Squirm (1976)

SQUIRM (1976)
Article #1286 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-21-2004
Posting Date: 2-18-2005
Directed by Jeff Lieberman
Featuring Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow

A furious thunderstorm causes the destruction of several power lines, sending thousands of volts of electricity into the ground. As a result, carnivorous worms are drawn out of the ground and began attacking the local populace.

I’ve heard good things about the small handful of films directed by Jeff Lieberman, but to date, this variation on the nature-gone-wild theme is the only one I’ve seen. It does make me look forward to his other movies, though. It has some faults; the special effects are somewhat variable and the movie really strains credibility at times (there are two characters who seem incredibly lucky, and a third whose resilience seems downright supernatural). But what the movie does right, it does superbly. The characters are given an infectious (and sometimes eccentric) charm that really draws you into their stories; even the human villain has his likable points. The movie also knows how to get under your skin in subtle ways; you get put on edge just watching characters eat at certain points (string licorice and spaghetti, to be precise). The movie also has a real sense of wit to it. Ultimately, the movie remains enjoyable and unique. And I love the final twist, as it deals with the unexpected fate of my favorite character; to say more would be to say too much.

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