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Episode guide: 1012- Squirm (with short: ‘A Case of Spring Fever’)


Short: (1940) In a moment of weakness, a frustrated guy wishes springs never existed … a wish he soon regrets.
Movie: (1976) Electrically supercharged worms attack the residents of remote Georgia town.

First shown: 8/1/99
Opening: The SOL’s annual safety check reveals a surprising lack of same
Intro: Pearl is throwing a Castle Forrester Fair, and Tom and Crow’s livestock entry surprises Mike
Host segment 1: Crow rashly wishes that Mike didn’t exist, and sure enough, Mikey the sprite appears to grant his wish and enforce Crow and Tom’s somewhat reluctant repentance
Host segment 2: Tom comes down with severe southern belleness
Host segment 3: Mike’s plan to create mutant killer worms instead results in a tasty snack
End: Crow takes a fall from his reeeally high platform shoes; Pearl forces Brain Guy demonstrate the fair’s bungee jump attraction, which has some flaws
Stinger: “You gon’ be da worm face!”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (237 votes, average: 4.42 out of 5)


• Well, this one is a lot of fun. The short, of course, is golden, just exactly what MST3K is all about. The short itself is great goofy fun and the riffing is top-notch. The movie keeps the momentum going with a watchable and actually kind of creepy little story, with plenty of flaws for the guys to pick at (bad acting, nerdy unlikeable hero; unsympathetic victims, etc., etc.). The host segments also keep things going, and if they’re not hilarious, they at least don’t outstay their welcome.
• Bill’s thoughts are here.
• This episode is not yet available on DVD.
• Where did they get that standee of Ben Murphy? Bet a fan sent it.
• In his comments, Bill confirmed what many people suspected: that this short had been kicking around BBI for years and was in fact the inspiration for the “Willie the Waffle” sketch way back in episode 317- VIKING WOMEN VS. THE SEA SERPENT.
• Fave riff in the short: “Guns, huh?”
• Many years ago, I mailed a copy of this short to the Springs Manufacturing Association in hopes they would reply with something funny to say about it, or might even know the history or background of the short. I never heard back.
• Callbacks: “Jeeeeeeed!” (The Leech Woman) “The monster called Gamera is destroying the city.”
• Naughty riff: “Mother! That’s private!” Also: “See? It’s not true that I can’t get wood.”
• That’s Patrick as Mikey and Mike’s Socksey
• One of the things I noticed this time was the proliferation of Klan jokes. A few are appropriate but I think they may have overdone it.
• Obscure: “…letters from Der Weisse Engel…”
• In segment 3, when Mike says he’s “gotta make a rice a verms” he’s mocking the famous Bela Lugosi line from Bride of the Monster about “rice a pipple.”
• Also in that segment, notice that somebody was making the little worm wiggle.
• In our recent discussion of the worst cops, many folks singled out the icky sheriff as the worst or one of the worst. Boy howdy were they right. Wow, what a jerk.
• “Hank Hill’s friend” has a name. It’s Boomhauer. Did they not know or were they afraid people wouldn’t recognize it?
• Yet another credit bit: This time it’s earnestly answering the questions asked in the song.
• Cast and crew roundup: Special effects makeup guy Rick Baker also worked on “The Incredible Melting Man” and “Track of the Moon Beast.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. For some reason Jeff Stonehouse was unavailable and someone named Kevin Galligan was the DP for this episode. Similarly, John Sims was not available and somebody named Clayton Hughes was the boom operator. Ed Dykhuizen and Sarah Lemanczyk were back as interns.
• Fave riff: “Lowly Worm’s worst day ever.” Honorable mention: “Kevin McHale, cross-dresser.”

142 comments to Episode guide: 1012- Squirm (with short: ‘A Case of Spring Fever’)

  • 1
    robniles says:

    Yet another in Season 10’s parade of good-not-great episodes for me. Coily’s whistle noise will forever bug the living crap out of me, and the movie itself really only leaves me with two things: a thirst for egg creams (hold the worms!) and a disturbing attraction to Don Scardino, who reminds me of my first boyfriend. What, can I say, I like ’em on the nerdy side.


  • 2
    Brian says:

    “In his comments, Bill confirmed what many people suspected: that this short had been kicking around BBI for years and was in fact the inspiration for the “Willie the Waffle” sketch way back in episode 317- VIKING WOMEN VS. THE SEA SERPENT.”

    I had no idea that was actually confirmed. Thank goodness. I recently saw the Viking Women episode for the first time and was convinced that I had somehow fallen through some kind of weird tear in the fabric of time.

    The short is gold. I played it for my wife and all she could do was look at me in stunned silence afterward. LOL

    “Noooo springs!!!” *whistle*


  • 3
    Rich says:



  • 4
    Loran Alan Davis says:

    Here is another great site to find MST videos:


  • 5
    Sitting Duck says:

    Saying this will probably put me in a tiny minority, but I despise this episode with a passion that others here reserve for the Hamlet episode. The short featuring that personification of pure evil known as Coily was bad enough. But the main feature filled me with such revulsion that this is probably the only MST3K episode I’ll never rewatch.


  • 6
    Emily says:

    I unabashedly love this ep (one of my favorites), and for some reason love the Tom-as-southern-belle segment. I’m about to commit sacrilege, however, and say that I don’t think the short is that great. It’s ridiculous and a MST3K must-see, of course, and its very existence is baffling, but IMHO I don’t think it stands up to multiple viewings.


  • 7
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    “A Case of Bass Ale” is the only rewatchable part of this episode. The movie seems almost randomly picked, to me, and is sufficiently disgusting to make me uninterested in watching it again.


  • 8
    swh1939 says:

    I enjoyed the short far more than the feature. I didn’t hate the feature; it just didn’t do anything for me. I was ok with the Mr. Beardsley running gag, but after the third time I was hoping they’d upgrade it to a kind of Chief/McCloud-style bit of business.


  • 9
    swh1939 says:

    Also, I used to work in a video rental store and had access to dozens, nee hundreds of standees. Many were of “celebrities” who had no business being on such a thing. As long as the Brains knew of someone who worked at a rental store, they were good to go.


  • 10
    Brandon says:

    I haven’t seen Squirm in a long time, but since A Case of Spring Fever is readily available on DVD, I’ve seen that one lots of times.

    “Oooh I’ll show Coily! I’m gonna digitize everything!” I always wondered if that was a riff they came up with in 1991, or whenever it was they originally screened this. The reason I wonder that is because I think the concept of “digitizing” things such as clocks, was still pretty new at that time, and I thought the Brains were riffing on advancements in technology.

    “Hey look! God has a spring!”

    “You’ll be the first to die!”

    “From then on, Coily visited him nightly until he was driven mad.”

    I don’t remember too much from Squirm. I do recall the scene where the red-haired “hero” comes back to get her bound and gagged girlfriend who is making her way down the attic, and for no reason, puts his hand on her butt. It’s funny to me because M&TB don’t react to it at all.


  • 11
    pumafan says:

    The film had some laugh-out-loud moments for me …

    the girls bringing in dinner to a dirge-version of Happy Birthday

    “I have a mind to cut off your health benefits!”

    bus driver — Southern man don’t need you around here anyhow

    and of course Lowly Worm’s worst day ever


  • 12
    MPSh says:

    I love the short. In fact, I find myself at odd times mimicking the frog-faced coot of a protagonist’s plaintive “Springs! I hope I never see another spring as ling as I live!” Oddly enough, Coily doesn’t show up when I say this. He must know I’m only kidding.

    As for the movie, I can’t get past the antiquing, whiny Elton John similacrum as the movie’s hero. The actress playing the mother does do a good job with the spooky faded Southern belle trope, though.


