the most part and with Scream Factory going the collector’s edition route with the Blu-Ray, I think this is a worthy edition to your bug infested collection. Recommended!