Thursday, September 17, 2009

MST3K Squirm Review



I haven't put any Mystery Science Theater up in quite some time, so here is the 12th episode of the final season. This is their take on Jeff Lieberman's Squirm. A tale of a dorky scrawny city boy and his daft scrawny bumpkin girlfriend in a fight against mutant earthworms - occasionally portrayed by spaghetti noodles. There's also a burly mildly retarded Steve Young/Alvin The Chipmunk looking man, who may or may not be a rapist, depending on what part of the movie you're at. Is he dumb and socially awkward, or is he a sex offender with a record? The movie didn't seem to know, why should we?

In addition, we also get a hilarious short called A Case of Spring Fever in which an obnoxious demonic sprite named Coily shows an obnoxious old moron I think was named Joe - because in the 50's everyone was named Joe - just how important springs are to the world. Turns out, without them the world would cease to function.

This was the second to last episode of the show and the riffing is as strong as ever. I could be biased, Mike episodes with crappy 70's-80's horror/monster movies were always my favorite. I think if you liked Boggy Creek II, or A Touch of Satan you should certainly get a kick out of this one. Come for the over the top southern accents, stay for the legendary "worm in my egg cream" scene.

Interesting thing about this movie, it being shown on MST really pissed off director Jeff Lieberman. Jeff was apparently displeased with his film being shown on MST because "you can't goof on what's already a goof". I've seen Squirm, and if it was supposed to be intentionally comical - a "goof" if you will - some wires must've gotten crossed somewhere because it's not. Maybe in theory it's funny. Take the "creatures run amok" formula, except instead of a killer shark or a big ass grizzly, what if it were something harmless, like regular sized worms. That can roar for some reason. However the actual movie just seems like a regular fairly dull creature picture that just happens to be funny because it's kinda stupid.

I'm not trying to sound like a dick or anything here. I respect him as a filmmaker - Blue Sunshine, Just Before Dawn and Remote Control are all very entertaining - I'm just saying I didn't think Squirm was a goof. Either way, the movie does have a pretty metal poster.

10 comments:

Scumbalina said...

awesome! I'll definitely be grabbing this one!

say... you dont happen to have the episode featuring "Opration Kid Brother" do you? I've been wanting to see that one for quite some time.

Tog said...

It's weird how defensive not only Lieberman, but his handful of fans, get over "Squirm." They should bear in mind that before MST3K tweaked its nose, "Squirm" was utterly forgotten by everyone else.

Lieberman also made "Satan's Little Helper," which, like his other films, is "good" but stops just short of "significant."

And "A Case Of Spring Fever" is a freakout masterpiece, on MST3K or not. Quite possibly my favorite MST segment ever. "Lots of loose soil to bury someone...HEY!"

Steven said...

Hey, man! I wanted to get your insight on a little project I'm cooking up, but I couldn't find your contact info. If you're interested, give me a shout at steven@thehorrorblog.com.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I agree with you that if Lieberman wanted Squirm to be a goof he shoulda told someone...maybe like the director and the screen play writer, as a start. Campy, yes. Goofy, no - at least until MST3K got to it. As another aside, I always thought little sis was cuter than the female lead. Don't know what that sez about me.

Greatly enjoy these, and I had been missing them too. Thanks muchly.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I agree with you that if Lieberman wanted Squirm to be a goof he shoulda told someone...maybe like the director and the screen play writer, as a start. Campy, yes. Goofy, no - at least until MST3K got to it. As another aside, I always thought little sis was cuter than the female lead. Don't know what that sez about me.

Greatly enjoy these, and I had been missing them too. Thanks muchly.

Aaron said...

"However the actual movie just seems like a regular fairly dull creature picture that just happens to be funny because it's kinda stupid."

Nail on the head.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

"No springs! Hahahahaha!"

Neyles Bitches said...

Another thank you to Phelpster. MST3K material is always appreciated. For those of you who cannot get enough, you should consider checking out http://www.justin.tv/thesynth - MST3K all the time. I never leave my house. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Don't stop! Keep 'em coming! We love you!!!!

Chris said...

Scumbalina - Yep, I have that one lying around somewhere. They used the hilarious Operation Double 007 alternate title for the episode. I'll try and get that one up soon.exe

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