Squirm (film)

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Directed by Jeff Lieberman
Produced by George Manas
Written by Jeff Lieberman
Music by Robert Prince
Cinematography Joseph Mangine
Edited by Brian Smedley-Aston
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date
  • July 30, 1976 (1976-07-30)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget Unknown
Box office Unknown

Squirm is a 1976 American natural horror film directed by Jeff Lieberman, and starring Don Scardino and Patricia Pearcy. The plot follows a small Georgia town that becomes inundated with flesh-burrowing worms. It features early makeup work from Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker. The film was shot over the course of 24 days in Port Wentworth, Georgia.


When a powerful storm knocks Fly Creek, Georgia's power lines down onto wet soil, the resulting surge of electricity drives large, bloodthirsty worms to the surface and out of their soil-tilling minds. The townspeople soon discover that their sleepy fishing village is overrun with worms that burrow right into their skin. Inundated by hundreds of thousands of carnivorous creatures, the terrorized locals race to find the cause of the rampage before becoming tilled under themselves.


  • Don Scardino as Mick
  • Patricia Pearcy as Geraldine "Geri" Sanders
  • R.A. Dow as Roger Grimes
  • Jean Sullivan as Naomi Sanders
  • Peter MacLean as Sheriff Jim Reston
  • Fran Higgins as Alma Sanders
  • William Newman as Quigley
  • Barbara Quinn as The Sheriff's Girl
  • Carl Dagenhart as Willie Grimes
  • Angel Sande as Millie
  • Carol Jean Owens as Lizzie
  • Kim Leon Iocovozzi as Hank
  • Walter Dimmick as Danny
  • Leslie Thorsen as Bonnie
  • Julia Klopp as Mrs. Klopp



The film was released theatrically in the United States by American International Pictures on July 30, 1976.[1]

This movie was initially rated R by the MPAA and released theatrically in that form in the U.S. Shortly after this initial theatrical release, the U.S. distributor, American International Pictures, made some minor cuts to the picture and resubmitted it to the Classification and Rating Administration. This new cut of the picture received a PG rating and, subsequently, was also released theatrically by AIP. No additional edits were made specifically for the United States video release. The R-rated version has a slightly longer shot in the shower in the beginning of the film, and a slightly longer shot of the worms burrowing into Roger's face.

Since the PG-rated version is considered the official theatrical release version of the film, the original R-rated cut is now classified as an unrated version of the film.

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD by MGM Home Entertainment in 2003.[2] The VHS version of the MGM re-release contained the PG version, while the DVD contained the R version. The R-rated version is one minute longer than the PG-rated version.[citation needed]

The uncut R-rated version was released in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Video on September 23, 2013.[3] This same version was released in the US on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory/Scream Factory on October 28, 2014.[4]


Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 36% based on 14 reviews with an average rating of 4.6/10.[5] Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, calling it an "above-average horror outing [that] builds to good shock sequences".[6]


Squirm was a popular late-night feature on SuperStation TBS in the 1980s after Atlanta Braves baseball games. Braves announcer Skip Caray famously "promoted" the movie by sarcastically offering Braves fans an autographed baseball if they actually stayed up to watch it, then sent in a review of it. TBS received over 1,000 reviews in response.[citation needed]

Pittsburgh musician Weird Paul Petroskey created an entire album, Worm in My Egg Cream, dedicated to the "worm in the egg cream" scene and making extensive use of samples from the film. All 16 tracks on the album are titled "Worm in My Egg Cream".[7]

In 1999, Squirm was one of the final films to be featured on the cult TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000.[8] The film was heavily edited for its MST3K appearance. Among the many scenes cut was the scene of Mick trudging through the swamp, the conversation between Mick and Alma, the worms' graphic attack on Roger, the gruesome fate of Mrs. Sanders, and the climax where Roger crawls after Mick and attempts to bite him.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Company Credits for Squirm". imdb.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  2. ^ "Squirm". mgm.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Squirm". arrowfilms.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  4. ^ "Squirm". shoutfactory.com. Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  5. ^ "Squirm (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Maltin, Leonard; Sader, Luke; Carson, Darwyn; Edelman, Rob. Leonard Maltin's 2014 Movie Guide. Penguin Press. p. 1318. ISBN 978-0-451-41810-4. 
  7. ^ "THE MUSIC OF WEIRD PAUL". www.weirdpaul.com. Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  8. ^ Sampo (2014-04-17). "Episode guide: 1012- Squirm (with short: 'A Case of Spring Fever')". Satellite News. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 

External links[edit]