Saturday 21 September 2013

"Squirm" - UK BD/DVD review

Aaaaah “Squirm”, I remember the old video box cover for this film back in the 80s, showing some poor unfortunate female in the shower, getting covered in worms that were crawling out of the shower nozzle (Google “Squirm VHS” and it’ll bring up the cover I’m referring too).
So icky was this picture (and the fact I was only 12 at the time), that it was many, many years before I actually got around to watching it. Whereupon I discovered that the film was nowhere near as graphic as I had imagined it to be, and was actually rather good fun.
Well the film has just been given a new lease of life on Blu-Ray and DVD here in the UK, courtesy of Arrow films and, as always, they were kind enough to send me a copy to review.
Set in a small rural town in Georgia, a storm knocks out the power lines which fall on the ground and electrify the soil. Which has an adverse effect on local worm population.
New to town is young Mick (Don Scardino), who’s travelled down to visit his girlfriend Geri (Patricia Pearcy), a local farm girl. Unfortunately, when they come across a couple corpses on the neighbouring property, it leads them to make a shocking discovery.
Yes it seems, thanks to that recent jolt of electricity, the worms have turned and developed a taste for human flesh. Of course, the Sheriff doesn’t believe a word of it and takes an instant disliking to young Mick.
But as night falls and the worms go on the rampage, engulfing the town (in a hilariously cheesy scene where they just pour in through the windows and doors of the local bar), whilst Mick, Geri and her family struggle to stay out of harms way.
One of many ‘Nature on the rampage’ films that came out in the late 70s, following the wake of “Jaws”. Whilst not overly gory and in many cases unintentionally funny (and even intentionally funny in some places), the film, which marked the directorial debut of cult director Jeff Lieberman (Blue Sunshine, Just Before Dawn), and featured special effects from Rick Baker (American Werewolf in London), quickly achieved cult status and proved extremely popular on home video back in the 80s.
“Squirm” is released in a dual format combo-pack edition, which contains both the Blu-Ray and DVD versions of the film.
Extras on the discs include….
A feature length audio commentary track with director Jeff Lieberman, in which he discusses many of the films technical aspects, a couple of casting errors he made and his dislike of the show "Mystery Science Theatre 3000".
Theres a Q&A session recorded at a special screening of the film 2012 which runs about 24 minutes, in which director Jeff Lieberman and star Don Scardino field various fan questions about the movie.
“The Esotiric Auteur”, a 15 minute feature with horror critic Kim Newman where he discusses the career and films of the director, as well as star Don Scardino and effects artist Rick Baker.
And finally there’s the original US theatrical trailer.
The case also contains a collectors booklet featuring Linear notes on the film by horror critic Gary Pullin and a text interview with director Jeff Lieberman, illustrated with original archive stills and posters and the sleeve features reversible artwork.
Not a film to watch if you're repulsed by bugs and creepy crawlies, but if you love these cheesy sort of 'nature on the rampage' films then you should definitely enjoy this one. This is actually the first time the film has been released on disc in the UK and this release by Arrow films is of a brand new HD transfer approved by the director and is undoubtedly the best it has ever looked. So if you were thinking of adding this one to your collection then the Arrow disc is definitely the way to go.
Buy the UK BD/DVD combo pack at

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