Squirm (1976) | Return to the night of the crawling terror in HD

When a violent storm hits the small fishing town of Fly Creek, Georgia toppling an electricity pylon, millions of volts surge into the mud causing the local worms to transform into flesh eaters. With the power lines down, the townspeople and visiting city boy Mick (Don Scardino) soon face a fight for survival as a tidal wave of worms wriggle into town consuming everything in their path.

Don Scardino in Squirm

Boasting a graphic exploitation-styled poster and a notorious scene in which the toothy worms burrow into a man’s face, this nature-run-amok films was one of the highlights of 1970s cinema-going. Described as ‘The Birds with worms’, Squirm was the debut feature of Jeff Lieberman, who imbues the film with enough black humour that you can forgive the silly plot. ‘Well, it’s a killer worm movie, what did you expect?’ to quote Kim Newman, who supplies a critique of the film in this must-have Arrow Video release.


Some 250,000 real worms plus another 250,000 fake ones were used in the film and they are all up there on the screen to see, as whole rooms are filled with what looks like thick spaghetti. It’s a disturbing image that stays with you. As do the sounds of the worms (in fact, pigs being slaughtered) and the grisly make-up effects, which were designed by future Oscar-winner Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London). Squirm was one of the best revenge-of-nature films of the 1970s, and Lieberman followed it with one of the era’s best sci-fi’s, Blue Sunshine (which came out the same year), about an LSD drug turning housewives and businessmen into crazed killers. Hopefully that will be next on Arrow’s list to resurrect.


The Arrow Video dual format release includes a HD presentation on Blu-ray (SD on DVD) which has been restored uncut with the approval of the director, who also supplies a witty, entertaining audio commentary. The other special features include a Q&A session with Lieberman and Don Scardino from 2012, a critique of the film by Kim Newman, unrestored trailer, interchangeable artwork by Gary Pullin, and collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Lee Gambin, author of Massacred by Mother Nature, an interview with Lieberman, archive stills and posters.

A must see.


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on September 23, 2013, in Horror, Must See and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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