"Squirm" (1976)
      [Posted by: Chris Woods, September 28, 2011, 7:26 pm ]

Three Stars

Studio: American International Pictures (AIP)     
Starring: Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow, Jean Sullivan, Peter MacLean
Directed by: Jeff Lieberman
Rated: PG
Running Time: 92 min.

Synopsis: After a terrible thunder storm, an electric pole goes down and electrocutes the ground causing the worms in the dirt to attack the people in town.

Chris Woods

Squirm was one of those films I saw parts of when I was a little kid and I remember the scenes I saw really scared me. They would often show this film on a New York City channel called WPIX Channel 11 and the scenes that stuck out the most were the worms coming out of a shower head as someone was about to take a shower and a scene at a restaurant where a couple was eating spaghetti and in the back of your mind you are thinking some of those worms are going to get in that spaghetti and those people are going to suck them up. Those two clips haunted me when I saw them as a kid and still today this creepy crawly horror flick still delivers in the scares.

The movie is about worms attacking a small town in Georgia after a night of a terrible thunder storm causing powers lines to snap and land in the wet ground where there was a worm farm and the electricity makes all the worms into killing bloodsuckers. A young man, Mick (Don Scardino) from New York City is visiting a girl, Geri (Patricia Pearcy) who he met at an antique show some time ago. Mick picked the wrong weekend to visit his new girlfriend, because the two of them and the rest of the town are faced with killer worms attacking everyone.

Squirm is part of the sub-genre of “animals attack” or “nature gone wild” films, which were popular during the 70’s. There were tons of films about killer snakes, spiders, rats, sharks, and all sorts of different types of bugs. Squirm is definitely one of the well-known films from that sub-genre. There are lots of good scares throughout the movie and if you frighten easy with anything with creepy crawlers in them, then this film will make you jump and squirm, no pun intended.

I mentioned some parts that stood out for me earlier before, but here are a few others. There is a scene where Geri and her next-door neighbor, Roger, (R.A. Dow) are fishing in a pond. Mick had got bitten by a worm and headed back to land to take care of the bite. As Geri and Roger are alone, Roger tries to put the moves on Geri and is jealous of Mick. Geri pushes him down on the boat and the worms they had for bait started to burrow into his face. Roger ends up going over board and eventually running into the woods with the worms still biting into his face. Roger comes back and still with the worms on his face and he seems to go crazy. Not only are the worms a threat, but also Roger is as well to Mick, Geri, and her family.

There is also the Egg Cream scene, where Mick orders an Egg Cream at a diner. The waitress has no idea what it is and Mick just tells her it is a chocolate soda. When he gets the Egg Cream and takes a slip of it a long worm comes out of it. There are tons of other good and creepy worm scenes, like when they find the body of Roger’s dad and worms have completely ate away at his chest and organs and all that are left are worms inside of him. There is also the scene where all the power is out in a local bar and as the patrons get up to leave they step right into a sea of worms all over the floor.

Squirm was originally rated R when it was released, but the distributor, American International Pictures recut some scenes and the film was given a PG rating after that and re-released into theaters. The DVD contains the original R rated version, which seems like it could still pass for a PG rating in the 70’s. Check out this killer worm flick, it is one of the best out of the “animals attack” sub-genre.

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