#38. Squirm

38. Squirm (1976) - Season 10, episode 1012
"Mr. Beardsley?"

Plot: Worms in a small Georgia town are electrocuted, and this turns them into angry mutant killers.
Famous for:  Soooooo many southern redneck jokes.

"Imperial Grand Dragon and I still gotta drive a bus."

"We shape our hair into waves down here, boy."

My favorite riff:  See below.

Overly Southern Mom: I just don't want you to be too disappointed if he doesn't come.
Crow: Mother, that's private!

Comments:  Okay, now THIS is a fun episode. Which makes sense, because Squirm is actually a really fun movie. In fact, to this day, Squirm is still the only episode of MST3k where I actually saw the movie first, long before they ever riffed it. It was one of those movies that was considered a video store staple back in the day, so any kid who grew up as a horror fan in the 80s (like me) probably would have seen it at some point. 

Is Squirm a great film? Of course not. But as bizarre little regional horror films from the 70s go, it's perfectly fun and watchable just on its own, even without the riffing. And to be honest, when it comes to movies they've featured on Mystery Science Theater, you could find a lot worse.

"Ahhh!  The worm had a shiv!"

By the way, the director of Squirm (Jeff Lieberman) once famously criticized MST3k for mocking his movie, stating "You can't goof on something that's already a goof." But I don't think that's necessarily true. I love Squirm as a goofy little horror movie just on its own. And I love the riffing of Squirm by the MST3k guys even more. So I believe they CAN both co-exist. Yes, even if Squirm was a parody of horror movies to begin win, you can still take digs at it.

I know I say this about a lot of my favorite episodes but, to me, this is one of those episodes that would be PERFECT if you wanted to introduce a first-time MST3k viewer to the show. Because they're bound to get a kick out of all the overly-Southern accents, and all the over-the-top cartoon characters and antiquing jokes.  

Squirm isn't the funniest episode that MST3k ever did, but it's easily one of the most watchable.

"We thought you'd enjoy reading your movie."

Other personal favorite things about this episode:  I could watch this episode a hundred times, and I will never, ever, EVER get tired of all the riffs about the characters constantly searching for Mr. Beardsley.

"Mr. Beardsley?"

I will also never stop laughing at them cutting to the giant six-foot-two sister. And every time they do, Mike imitates her by going into a deep baritone Richard Kiel voice. It happens a bunch of times in the movie, and it's one of those things that even when you know it's coming, it still cracks you up.

Geri: "You ready?"
Mike (in the deepest possible human voice): "YEAH I'M READY."

Squirm is one of the rare movies featured on MST3k that was actually rated R. And because of this, the unriffed version is SIGNIFICANTLY more graphic and bloody than the version we see in the episode. So be warned.

The reason I know this is because Squirm is one of the rare MST3k movies that I actually own on DVD, so I'm familiar with both the R-rated theatrical version and also the PG-13 rated riffed version.

In the unriffed version, when the guy go'n be da worm face, he really go'n be da worm face.

Note: The Surgeon General recommends that you not be da worm face

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