  • 13
    Son of Bobo says:

    I go to this one often. Yet another southern horror opus, which I think the Brains did a great job with. I would rather tackle a season of southern horror than a season of Japanese moster movies every other week like we had in season three. A rare short during this period, a good riffable movie. I like Don Scardino as the hero, like robniles in post #1, I too, like them a little nerdy.
    Very good host segments. I always like it when Mike is oblivious to the various parts of the ship. Worth it for Crow’s “You’re not very observant, are you, Mike?”
    Too bad this was the penultimate episode. “Mr. Beardsley!” would have made a nice callback.
    Fave riff: “Brian Setzer at his day job.”


  • 14
    Roman Martel says:

    For me this is the last of the good episodes. The short helps a lot. The first time I saw it I was shocked and delighted all at once. The short itself is so strange it just opens the door for good riffing and they don’t disappoint. I do find that I’m not always in the mood for the last half of the short with our newly converted preaching to his golf buddies, but usually it’s a good time all around.

    As for “Squirm” this is one of those movies that’s just bad enough to provide the riffing material, but compared to the film making behind oh say “Horrors of Spider Island” is a much better production all around. This can be a double edged sword for the riffers, but Mike and the bots really make it work. I think the focus on Southerness instead of 70’s jokes works wonders on it.

    I give it four egg creams out of five – hold the worms please.

    Click my name to read a full review.


  • 15
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Me, I’d rather have A Case Of Bass Ale.

    Coily the Spring Sprite. For once I concur with those who feel the last bunch of MST episodes were made by people aware of their imminent demise. We know that this short was seen by the Brains many years previous, and that we are lucky now to see their highly refined take on this bit of goofiness. Droppy the Water Droplet (1004) & Willy the Waffle (317) were mere prophets of the coming of Coily.

    Anyone who questions Don Scardino’s masculinity (or talent) should check out William Friedkin’s flawed masterpiece Cruising. He plays a gay West Village neighbor of Pacino’s who (SPOILER!) meets a bad end. Scardino is now a director, doing TV shows like “Law & Order” and “30 Rock”.

    “Amethyst” was a fantasy Marvel comic book from the 1980’s. Why it is shown among the comics the Bots are reading in Host Segment 1 is a mystery to me.

    Random Twilight comparison: there is more genuine romance in the first 15 minutes of this movie than in that entire film series. I really like the two leads here and hope their ginger love connection pans out.

    This one works for me due to the colorful characters. The cast are all highly memorable, like the douche-bag sheriff, surely one the worst in MSTory. My favorite: Roger, except for his attempted date rape while on the fishing boat. From a comment on Skenderberg’s Blog re. the killer worms: “in Roger’s case they find him seemingly indigestible, and transform him into the delightful ‘Worm Face.’ [perhaps they recognize him as their former caretaker.]” Good observation.

    This is one of those rare MST films that I feel may be too good to be riffed (having never invoked this rule before I feel the right in this case). Sure, I appreciate the added humor, but never felt the film was actually “bad”. Compared to The Giant Spider Invasion (810), which shares common themes of rural redneck monster mayhem, Squirm has well-drawn characters, competent production, and a creepy atmosphere.

    The end credits show this as another early Rick Baker effort (Melting Man, Moon Beast) who went on to better projects later. Also, I don’t think anyone mentioned him during the It Lives By Night (1010) discussion but a young Stan Winston did the makeup effects for that one.

    And once again, Crow falls from a great height. Good times; bring your binoculars.

    The riffing is fine but the movie itself is enough for me to give it 4 stars.

    A certain convocation of politic worms! (Hamlet callback)


  • 16
    Wilford B. Wolf says:

    I’ll just say that I’m glad that the short is available on it’s own in this case. While the movie does have it’s goofy moments, but to me, it’s still sufficiently creepy and disgusting to not rewatch.

    As for the short, a friend of mine commented that the Brains seem to just lay back and show how goofy the short is. The first half has some really funny bits as Coily is doing the tormenting, but the second half seems to peter out. As Servo comments, “Shouldn’t this be over?”


  • 17
    fathermushroom says:

    I don’t watch this one all that often, because the film itself totally grosses me out. And I’m an entomologist by training.


  • 18
    Fart Bargo says:

    Coily is one of the most memorable characters from a short, second only to Mr B. Great short and okay movie with good riffing. The sheriff sort of bumps the movie up a bit. And what a ladies man! How many ladies out there were dreaming to be curled up next to this waxey, silver haired Adonis in a filthy jail house cot? What a skank!


  • 19
    Evan K says:

    I saw this non-MSTied movie on TV when I was a kid, scared the crap outta me. I still have trouble watching it, even MSTied – super gross …


  • 20
    trickymutha says:

    #15- I saw Cruising in the theater when it came out! I really need to see that film again, armed with the knowledge I just gained from your post.

    As far as this episode- I again found it consistent with season 10 and creepy southern towns. That’s why I enjoy Michigan even more (no tar balls on the beach) & (no creepy inbred hicks trying to unleash killer worms on my face)- so though I’m poor, and rotting in industrial decay, I have a full set of MST and drinking water. The future is bright!


  • 21
    klisch says:

    One of season 10’s best. I wish they would have ended the series with this episode and not Danger Diabolik!, but that disussion can wait till next week.


  • 22
    Cubby says:

    “Amethyst” was a fantasy Marvel comic book from the 1980?s. Why it is shown among the comics the Bots are reading in Host Segment 1 is a mystery to me.

    I don’t know either, but it’s a DC comic.


  • 23
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    For me, “Squirm” is like “The Incredible Melting Man” and the Mr. Creosote sketch; I just can’t watch them. They sound very funny, though. And, as I noted previously, the “evil little kid” music from this one and the song from “It Lives by Night” are definitely a good match.

    I have to disagree with Mike re: the movies editor, Brian Smedley-Aston. He cannot be a complete failure, having worked on the original “Rollerball”.

    So, how many other people do you think Coiley has driven into spring-centered madness?


  • 24

    “I’m gonna Willem Dafoe all over you.”

    The short is okay but I like the movie much more. I grew up with this movie and it was terrifying as a kid.


    Well, I don’t know why, but okay…


  • 25
    Brandon says:

    I’m surprised nobody has brought up the director contacting the folks at the MST3K REVIEW WEBSITE thinking they were BEST BRAINS INC. and lecturing them about how MST3K was wrong to make fun of his movie, because it’s really a ‘comedy’


  • 26
    Bat Masterson says:



  • 27
    H says:

    This is a good one. The short definately outweighs the movie but the movie is pretty good as well. Host segments are solid for the most part.

    On another note, glad to hear we’re doing the KTMAs after all. Last thing I remember was that we were going to skip those and start with Season 1.


  • 28
    Son of Bobo says:

    Post 25: The director thinks Squirm is a COMEDY!? If that was his intention, I have to say he is no Rick Sloane.


  • 29
    NormalView82 says:

    I watched this ep for the first time a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. “Coily” and the skit he inspired were pretty hilarious.

    Squirm itself I found very memorable though I never quite got the “antiquing” riffs, I’ll have to watch it again. It kind of reminded me of Soultaker, with the female lead being not quite girl next door attractive, more like “girl two towns over” attractive.


  • 30

    Antiquing is like on that History Channel show with those guys that go to remote cousin-brother type locales to look at people’s rusted out crap in hopes of finding rare and collectible items that the owner is too stupid and inbred to understand the value of.


  • 31
    WeatherServo9 says:

    I challenge anyone to watch this movie while eating spaghetti.

    The short is amazing the first time you see it (at least this was my experience), but then on repeated viewings, once the shock of it has worn off, that ending just drags on and on.

