Squirm (1976)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Natural Horror  |   Release Date - Jul 30, 1976 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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A horror film about killer worms might sound like a goofy proposition, but Squirm manages to beat the odds. This film is genuinely involving thanks to the savvy touch of writer/director Jeff Lieberman; he never overplays the more outrageous elements of his premise, offsets his plot gimmicks with a self-deprecating sense of humor, and takes the time to build a mood of genuine creepiness. Better yet, he sets it all against an interesting Southern-town backdrop and populates it with likeably odd characters: Don Scardino makes an offbeat (but very smart) hero, Patricia Pearcy is charming as the distinctly Southern love interest, and Peter MacLean gives an amusing turn as the town's surly sheriff. Squirm is also very well crafted for a low budget film. Joseph Mangine's atmospheric photography makes effective use of natural light and Robert Prince contributes a creepy musical score that uses synthesizers to achieve an unnerving effect. Best of all, Squirm offers an intense third act full of scares and shocks that mean something because the viewer is emotionally invested in the fates of the characters. All in all, Squirm is an excellent example of the "revenge of nature" horror film, and well worth the time for buffs of the genre.