“Something is making the worms go crazy.”
A city boy (Don Scardino) visiting his girlfriend (Patricia Pearcy) and her family (Jean Sullivan and Fran Higgins) in a backwoods Georgian town discovers that an electrical storm has triggered an onslaught of killer earthworms.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Deep South
- Killer Animals
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary is far too generous in his assessment of this unintentionally campy low-budget horror flick, which he claims is “effective” and full of “fun characters” and “clever directorial touches”. In truth, despite writer-director Jeff Lieberman’s best efforts, Squirm — “as in Sqworm” — is poorly acted (everyone’s pacing is peculiarly off), sadly lacking in any genuine horror thrills (how scary can worms really be? gross, yes, but not scary), and resolutely unfunny (the scene in which Scardino discovers a worm in his egg cream is not, as Peary posits, witty). While a handful of other critics agree with Peary that Squirm is an inspired little film — Time Out‘s reviewer, for instance, argues that it’s “far better and more interesting than the obvious schlock appeal its plot would suggest” — I was relieved to discover I’m not alone in considering it to be an undeniably bad movie, worthy of spoofing (search YouTube and you’ll find the MST3K version available to watch in 10 minute segments). Throughout his Guide for the Film Fanatic, Peary seems to be trying to champion underdog, low-budget films like this one — particularly in the horror genre — but you’re better off skipping Squirm altogether.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A few mildly gross shots of wriggling worms en masse
No, unless you’re in the mood for a laughably bad “horror” flick — and in that case, I recommend the MST3K version instead.