    The worm parts of this movie are so utterly disgusting that even typing this sends a cold chill down my spine. I’m honestly surprised that this passed muster to be shown on regular cable during regular hours. I know there’s no nudity or profanity or even overt violence, but ewwwwwwwwwwww.

    Still, after reading all these comments I might try and watch the movie again this weekend just for the sake of sentimentalism. I don’t think I’ve watched it since it was originally broadcast, and it puts me in the mind of my life at the time, and how I regularly watched the last couple of seasons of MST3K with a group of friends (that I am long since out of touch with), and how we always looked forward to seeing those new episodes every week. Remember the thrill when you didn’t really know the movie at all, and you were seeing the riffing for the first time? I was driving across the US in late 1998, and I happened to catch (I believe) Riding With Death in a hotel room in Boise. At that point I hadn’t seen a new MST3K for a while (I’d never had cable before 1998, so I relied upon chance encounters with videotapes and other people’s cable), and I can still remember the nerdy excitement I felt when I realized what I was seeing. New MST3K! Now, after having seen all the available episodes, I feel like I know this show so well that I kind of wish I could go back and see them all again for the first time. Well, all of them except for Hamlet.

    In that spirit, I’m looking forward to a hopefully very worthwhile comment thread for Diabolik.


  • 32
    kismetgirl88 says:

    I think “Coily” has be most evil sprite in world. I mean he just torment the man. Was this suppose be educational and for what purpose? I do like the skit though.


  • 33
    PrivateIron says:

    I just did not like it. I know these views are unpopular, but then I have never courted popularity.


  • 34
    Gummo says:

    Love this one. Watch it often. Makes me laugh. Not much more to be said.


  • 35
    Dip says:

    I get through it by leaving the gross scenes on, but averting my eyes just enough so I know what’s going on, but so the images don’t really imprint in my mind. Remember “patch-ass and scrawny”?


  • 36
    maclen says:

    Brandon says:
    “I’m surprised nobody has brought up the director contacting the folks at the MST3K REVIEW WEBSITE thinking they were BEST BRAINS INC. and lecturing them about how MST3K was wrong to make fun of his movie, because it’s really a ‘comedy’”

    Yeah, director Lieberman made the same comment on the dvd audio commentary when he mentioned MST3k riffing on his film at the start of the movie. But then towards the end of the movie when Mick and Geri are escaping out of the window onto the tree, Lieberman actually points out that when “Da worm face” Roger crawls up to Mick, that the actor can actually be seen “not” pounding on Mick’s leg…but is actually pounding on his own arm! Then he says to the effect, “See, I can riff on this film as well as those mystery science guys!”


  • 37
    WhereTheFishLives says:

    Sorry to those I offend, but I find this to be the worst of the season 10 episodes. Thank god for the short, which is in my opinion one of the best in the shows history. Fave riffs: “Man they are way over-southerning” “I’m gonna Willem Dafoe the hell outta you” and “come on, no one is that southern!”


  • 38
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Sampo: “Where did they get that standee of Ben Murphy?”

    It seems pretty obvious to me that they made their own. Take a frame blowup of Ben Murphy’s head from “Riding with Death,” put it on a photo of some guy in a suit, and voila. (BTW, it always looked to me like the head is a bit small in proportion to the body.) Just a variation on the same technique that gave us the talking Abby figure in the last host segment of “Riding with Death.”


    re: “A Case of Spring Fever”

    As Wilford B. Wolf (#16) points out, Servo himself nails the real problem with this one. During the golf game, he asks, “Shouldn’t this be over?” The first four minutes are priceless, but then it gets dull, and the Brains find little to do with it. While I’m on the subject, I loved the callback during the feature when the station wagon is violently bobbing down the road, and Servo says, “Look! (Coily voice) No springs!”


    Is “Squirm” is the only feature they ever did that was long enough to be an episode by itself, but which they added a short to anyway? It’s surprising that it works so well, considering they cut something like 28 minutes out of it. It doesn’t feel like it’s missing any plot. I’ve never seen it at its original length, but it must be insufferable.

    Even though I enjoy the creative slams on Patricia (Geri) Pearcy (“It’s a moldy Slim Jim! No, it’s her.”), I think she’s actually pretty cute. But then, I have a thing for redheads.

    All in all, a fair-to-middling episode. It doesn’t have many memorable riffs for me.

    Favorite riff: re: “Willie’s Bait” sign, “Clinton’s next job.”


  • 39
    Spector says:

    I agree with robniles in the opening comment, this is another of season ten’s “good but not great” episodes. I really enjoyed the short (“Coily”, man, does that name beg to be mocked) but the movie was so-so. Kinda like “Boggy Creek” but not quite as good. Just a really creepy vibe to this movie (no pun intended) which just prevented me from enjoying it more.


  • 40
    Joseph Nebus says:

    If I remember right, the making of Squirm was a major part of the debut issue of Starlog magazine, alongside a lot of talk about Star Trek. Lots of talk about Star Trek. More than you can imagine. Plus the worm movie. Backstage pictures and everything.

    My father asserts that A Case Of Spring Fever was made to pitch the new suspension system of whichever car it was got featured at such great length. That seems plausible, although the 900-hour Ken Burns-ish detail on the history and philosophy and wacky-fun-ball-theology of spring-ness-ocity seems like overkill. On the other hand Once Upon A Honeymoon was probably trying to sell phones, so clearly there was some sort of major brain malfunction in the advertising industry which compelled them to make epic deranged fantasy tales instead of clear, focused pitches directing attention to the unique selling propositions of their products.


  • 41
    Joe Klemm says:

    @ 38 While the film uncut would have been long enough for a whole MST3K episode, the thing here, as many have noticed, is that even with the riffing by Mike and the ‘Bots, the film is still somewhat scary. Now consider that some of the scenes that were in the uncut version include an on-camera shot of Roger becoming “Worm Face” (aka we actually see the worms crawl inside Roger’s face) and the scene where the worms kill Geri’s mother.

    Given MST3K’s practice of screening films first and cutting out the scenes that are either too “intense” or too “adult” for a show targetted at general audiences (which was instated after the writers were writing riffs for The Sidehackers and were unaware that the film includes a scene where the hero’s love interest is raped and killed), most of the darker moments of Squirm were cut from the episode. By the time the cuts were made, the film itself was now too short to be used for the whole episode. Hence, with the cut time, BBI was finally able to riff on a certain short involving a certain Satanic “spring sprite”. *WHISTLE*


  • 42
    WILLIAM BALL says:

    I didn’t how much this movie grossed people out. I must be desensitized as all Hell…

    Anyway, Squirm is one of my top rewatched episodes. Always a good time and a good laugh whenever I pop this one in. I will say the first couple minutes of the “Coily” short are super fun, but the whole “preaching the gospel of Springs” bit near the end just drags on… The movie is sufficiently full of redheads, ickyness, inbred hunks, douche-sheriffs, and thick Southern promise that most of the riffing takes full advantage of the material. So… yeah. I likes it. Definitely the last “good” episode of MST3K.


  • 43
    EricJ says:

    I will say the first couple minutes of the “Coily” short are super fun, but the whole “preaching the gospel of Springs” bit near the end just drags on…

    “So…’guns’, huh?” Smile


  • 44
    JJK says:

    #16 and others say this movie is creepy and disgusting, that’s the reason it’s good. If you are that much of a wimp just watch the Disney Channel with the other 5-year-olds.


  • 45
    tinaw says:

    I enjoy this episode and it is in my regular viewing rotation. There are many great riffs throughout, and the host segments are well done. A couple things:

    Kevin Murphy appears to make a callback to the Coily riff in one of the Rifftrax shorts. I think it’s the one with the monkey kids. Don’t quote me; I could be misinterpreting the joke.

