The Horror Honeys: Spooky Kids Saturday Creature Feature with Suzanne!

Spooky Kids Saturday Creature Feature with Suzanne!

Squirm (1976)

Even spooky kids are unsettled by something and for me, that would be worms. I’ve never been afraid of snakes, even though the danger factor is infinitely higher, but worms are disgusting. With no skeletal structure and no face, worms wriggle about like fleshy, mucus covered nightmares. I remember, whenever it would rain, our sidewalk and driveway would be covered with them. You couldn’t step without mushing several at a time. I shudder to even think about it. Imagine my horror when I first saw Squirm.

In the small town of Fly Creek, GA, a freak storm downs major power lines, leaving the town without power and sending all of the electricity into the soggy ground. The extreme surge forces all of the worms above ground and into flesh eating killers. Local girl, Geri Sanders (Patricia Pearcy), and her city mouse boyfriend, Mick (Don Scardino), find a few dead bodies and take it upon themselves to investigate when the local constable refuses to believe them. 

Well, that's a bummer.
Geri and Mick have another obstacle in worm farmer Roger Grimes (no relation to Rick). Roger (R.A. Dow) has a serious thing for Geri and doesn’t take too kindly to an outsider wooing her. As darkness falls and the worms eat their way through the town, will anyone survive? Dun, Dun DUN!

Not since Deliverance has a film portrayed people from a backwoods town in such stereotypical fashion. The residents of Fly Creek are essentially witless wonders, save Geri, who has an open mind and is looking for more than a life in a small town. Roger the worm farmer seems to register high on the developmental disability scale, while Geri’s sister, Alma (Fran Higgins), who is jealous of the male attention given to Geri, spends her time applying lipstick and trekking through the muddy woods in platform sandals. We also have the hick sheriff who doesn’t seem to be concerned with anything, but still is suspicious of big city boy, Mick. While we’re on the subject of Mick, our “hero” is a skinny, ginger antiques dealer. In other words, he’s a totally menacing bad-ass.

I think you're being watched, Red.
Let’s talk about the worms, shall we? All real. Hundreds of thousands of live worms were used during this shoot, specifically, Glycera worms or blood worms, as they are commonly called. I looked it up. Blood worms are also carnivorous and they do bite people. I looked that up too and no, just no.

Okay, that's worse than "worms in the chest cavity" guy.
I watched this again recently. Scream Factory released a great blu ray transfer a few months ago. Although the acting and script leave much to be desired, the worms still make my skin crawl (pun intended). The scene where poor, creepy, Roger falls face down in a pile of worms and comes up with them burrowing under his skin gives me some serious icks.

If you haven’t seen Squirm, give it a look. It’s available on DVD and blu ray, and pops up on Netflix from time to time. To enhance your viewing experience, there is also a MST3K version that will have you pissing your pants.

Fun Fact: This movie could have turned out much differently from an acting standpoint. According to IMDb, Kim Bassinger auditioned for the role of Geri, Sylvester Stallone was angling for the role of Roger, and Martin Sheen was pegged to play Mick.

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