Squirm (1976) Review


I have to admit that I don’t like insects.
Bugs, spiders, flies, beetles, in fact all creepy crawlies frankly give me the creeps. Imagine my delight then when I heard Arrow where issuing a new Blu-ray version of Squirm, a tale of worms turning on the human populace of a tiny town.

Set in the Southern hamlet of Fly Creek a terrible storm knocks the power lines out resulting in tons of volts of electricity being pumped into the wet sodden earth.

This continuous charge transforms the blood and sand worms into flesh hungry killing machines that slowly crawl into town to reap their revenge on the unsuspecting folk.


With over 100 thousand killer worms loose (that’s a whole lot of cans opened!) it is left to local girl Geri (Patricia Pearcy) and her beau Mick (Don Scardino) who is visiting from New York to try and fight back before they are bitten and beaten by the slimy monsters.


As I mentioned in the opening, bugs freak me out so I was more than looking forward to being terrorized and terrified by Squirm, especially given the effects are early makeup work from Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker.
Sadly though, Squirm starts at a snail’s pace and the movie, written and directed by cult horror director Jeff Lieberman, spends way too much time building up the relatively simple characters and setting the all too obvious scene. It plods along like a midafternoon TV detective drama when what we really want as an audience is all out squishy worm carnage.

Thankfully an hour or so in Squirm delivers and the last quarter – although not scary – is all out gross out madness with some gore-tasticly amazing effects and set pieces. This includes a character having his face infested driving him crazy, a tree killing a house and a shower running not water but pink blood sucking worms.

Some of the effects are almost unbelievable, especially with the sheer number of disgusting, undulating gooey creatures that invade Geri’s home. At one point they fill an entire room and covering the ground floor of the house like a living sea of tiny limbless mutated monsters.


Arrow more than deliver on the extras too on the Blu-ray with Audio commentary with director Jeff Lieberman, a filmed Live Q&A session with Lieberman and star Don Scardino from New York’s Anthology Film Archives, a feature by Kim Newman on Jeff Lieberman and Squirm, the original trailer and a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Lee Gambin, author of Massacred by Mother Nature and an interview with Jeff Lieberman by Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

Squirm Squirm

Overall although Squirm is not the most terrifying bug movie ever made it has its moments of brilliant, entertaining insanity. And for this and the great effects it is well worth getting your slimy hands on.

Movie Rating: ★

★ ½ ☆ ☆ 



Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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