    Showtime (or was it Starz) used to show Squirm on a regular basis, and the information listing always gave it 3 stars (???). Some of the parts the Brains cut out had nudity in them, specifically when Geri was in the shower near the beginning of the movie.

    I honestly thought that the Beardsley riffs were going to turn into Chief/McCloud riffs. The feeling that this is the direction the joke should go is so strong that every time I watch this ep, and get to that part, before I can stop myself I chime in with “Chief? McCloud!”

    Some of my favorite riffs:

    Mother: “I just don’t want you to be disappointed when he doesn’t come.”
    Crow: “Mother, that’s private!”

    (When Mick falls into a swamp)
    Crow: “I’m an idiot!”

    (When the sheriff and random woman are sharing post-coital bliss in a prison cell)
    Crow: “Ugh she sold herself for a plate of spaghetti!”

    NormalView82: As far as the antiquing riffs go, besides the fact that it was how Geri and Mick met, I believe the Brains didn’t think antiquing was a very manly pastime.


  • 46
    KJB says:

    I’d say that this is actually one of the better movies that the Brains ever did. The lead characters are kind of likable, the setting feels like a real place, it has a sense of humor, and a couple of bits are actually kind of scary. Considering that it’s about electrified killer earthworms, that’s not a bad achievement. This is one of those guilty pleasures that the show was able to elevate that much higher. One of the highpoints of a pretty uneven season.

    “Mom, we live in Michigan!”


  • 47
    TomBomb says:

    I’d rather watch Mr. and Mrs. Roper have sex than this episode again. Whew!


  • 48
    Brandon says:

    @42 This movie doesn’t gross me out at all either. Hell, I could eat sausage while watching how sausage is made, and not be phased by it.

    The only incident, in a MST’ed film that’s ever grossed me out, is the moment in The Brain That Wouldn’t Die where the closet monster bites out a chunk of Bill’s neck and then drops it on the floor. THAT moment sickens me.


  • 49
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:


    Well, IIRC Stephen King claimed sort of the same thing when “Maximum Overdrive” bombed, so…


  • 50

    This movie is not that gross. ‘The Incredible Melting Man’ is much grosser.

    My favorite lines:

    Crow: “You know, this whole movie deftly illustrates one unshakable principle. Never go to the south for any reason. In fact, please south, cecede will you? We won’t stop you this time.”

    Mike: “Crow!”

    Crow: “Oh c’mon! They know we hate them!”

    Mike: “Now stop it! Sorry south. He’s a violent little robot. Pay no attention.”


  • 51
    Johnny Ryde says:



  • 52
    Bobby 23-Skidoo says:

    I watched this one along with, for reasons unknown to me, Radar Secret Service yesterday. Both episodes have Billie Joe McAllister references. What are the odds?

    Anyhow, this one is somewhat tough for me to get through, for the aforementioned grossout factor. I don’t know what is about the bug close-ups that does it. I’ll probably have the same feeling when I break out Phase IV.

    The riffing is fine though, and like Sampo, the Lowly Worm riff is my fave.


  • 53
    trickymutha says:

    #50- off topic here- Squirm and IMM are a little gross- but the single grossest scene ever (well, save the baby oil on JDB) is in #513 The Brain that wouldn’t die- when the ugly monster tears the good doctor’s throat out and some icky thing crawls out.

    Or…maybe when the guy eats a heart in Cave Dwellers? Hmm…


  • 54

    I show A CASE OF SPRING FEVER to physics classes when we cover Hooke’s Law and elasticity. The science is correct
    and it’s a reminder to students that “educational” shorts should not be taken too seriously.
    I kinda like SQUIRM part – favorite riff: “He has a body like an unbaked breadstick.”


  • 55
    TrumpyDumpy says:

    ah-this one is among my personal favs collection. me and my buds still make reference to “No Springs” as well as “that’s private” jokes. Can’t forget to scream out “Mr. Beardsly” every chance you get! It’s almost as catchy as “Watch out for snakes” or “Has anyone seen my dog” A classic in my books!


  • 56
    fantagor says:

    This one grew on me, which is preferable to squirming up my leg. The theme music is hauntingly off topic. Shadows were not covered in the movie even once. I want a plethora of worm references in my worm movie’s theme.


    PS NO SQUIRMS! (annoying whistle hit follows)


  • 57
    fireballil says:

    I gave it four instead of three because it was closer to four than three for me. I think that they knew they were close to the end so the Brains decided to go out with a bang after the mediocre eps before this. A lot of you have already given the lines I liked, but here are a few more:

    Crow, describing Alma, Geri’s sister: ‘Kevin McHale, crossdresser.’
    Tom, seeing the house after the worms left: ‘Never ask Tom Arnold to housesit.’
    Mike, describing Geri’s car: ‘The Ford station wagon: unsmall at any speed.’

    Also I can recommend both Cheepnis and Skyroniter for good copies of episodes. Skyroniter’s site provides DVD’s as prizes for contests run over on the MST3K Discussion Board. A lot of you may already post there, but I want to personally invite you to join up. There’s a link on the left side of the page for you.


  • 58
    pablum says:

    The penultimate episode of the saga.

    This was only the second movie on MST3K I saw prior to it being riffed on. The other was Time of the Apes. That didn’t endear it to me any more than had I not.

    An average episode. Nothing amazing, but nothing bad. I would have preferred MST3K to go out with more of a bang than it did, but this’ll do.


  • 59

    Enjoyable little film. Surprised MST3K got it though. I love the ending credits song. My brother never watches this episode, apparently he doesn’t like worms or something. I think he’s lying, but have no idea why.


  • 60
    rcfagnan says:

    The penultimate episode. Not as strong as one might have liked, but not as awful as many seem to think it. This one sits there quietly in the corner wishing you’d watch it but knowing you won’t. I live in the state of Georgia, where this film claims to take place. I have yet to meet any people as repulsive as the southern stereotype as portrayed in movies (with Sherrif Douchebag as my Exhibit A). Maybe I just don’t get out enough…


  • 61
    StumpBeefKnob says:

    Sorry, trickymutha(#20), but after spending 9 miserable days with my hillbilly inlaws in northern Michigan, I have to disagree–there are PLENTY of creepy inbred hicks there!! Granted, none of them were trying to unleash killer worms on my face, but what they WERE doing is creepy enough in itself!(we’ll just leave it at that!)As far as the film goes, I can’t get enough southern-bashing, and the “hero” leaving his girlfriend in the hands of a “creepy inbred hick” is icing on the cake for me!! 4.5 stars!


  • 62
    FastEddie says:

    Pat Pearcy (Geri)should have run a bell with somebody; she was the winsome young thing Richard Dreyfuss was running lines with in his room in Goodbye Girl. Pretty impressive: she went from Squirm to playing opposite Dreyfuss in an Oscar-winning performance in ONE YEAR.


  • 63
    Dr. Batch says:

    I’ve always wondered why this short was made. What’s the point of it? Was there a big anti-spring movement going on that I’ve never heard about?
    Great episode, though. I hope it’s coming to DVD soon.


  • 64
    Chief?McCloud! says:

    @ #10 Um, I had a digital wrist-watch in ’76 with LEDs or diodes or bulbs, not LCD. Point….nowhere near a new concept.


  • 65
    pumafan says:

    Another thing I love about this episode (just finished watching it again) is Mike’s little comments that you can just barely make out, as if he were talking behind his hand;

    “yeah, I’m not surprised he’s got weak ankles.”

    “checking my wrist to see if they’re weak, too; they are.”


