Filmed in 1976, Squirm
is the tale of a Love Triangle
between: Geri, a country girl, Mick, the city boy who wants to "examine her antiques," and Roger the local boy who's dissatisfied with his lot in life. More importantly, it's about the gigantic swarm of electricity-maddened
earthworms that seek to tear them apart...literally.
It was directed by Jeff Lieberman, who also did the backwoods
slasher Just Before Dawn
, drugsploitation flick Blue Sunshine
and Satan's Little Helper
For the Mystery Science Theater 3000
version, please go to the episode recap page
Squirm provides examples of:
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Alma is constantly making snide remarks to her older sister. Roger also gets his share of mean comments.
- Anti-Climax: The power lines were repaired so the worms just kind of go away.
- Art Major Biology: Needless to say electrocuting an earthworm will not turn it into a psychotic monster that tries to kill everything in its path. Also, unlike their cousins the bloodworms, they generally don't have teeth...or let out high-pitched screams.
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: The squirming worms in question are called bloodworms, whose bite can be painful to humans. Their ranks also seem to include common earthworms as well.
- Behind the Black: Geri walks down a hallway and right into the arms of the worm-faced Roger, who was standing the middle of the hallway, but just offscreen.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Roger was pretty unhinged before, but being infested with bitey worms that crawl under his skin seems to have driven him completely off his nut.
- Chekhov's Gun: As Alma smokes pot, she accidentally falls inside the open chest which she was sitting on. When the wave of worms threaten to swallow her, she hides in there and reveals herself to be alive in the ending.
- Corrupt Hick: The Sheriff would rather make time with a local waitress than listen to some random, trouble-making city boy tell him about murderous, mutated worms who've killed several citizens - and actually, when you put it like that it's sorta hard to blame him.
- Creepy Child: I can hear the dark/If I listen hard...
- Deep South: VERY much so.
- Dumb Muscle: Roger is clearly lacking in mental faculties, but he's just as plainly capable of snapping Mick in two on his knee.
- Failed a Spot Check: Essentially the only way the worms or Roger could ever actually kill anyone.
- Fish out of Water: Mick, a college boy from a big city visiting a Deep South town, which is mistrustful to strangers.
- Heroes Want Redheads: And they can have each other.
- Identification by Dental Records: Mick breaks into a dentist's office to determine if the skull that he is holding really is Mr. Beardsley's.
- Idiot Ball:
- Mick walking half a mile to the rice mill and carrying back plywood with his bare hands instead of just using the station wagon for transport.
- Less dramatically, he expects to walk into a diner in the Deep South & be able to order a proper egg cream when there's no power, and thus no refrigeration.
- Improvised Umbrella: A man is briefly seen at the beginning of the film running through a thunderstorm using a newspaper as an umbrella.
- Ironic Nursery Tune: Watching in the garden/Waiting in the yard...
- Musical Spoiler: The end credits song plays on the radio when Geri first gets home with Mick.
- Noisy Nature: Who knew worms could roar?
- Police Are Useless: The sheriff is immediately antagonistic towards city boy Mick, and while he humors him and Geri and follows them to the first body (which goes missing), he then refuses to lift a finger for anything after that, even when they barge in saying that they know who the first victim is and that they've found another (and also that Roger was injured and has gone missing).
- Sanity Slippage: Geri's and Alma's mom isn't all there at the start of the picture, and she just keeps getting worse throughout.
- Shower Scene: Geri has one and attempts to have a second later, but the water doesn't come out.
- Stalker with a Crush: Roger, convincingly and disturbingly so.
- The Swarm: The worms in the climax are a sea of squirming and all-devouring little bodies.
- Too Dumb to Live: When night comes and the worms invade the diner, a diner patron very blatantly grabs the girl next to him and hurls himself and her into the mass of worms.
Whisp'ring in my keyhole:/"I know you're in there..."