Horror Movie Review: Squirm (1976)


The plot of Squirm sees a storm have a surprising effect on the local worm population. The storm brings power-lines down onto wet soil & the surge in electricity transforms the worms. These squirmy creepy-crawlies are now mad with bloodlust!

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You’d think from the synopsis that Squirm is going to be a fun creature feature. A tongue in cheek, balls out & silly horror designed to make you feel uneasy about worms. It’s no easy task to make worms a decent threat & unsurprisingly this movie fails miserably. However, not for the reasons you might expect.

50 minutes into this 2-hour movie & absolutely nothing of significance has happened involving worms. Sure, the male lead found a worm in his milkshake & a human skeleton may be the result of the worms but we’ve not seen anything actually happen!

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Squirm is an extremely boring film that is completely forgettable up until its finale. The last 15 minutes make this a worthwhile watch as this is where the worm budget went! Not so much a slow burner as it is a non-starter.

City boy Mick (Don Scardino) makes his way to the little town of Fly Creek. He’s here to relax & spend time with his girlfriend, Geri (Patricia Pearcy). Unfortunately his ‘city boy’ ways rub up the townspeople the wrong way, in particular the local sheriff.

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The redneck weirdness is one of the highlights of this slog-fest of a movie. The cast of hicks are amusing & varied. Paranoia of the city folk runs rampant so when Mick realises the worms are munching their way through the townsfolk he isn’t believed.

A lot of the dialogue is super-cheesy & it plays up to many stereotypes about rednecks but it’s forgivable considering the year of release. What isn’t so easy to forgive is how stop/start the plot is. Every time it seems to be heading towards a payoff it abandons it in favour of more unnecessary dialogue often between Mick & Geri.

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Considering the age of Squirm a lot of the effects have held up really well. Scenes of the worms burrowing into flesh look great & the tidal wave of squirmy things at the end is great fun. There’s no denying its appeal but a movie like this should be a much campier affair & a lot more fun. Instead it takes itself way too seriously & is dragged out to excess.

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Squirm
  • 4/10
    The Final Score - 4/10
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