  • 66
    John Paradox says:

    So, you’ve seen this episode enough times to know the riffs, and even start to create your own? Well, might I suggest getting the ‘original’ with the writer/director’s commentary. Ever wonder what Ed Wood’s commentaries would sound like? This is probably as close as we’ll ever get.
    I set up the disc with the commentary on, and subtitles (for the ‘missing’ scenes that weren’t in the MST3K version). Also set aside some ‘entertainment enhancers’ (popcorn.. among other things) for the viewing.
    One of the first things that you’ll notice is that the w/d complains about “Mystery Space Science Fiction 2000” (BBI) ‘not getting it’ because the movie is a ‘goof’ (parody? satire? comedy?), and you can’t ‘goof a goof’.
    He mentions the falling high-voltage tower was stolen from Oceans 11, and that there was a lot of ‘stock footage’- surprise, surprise. But really, his ‘ideal cast’ for the movie had Geri played by Kim Basinger(!!), with Martin Sheen as Mick (!?!?!) and Sylvester Stallone as Roger(?!?!?).. even mentioning that Sheen wanted to change Mick’s profession to ‘actor’.
    For those who didn’t find out elsewhere, Mr. Beardley’s house is a famous ‘haunted house’. The actor who played Mama is actually from Texas, which is, after all, a different accent than Georgia (oh, it was shot outside Savannah, BTW) There’s also a short scene that was cut where Sheriff Pink hits on “Mama”.. and the commentary has something like ‘see the crib, and how it’s aligned to look like jail bars..’. There are several times in the commentary where he talks about how ‘great’ the actors are, and some of them really make me think of Ed Wood, like in the EW movie, ‘nobody will notice’ responses to people mentioning ‘bad takes’ with the cheap sets.
    There’s a strange/fun cut from where Mick and Geri invite Roger fishing.. another Antiques Dealer (which seems to be the entire town, except for Willie’s Bait) tries to sell an old Diving Helmet that he claims was used in a John Wayne movie. Some of the other ‘deleted’ scenes add just a touch to the ‘goof’ claim… Mick ‘using the men’s room’, then using some insect spray before meeting Geri.
    Overall, the commentary sounds more like trying to ‘fix the movie after it’s released’, with his explaining what he meant to do, thus the ‘Ed Wood Commentary’ description.
    One of the ‘missing’ scenes involves Geri and Mick trying to find Sheriff Pink, and talking with a cleaning lady. It was an actual cleaning lady, and the dialogue is a sparkling as anything Ed Wood ever wrote (sarcasm). The Scarier Roger scenes (the inital ‘wormface’, and his crawling up the stairway) have been removed, as well as the ‘poison ivy’ scenes (where Mick and Sis are smoking a joint, and she tells him he’s infected, then another where Mick is treating his leg and talking with Geri.. about what I don’t remember). Also, when Mick is in the Dentist’s office, the commentary notes Sis has a joint in her hand!
    Some of the comments are just so self-serving (mentions of Ingmar Bergman, the ‘ideal stars’ above, and various ‘performance is great’ inserts), the commentary becomes a new source for riffing, right up to the end where he once again mentions the MST3K riffing as “Mystery 2000 schtick”.
    As the long irrelevant song (he mentions that the song(s) really have nothing to do with the movie) at the end unspools, he tells us that making the worms ‘active’ was done just like Willie’s… using electricity to stimulate them… which makes Mike’s discovery all the more humorous in the MST3K version. [The commentary says they could ‘electrify’ the worms about 3 times before they died]

    Honestly, this episode I pair with Soultaker (‘teasing’ redheads in both) like I pair Invasion of the Neptune Men with Prince of Space, etc.
    Viewing the MST3K version one night, followed the next by the ‘commented’ version is almost like seeing two different ‘riffed’ versions (have the ‘subtitles’ on for the ‘missing’ scenes, there are some really bad bits of dialogue in them).

    Even setting aside the ‘goofy’ commentary, some of the really bad scenes, and the idea that the original is supposed to be some kind of ‘comedy’, I do still like the movie in both versions… okay, I have a thing for redheads (they have the opposite feelings toward me, however)… but knowing how much the w/d commenter wanted from this movie, it’s still a cheap movie, badly acted and directed, and deserving of the MST3K treatment



  • 67
    Finnias 'Critter' Jones says:

    Cubby @#22 “Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld” … it’s a DC comic.

    You are correct, sir. A brain-fart on my part (#15), as I had actually looked it up on Wikipedia to confirm when it was published. As a comic collector in the early ’80’s I remember seeing it in the stores then, but not being a teenage girl, I never picked it up. I’m guessing the crew of the SOL read whatever junk the Mads sent up.


  • 68
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Brandon (#48): “The only incident, in a MST’ed film that’s ever grossed me out, is the moment in The Brain That Wouldn’t Die where the closet monster bites out a chunk of Bill’s neck and then drops it on the floor. THAT moment sickens me.”

    John M .Hanna (#50): “This movie is not that gross. ‘The Incredible Melting Man’ is much grosser.”

    I’m smellin’ a weekend topic! For what it’s worth, my biggest gross-out moment in a MSTed film is the chicken embryos in “The Chicken of Tomorrow.”


  • 69
    MonkeyPatrol:InColor says:

    This is one of my favorite SciFi era episodes. The short is in the top five all-time shorts and the riffing of the movie is consistently hilarious. One of the only SciFi episodes I can watch anytime.


  • 70
    MonkeyPatrol:InColor says:

    As for the writer/director’s claim that “you can’t goof a goof”, you most certainly can when that goof is made with utter incompetence, as was “Squirm”.

    I’m pretty sure “Giant Spider Invasion” was supposed to be semi-satirical as well, but man is it just a lot of poorly-executed pretentious crap.


  • 71
    Pixiesnix says:

    This is a very damp movie. In fact, I would venture to say that this is an even damper movie than Boggy Creek II. It’s also more loathsome, and Boggy Creek II had an outhouse scene! It doesn’t scare me, though.

    All in all, one of their better ones. The short is an instant classic, the riffing of the movie is funny, and the movie itself is weird enough to make it riff-worthy. It’s really difficult to eat Twizzlers for a while afterwards, though.

    I can’t help but wonder if something had happened to the mother to make her all fragile and nervous before the events of the movie even started.

    #25 do you by chance have a link to that?

    BTW, what sort of worms did they use? They sure didn’t look like earthworms.

    Fave riffs:

    “More gray asses!”

    “Rip. Tear. Expose. Horrify Friends.”

    “Jam Handy reminds you to keep your preserves in a convenient location.”

    “And if I see you just one more time…that’ll be three times.”

    “The worms are driving around in matchbox cars.”


  • 72
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    I just realized I forgot my actual favorite riff from this movie:

    “Left muh shadow. Hope ya don’t mind.”

    I think the funniest part of the movie itself is when Roger hurls the particle board at Mick. It catches the wind, settles down lightly on Mick… and knocks him out. I enjoy Crow pointing out the uselessness of the whole sequence: “And the search for wood ends in complete triumph!”

    Has anyone seen the unedited version? Is there a reason why Mama is so on edge, right from the beginning? It’s like the actress WAY overdid the “make up your character’s history” part of crafting a performance, to the point that the subtext she was adding (whatever it was) completely overwhelmed the text.


  • 73

    This one doesn’t do much for me. The movie’s just too boring, and the riffing isn’t particularly inspired, to my ears.
    As others have noted, the short is great for the first few minutes, and when the short peters out, M&TB kind of do as well.
    That said, even a mediocre MST3K episode is way better than anything else on TV.


  • 74

    I think the mother is that way because of Tennessee Williams.


