Thursday, January 31, 2013

Squirm - Death by Annelids

Directed by - Jeff Lieberman
Written by - Jerff Lieberman
Starring - Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow & Peter Maclean

Tag Lines: 
An avalanche of killer worms.....writhing across the land in a tidal wave of terror!

This was the night of the CRAWLING TERROR!

The Night is Crawling with Killers!

Alternate Titles:
A Noite do Terror Rastejante  (The Creeping Terror Night)  Portugal
I carnivori venuti dalla savana (Carnivores Have Come From The Bush)  Italy
La nuit des vers géants (Night Giant Worms) France
Maskarna (Worms)  Sweden
Squirm - Krälande fasa (Crawling Terror)  Sweden (Video)
Matelijat (Reptiles(?))  Finland
Squirm - Gusanos asesinos (Worms Murderers)  Spain
Squirm - Invasion der Bestien (Invasion of Beasts)  West Germany
Τα σκουληκια (Worms)  Greece

When I was in about 1st grade or so, I remember standing at the bus stop one morning with my sister and a couple neighborhood kids.  I was watching at a couple of earthworms that seemed to be locked in mortal combat, twisting and turning and flipping about in the grass.  I was fascinated by earthworms at the time, I dunno why....but I was.  Anyway, as I watching the wormy cage match, one of the the girls standing with us came over to see what had my attention.  As soon as she looked, she shrieked "Eeeewwww, they're DOING IT!"  Then the whole bus ride to school she excitedly told everyone on the bus.  I was mad at her because I felt that she trespassed into my little worm fight and turned if from a fight to the death it.  Turns out worm reproduction is far more horrifying than what we witnessed.  Earthworms are spontaneous hermaphrodites and they couple up and form slime tubes and splook all over each other.  I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Okay, so anyway, years later, I caught this insane little flick and and somehow that memory and this movie have become forever fused together.  Lucky me.....and lucky you for having that shared with you.  The first time I saw Squirm, it was a Saturday morning and it was on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  It wasn't until maybe ten years ago that I finally saw the film in it's complete and un-MST3K'd format.  The film still retains that fun Saturday morning vibe for me though.....I guess mainly due to nostalgia.

The film starts with one of those fun text crawls that set the mood for the film and give it that "This was based on a true story" vibe.  Then we're treated to scenes of a severe thunderstorm that down power lines which cause thousands upon thousands of worms to wriggle up through the earth and go on a rampage.  No, I'm not kidding.  The flick just gets more and more antique dealer is found partially skeletonized....I just made up that word.  And I like it.  Skeletonized.

We get the usual worms crawling through plumbing and coming out of the shower head bit and a pretty nifty scene of bloodworms burrowing under the skin of a guys face.  That's pretty groovy.  Though it becomes unclear if said redneck is then controlled somehow by these worms or is just driven further nuts by the pain.  I could go back and try to hit the major plot points for you.....but.....after watching the movie again....I really don't want to.  Don't get me wrong, Squirm can be a fun little low budget nature run amok movie but one that you only drag out once every few years to watch.

If you wanna watch this, I would recommend starting with the MST3K version to be honest.  The banter is pretty funny and it definitely helps to get you through the boring talky parts (of which there are a few).  If you dig that, THEN go for the uncut version....which has a little more gore (not much) and worm action.  The climax of the film, in which the worms go on an all out rampage IS a pretty ludicrous spectacle to behold.

Midnight Cinephile Totals:

Boob Count:  We get a shower scene that shows a wee bit of skin, but nothing exciting.

Body Count:  Well, there's the dead Skeletonized™ antique dealer and then there's Roger, the crazed inbred redneck who first gets worms burrowed into his face and then gets tossed into a giant mass of worms.  I think that a bunch of townsfolk died to.....but it's never explicitly said.

Beast Count:  Worms man.  Thousands of worms.  Soooo many worms.  You could say a shit ton of worms.  Doing it.  Not really.  Well, maybe some of them were.....who knows.

Final Thoughts:
There are worse films that you could watch.  If you like Jeff Lieberman's work, this would also be worth checking out.  Lieberman wrote and directed such classics as Blue Sunshine, Just Before Dawn and Satan's Little Helper.  Also The Neverending Story III.....which is not a classic.

Final Rating:
Two Pizza Rolls out of Five

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