At Long Last, Squirm Coming To Blu Ray

AIPs 1976 killer earthworm movie, Squirm, will be squiggling its way onto Blu-Ray for the first time this fall.

squirm blu-ray

At the height of the post-Jaws Nature in Revolt frenzy, writer/director Jeff Lieberman (Just Before Dawn, Blue Sunshine), noting that all the usual suspects like grizzly bears, bees, and giant chickens had already been tapped, went underground in search of a lead for his killer animal picture and came up with, yes, earthworms. It was a smart move. I mean, who doesn’t get at least a little squishy and yucky about earthworms, right? Especially when you’re trying to bait a hook and the damn thing keeps squirming around and you can feel all those little segments contracting against the flesh of your fingers? Jesus, that always skeeved me out.  Now try to imagine baiting a hook with an oversized flesh-eating earthworm that’s trying to burrow through your eyeballinto your brain at the same time. Then imagine millions and millions of them squiggling into a small town and devouring the locals. Why, it’s enough to make you puke!

Amid some heavy drive-in competition that summer, Squirm stood out as an unexpected and unbalanced exploitation classic that combined bad jokes, tension, and endless gross out scenes (a corpse literally exploding with giant worms, etc.) in a mix guaranteed to make audiences, well, squirm and say “ewww” a helluva lot more than they did during Grizzly. Best of all, those well-versed in the genre will recognize this for what it is, namely a parody of the era’s Nature in Revolt films. A lot of people missed that at the time, focused as they were on those thousands of worms slowly filling the bathtub. Looking back now, it’s sharp and funny as hell (and still gross), and neatly skewers the conventions of a genre that would roll on for a few more years after its release.

While not completely neglected by the home video market, decent copies of Squirm have been mighty hard to come by over the years. Now comes word that this fall Scream Factory will at last be giving Squirm the Blu Ray treatment. Details are still pending, but oh the anticipation. Through the magic of HD we’ll finally be able to see every glistening mandible and every twitching segment. Hell, it’ll make this scrubby, grainy, low-budget exploitation job look like a David Lean picture, but with, y’know, a lot of worms.

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