  • 75
    Mighty Jack says:

    To Finnias ‘Critter’ Jones #15 – I mentioned on my website that Crow was reading a copy of “Amythyst” during a host seg in “the Beast of Yucca Flats”. And they had other comic related skits in the other shows, so it was probably something they had amongst their props. BTW – it was a good comic, drawn by Ernie Colon (who used to do Richie Rich).

    I like this episode. There are many observational quips and ‘additions to the diolog’ type riffs that I felt were real sharp. Oh and I think the phrasing “Hank Hill’s friend” was funnier than if they’d just said Boomhauer, at least the phrasing always cracked me up.


  • 76
    Sean says:

    This is an episode that can only be viewed by not looking directly at it. It gets a little sick sometimes, but then of course, when you consider what they *didn’t* show…


  • 77
    Fart Bargo says:

    To Cubby, Critter and MJ

    They are GRAPHIC NOVELS, not comic books! Turn in your nerd membership immediately!


  • 78
    Sitting Duck says:

    If you want to be uber-pretentious, call them sequential art.


  • 79
    Sitting Duck says:

    Andrew Borntreger of BadMovies.Org reviewed this one.


  • 80

    Oooo, I really like #76’s comment — this episode is like the sun.

    The short is wonderful, right up with all the classic shorts, the movie riffing is top notch, the only problem is the movie itself is somewhat gross to many people (myself included) and thus tends to invoke bad connotations.

    Since my wife and I nearly always watch MST3K while we’re eating we try and avoid these kinds of episodes, so I can’t say it’s my favorite despite all the above. But I’m glad they did it.


  • 81
    Howard says:

    I liked this episode more 10 years ago than I do today. It’s actually a decent film, IMHO, with pretty fair acting all around. If a lot of the characters are stereotypes, that’s just par for the course for a cheap horror film. Roger and Willie are perfect specimens. Love these films shot on location!


  • 82
    Steve Vil says:

    No one ever seems to mention this: RA Dow is actually Tony Dow from Leave It To Beaver.


  • 83
    Howard says:

    #82 Steve Vil says: “No one ever seems to mention this: RA Dow is actually Tony Dow from Leave It To Beaver.”

    Really? I’m too young (at 44) to have seen much LITB so I wouldn’t know this. The ever-lovin’ IMDb gives different birth dates for Tony Dow and R.A. Dow (R.A. is about 4 years older, making him 35 when Squirm was made!) but that doesn’t necessarily disprove your point. The crazy mama in the film was also some sort of once-famous actress.


  • 84
    casimar says:

    The movie was excruciatingly nasty (“SQUIRM” indeed) but I loved the short, especially since it was clearly the basis of the “No More Waffles” skit from way back. I only wish it really had been waffles…


  • 85
    JJK says:

    No one ever seems to mention this: RA Dow is actually Tony Dow from Leave It To Beaver. The reason is it isn’t him. Tony Dow continued to act until well into the 1990’s and the guy in the movie doesn’t even vaguely look like him.


  • 86
    Tarantulas says:

    The Ben Murphy standee was made at BBI on Jim’s “new toy” (a plotter printer).

    Same thing goes with all the posters you see in the hallways and the Mike and the bots cutouts from Hobgoblins.


  • 87
    John Paradox says:

    Iggy Pop’s Brother Steve Pop says:

    Has anyone seen the unedited version? Is there a reason why Mama is so on edge, right from the beginning?

    No, there’s never really any explanation, though we don’t know how long she’s been widowed. The commentary kind of glosses it over.

    Pixiesnix says:

    BTW, what sort of worms did they use? They sure didn’t look like earthworms.

    I don’t recall offhand, but the commentary does have a mention what type of worms they were, and they’re apparently native to the area.. I’ll have to cue up the DVD and check.



  • 88
    Manny Sanguillen says:

    Love the episode, but they went too easy on southerners.


  • 89
    Dr. Batch says:

    It’s not Tony Dow.


  • 90

    It’s not Merritt Stone.


  • 91
    DaWurmFace says:

    I love this episode as my name implies. I do think my favorite bits are mocking the wurm face guy and making fun of the weak “hero”. “This is about as bad as the time that butterfly struck me!”


  • 92
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    It’s not a pipe.


  • 93
    MiqelDotCom says:

    3 stars, maybe 2.5
    This one is just ok for me, but not great & not as strong as I would expect for the final few episodes. I do remember the sense of revelation when i first saw “Spring Fever” and remembered the Willy Waffle sketch from the Joel era.
    Fave riff is at the end “Left my shadow, hope you don’t mind”
    & the song response riff
    ‘.. how can i ever hold you long enough?’
    Servo: “time yourself with a stopwatch”

    It’s hard to believe we’re already to Diabolik next week. Time really flies!


  • 94
    Warren says:

    I saw some of this when I was very young (early ’80s) on a late night creature-feature show hosted by Sammy Terry on wttv-4 in Indiana. I think it was the boat scene where a worm bit someone. It was quite creepy to young eyes. Now the movie is not scary but still icky. I give it 3 stars since I don’t watch it often but it’s still enjoyable. I also wish to say that I’m sure glad we have COILED SPRINGS. Wouldn’t want to screw that up!


  • 95
    Matty-O says:

    Thanks for the link to the KTMA Season Zero DVDs!!!


  • 96
    Barth Gimble says:

    I remember seeing this movie as a kid at the drive-in theater when it was a new release. The shower scene with the worms coming out of the showerhead always stayed with me, even though I forgot most of the rest until the MST version aired.

    And yes, thanks for the link! Cheepnis at Cheesyflix dotcom is the best!


  • 97
    Luther Strickland says:

    This movie always makes me think of “NEW york.”

    The fifties golf scenes in the short are too funny.


  • 98
    Many Sanguillen says:

    Yeah agree, one of the best riffs was “Left my shadow, hope you don’t mind”.
    I also always think of “NOOO York” and “ZOOO-Prise”.

    I also like when Mick angrily sticks a shovel into the worm filled, already dead old man, to which Servo riffs “Stop having worms in your body, you idiot!!”

    There are a lot of good riffs in Squirm and Coily that find their way back into my head, out of the blue, as commentary for real-life situations.

    I watched the hell out of this when I taped it from the first broadcast, so it took me a long time to be able to go back, but I saw the episiode a couple months ago and it was very funny again.

    The Mike Socksy thing is hilarious. Patrick: “Wait! Does Mike’s bed exist if theres no Mike? You better do an easier one!”

    Coily is classic with great riffing & Squirm is a funny, well riffed movie. I give it a 5.

    Who’s EE-EE-ing?


  • 99
    Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    Re: ‘Spring Fever.’ As somebody’s probably already mentioned, the long part where the guy just keeps babbling about springs to his golf buddies is the reason, I believe, they didn’t use the short earlier. Finally, I guess they decided they just had to unleash this thing upon the world, endless pro-spring pontificating and all.

    I remember reading that STARLOG article about ‘Squirm!’ At the time, I must’ve been about ten or eleven and I thought it sounded really cool. Thank God I didn’t actually have many opportunities to go to the movies back then…

    As for the director’s “You can’t goof a goof!” comments… Anyone else hearing Pee-Wee Herman’s “I meant to do that!”?


  • 100

    Don’t eat the Gorditas…Unghhh…


  • 101
    Jeff says:

    On the subject of why they waited to to A Case of Spring Fever.

    I always assumed it was a situation where educational shorts king Rick Prelinger had the only good copy of it and he felt like it was valuable contribution to cinema (being an early use of combination live-action/animation)… and either he eventually relented, or they found another copy of it.

    But it could be that the second half of it runs awful slow… never thought of that.


  • 102
    Cornjob says:

    I saw this on TV when I was 10 or 11. It was pretty creepy and I was too young to apreciate how silly it was. The mandible close-ups are still creepy. I thought the movie really lost a lot with omission of the “worms boring into the face” scene. That really is the money shot of the movie.


  • 103
    mikek says:

    Flying Saucers Over Oz says: “As for the director’s “You can’t goof a goof!” comments… Anyone else hearing Pee-Wee Herman’s “I meant to do that!”?”



  • 104

    “Nooooooooooooo springs!”

    This episode had way too many killer lines in it, heh heh…I found it a laugh riot from start to finish, with the exception of the slow patch at the end of Spring Fever. I, too, wonder if that little shaggy dog story was meant to sell a car, meaning that once again, Jam Handy was the master of the mundane.

    Incidentally, how is it that Spring Fever is made by Jam Handy, but Once Upon a Honeymoon (with the telephones) wasn’t?

    Oh yeah I’m going to attempt to recite a few of my favorite riffs.

    “Well not as bad as the time I wished for ‘no muscle tone.’ Never recovered from that.”
    “More gray asses!”
    “Try it eight more times, maybe it’ll work!”
    “Welcome to Divot Hills.”
    “Shouldn’t this be over?”

    And from the main feature:

    “Southern man don’t need ya anyhow.”
    “Grand Dragon and I still gotta drive a bus.”
    “A plucked stork!”
    “Did your smell just change?”
    “I’m gonna Willem Dafoe all over ya.” which is paired with “We shape our hair into waves down here, boy.”
    “…and sex, that’s another minute…”
    “Everyone frug!”

    Heh heh…


  • 105
    thedumpster says:

    I bought the original version of “Squirm’ for $5 at Barnes & Noble. The movie has a whole different feel to it unedited and the director’s commentary really adds to the viewing experience.


  • 106
    Iggy Pop's Brother Steve Pop says:

    Seth C Triggs (#104): “Incidentally, how is it that Spring Fever is made by Jam Handy, but Once Upon a Honeymoon (with the telephones) wasn’t?”

    Oh, Jam Handy only wished they had that kind of production value to throw at telephones. It’s like Jerry Fairbanks was the MGM to Jam Handy’s Republic Pictures.


  • 107
    Cornjob says:

    Re: “I meant to do that.”

    I third the observation. I think the computer engineering term for this is, “trying to pass off a design flaw as a feature”.


  • 108
    Judith says:

    Here’s the best site I’ve found for MST DVDs:
    Reliable, cheap, free shipping from the U.K. They send you a special bonus if you order ten.


  • 109
    trickymutha says:

    #61- come to think of it, though a lot of Michiganders came here from upstate New York (NEW YORK CITY) I did consult with my brother cousin and my girlfriend who was sleeping with her second cousin and decided you were right- there is a large hillbilly to civilian ratio in Michigan. Still though, not as bad as GA, and as stated before, we have lots of fresh water. Plus, what other state could produce such an array of talent like: Michael Moore, Magic Johnson, Richard Kiel, Madonna, Grand Funk and Motown.


  • 110
    losingmydignity says:

    It’s been a busy week so let me just pop in and say this one excellent and a lot of fun. None of the late season entries reach my “great” or “classic” level–maybe the impending finish of the show set back their inspiration a bit.

    Before I saw Squirm msted I watched it dubbed into Czech on Czech television. I would love to get a copy and see how they translated “da worm face” line…

    The short is a bit overrated I think…but welcome after so many eps without one.



  • 111
    Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    Sorry I’m late to this thread, I was busy looking fir MR. BEARDSLYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!

    A lot of the stuff I was gonna mention has already been said, so I will just say that I like this one a lot. It makes me laugh. Corny 70’s horror is right up my alley, and this movie is kinda-sorta watchable. I actually have two buddies that have seen this actual movie, and were surprised to find out it was MST3k-ified. I like the opening with the bots and there pig, Winston, and there exchanges with Mike.
    “What do you feed that thing?”
    “We have a silo?”
    “You’re not very observent, are you Mike?”

    “Where do you keep that thing?”
    “On the feed lot.”
    “We have a feed lot?”
    “Do you even live here?”

    Both are great examples of stellar Crow and Mike delivery.

    Also, these riffs are good:

    After exposing Rogers dads skeletal corpse, they say, “don’t eat the gorditas…”

    also, the “death by particle board” is funny.


  • 112
    Dan in WI says:

    The safety check is another one of those not laugh out loud funny but cute bits. What else would one do with flares and fire extinguishers but shoot them off in Mike’s face?

    I need to second those who love when Mike makes a discovery about the satellite he’s lived on for years now. Of course there is a silo. There looks like two of them laying on their side as the whole center section of the SOL. Then Crow caps it off with a “do you even live here?” when Mike inquires about the feed lot. Mike’s response “I thought so” finishes this off nicely.

    So the moral of the first host segment is that springs are more useful than Mike.

    I like a good running gag more than the next guy. I’m the one who never got sick of the Sessions Presents series of riffs. But Southern Man really got on my nerves.

    Favorite Riffs:
    Coily reinstates springs. Tom “So Coily waited all eternity for this moment and he backs down instantly.”

    Gilbert dials the working telephone. Tom “Sufficient springs.”

    Gilbert preaches on about springs listing guns as an example. Mike as guy listening to sermon “Guns huh?”

    Crow during the closing credit “Jam Handy reminds you to keep your preserves in a convenient place.”

    “Oh for heaven’s sake.” Tom “We’re out of Billy Beer.”

    Crow “How is it possible that Jerry Reed isn’t in this movie?”


  • 113
    Sitting Duck says:

    When it comes to the trope of a person making a rash wish for something to not exist anymore and a supernatural entity granting it, most folks think of It’s a Wonderful Life. Yet Spring Fever predates IaWL by six years.

    @ #20 and #61: I was always under the impression that New England was Inbred Psycho Central. Surely H.P. Lovecraft wouldn’t lie to us.


  • 114
    Creeping-Death says:

    One of my favorite episodes. I enjoyed the un-MST’d version of the movie, too, it was pretty creepy. Hopefully they’ll release this episode on DVD soon. If Liebermann has anything to do with it, it’ll probably be a while.

    Favorite lines:
    Mike: Meanwhile in Divot Hills.

    Crow: So Coily waited all eternity for this moment and he backs down almost instantly?

    Crow: Jam Handy, reminds you to keep your preserves in a convenient place!


    Naomi: I just don’t want you to be too disappointed if he doesn’t come.
    Crow [as Geri]: Mother! That’s private.

    Servo [as Sheriff Damn Creepy]: I’m gonna Willem Dafoe all over you.

    Crow [as sheriff]: We comb our hair into waves down here, boy.

    Mike [as sheriff]: (talking to Geri at first and turns to talk to Mick) And as for yo… Where’d you go? Oh there you are.


  • 115
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    If Peter MacLean (the sheriff) wasn’t known as “the guy you get when you can’t get Richard Lynch,” maybe he should’ve been.


    Well, that’s perhaps where it started, but come on, New England is in effect where the U.S.A. itself started, right? Eventually, it spread.


  • 116
    touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    On a further note regarding the sheriff, well, just how pleasant a person would YOU be if you had to go through life with a last name like “Pink”? Really, it’s a wonder he made it through high school.


  • 117
    Bruce Boxliker says:

    Yeah, this movie really creeps me out, too. All those southern people? *shudders*
    The worms were great, though.

    Seriously though, I love the short, the host segments & movie riffs were great, but there’s just something about the movie that makes me not want to watch it. I think it’s the icky dampness, mostly. In fact, I’d dare say the heaving mound of worms (I used to play guitar for Heaving Mound of Worms) actually perks up the house…

    Adnnla j jsust jl…. stupid keyboard! I hope I never see another keyboard again fo


  • 118
    snowdog says:

    A strong ep as we near the end of the series. The South takes a pretty good ribbing in this one. Most of it is funny. The Neil Young joke from “Devil Fish” gets recycled here. Loved “A Case of Spring Fever” as well as the associated host segment.

    “Does Mike’s bed exist if Mike doesn’t exist? Too hard! Do something easier!”

    Sampo: “Similarly, John Sims was not available and somebody named Clayton Hughes was the boom operator.”
    I’ll bet he got called “Clayydooooon!” a lot during those couple of days. Or maybe not.


  • 119
    jjb3k says:

    I always rather enjoyed this one. The short is a classic, and the movie straddles that weird line between taking itself seriously and not that gives Mike and the bots plenty to work with. Nothing better for this show than a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to do.

    I love the whole run with Winston. “We have a feed lot?” “…Do you even live here?”

    “Me, I’d rather have a case of Bass Ale.” Part of me wishes they’d been able to do this short in Season 3 when they first discovered it, but part of me is also glad they waited, because Mike, Kevin, and Bill’s acerbic comedic chemistry is perfect for this demented little nightmare. “I own your ass, fat boy, get back here!”

    “Rip, tear, expose, horrify friends…” I work for a manager who apparently doesn’t know how belts work, so every time he bends over (which happens often), the whole department gets an eyeful. I can relate to this riff all too well.

    Love how right off the bat, just in the opening crawl, the movie sets itself up for three brilliant pop culture riffs:
    “Oh, see, this is the night that the lights went out in Georgia.”
    “Ford to Fly Creek: Drop Dead.”
    “This is the story…” “Of a man named Jed.”

    “Well, I don’t know why, but okay.” *squirm squirm squirm*
    For some reason, I think that’s one of the cutest riffs ever. Grin

    Whenever I see weather report coverage of massive storms and they show streetlights bobbing around in the wind, I can’t help saying “Wheeeee! Yield!” every time.

    Hard to explain why, but I kinda like Mick and Geri as a couple. They’re dorky and awkward, sure, but they seem to genuinely love each other and enjoy each others’ company. There’s more chemistry between them than most MSTed couples have, that’s for darn sure. I love that moment when Mick makes fun of the sheriff behind his back (“Cuz all the PHONES are dead!”) and then both of them have to conceal their giggle fits from the man. “Don’t make fun of me! I’m very vulnerable right now!”

    Yet as much as I enjoy the two leads, I have to admit I always go “You idiot!” when Mick leaves Geri alone in the boat with Roger. Roger reminds me of Jesse from The Girl in Lover’s Lane – obviously a deranged rapist/murderer, yet nobody seems to think he’s dangerous for some reason. Any fool with eyeballs and a working brain can tell this creep is bad news.

    “Dammit, Bones!…I always wanted to say that.” My grandmother is a big fan of the show “Bones”, so I get a lot of use out of that riff.

    I don’t know why, but I keep forgetting what Host Segment 3 is, then when it comes on, I’m like “Oh right, it’s this one!” Mike’s “rice a verms” always makes me giggle.

    I kinda think Geri’s wiry older sister is sort of cute in a ’70s way. Plus I’m impressed at her apparent ability to fold herself completely in half to fit in that steamer trunk.

    “Thanks, Hank Hill’s friend” always bugs me too. But they’re right, the guy sounds uncannily like Boomhauer. I keep expecting him to go “I tell y’whut, man, y’got them-them dang ol’ ‘lectrical lines back up, man…”

    A fine all-around episode. Even right up against their final cancellation, the Brains are still the funniest guys on television.


  • 120
    Ang says:

    This one is definitely in my top five! I’m Southern and while I should probably be miffed at those Yanks for making fun of us, it’s too funny not to laugh Smile. Seriously though I love the Southern/Texas jokes (I’m a Texan) as they usually are very funny.

    Fave riffs & movie lines:

    Roger: “How’s your pimple?” (I”m 37 but still get a pimple or two every now and then and when I do I always here this in my head.)

    Crow to Mike: “Do you even live here?” (My family uses this one a lot when we can’t find something around the house.)

    Crow: “We shape our hair into waves down here boy” (This one really cracks me up because where I grew up in the country a lot of the older men had that exact same hairstyle.)

    And all the riffs about them “over-Southerning” or being way to Southern are spot on. It has been my experience from watching lots of movies and TV that a believable Southern accent (and there are a lot of different ones in that category) are some of the most difficult to do convincingly.

    Mike (I think) as Mick: “Remember in the North I’m considered very handsome.” Awesome – I take that as a compliment that our Southern men are good looking (Roger excluded of course).


  • 121

    Squirm is yet another very strong episode from Season 10. It’s not quite an all-time classic 5-star episode, but it is really great (4-stars).

    I can understand why some people might be grossed out by this movie (creepy crawlies do that to some people) but I am not one of them. Personally, I find Incredible Melting Man to be a grosser movie, although not in an “ewww, I’m never gonna watch this again!” kind-of-way.

    I love 70s horror movies so Squirm is right up my alley. The “No Springs” short is pretty good, not an all-time classic (as it drags in the back half) but still memorable and funny.

    I already mentioned my love of the Mike/Crow exchange about silos and feed lots up at post #111, which makes for a good Intro. The opening safety check is good, with the line “shot it off in your face” becoming and instant quotable that I need to quote more often.

    The stuff with the fair and the Mads in the Opening and Closing is serviceable. None of it is too bad and it offers some chuckles so I find myself giving it a pass. Overall though, I think in Season 10 they really just didn’t know what to do with the Mads. They have their moments, but they are definitely 100% NOT Dr. F and Frank caliber or quality…

    However, the Ben Murphy cameo (as a standee, but still…) is really great.

    As for the Host Segments:
    HS#1 is okay with the Mike-sprite; it’s got its moments.. “You got your wish!”
    HS#2 has Servo in yet another dress and has yet another SOL crew member being feverishly influenced by the movie. However, I do like that it takes a dose of 20cc of pastrami to (seemingly) calm Servo down.
    HS#3 has some okay moments, especially Mike’s mutterance of “rice of verms.”

    In the closing bit, we get Crow dressed in a pair of high shoes and, once again, he falls from a great height. Seriously, how many times has this happened? I’m going to have to do some research… (Ward E, here I come!)

    So let’s talk about Squirm a bit, okay?
    I actually kind of like this movie. It’s not completely terrible and I would say it is more of a “fun-bad” movie than a “bad-bad” movie, you know? It would have to be on the list of MST movies that “aren’t that terrible,” in my opinion. Sure the premise is goofy, the movie is Southern as all get out, and some of the acting leaves a bit to be desired (Mom is overdoing it) but I would counter that by saying that Roger is an effective villain and the relationship between Mick and Geri is believable and sort of sweet. Also, the special effects are pretty great (Rick Baker!!).

    So yeah, this movie ain’t so bad. I bought a copy for $3 a while back, strictly for the Lieberman commentary, which I haven’t got around to watching yet. After reading some of the above comments, I now know that I need to get around to that.

    Back in 2011 at the Olympia Film Festival (in lovely Olympia, Washington), I got to see Squirm on the big screen and on 35mm. They do an annual event called “All Freakin’ Night” as part of the fest, which is a screening of FIVE consecutive movies starting at midnight (usually running till 10am or so). The movies are always horror/sci-fi/cult/weirdo type things, so it’s always a lot of fun. I’ve been up there three times (I live in Portland) and I’ve always had a blast; it’s like an endurance test spending that many consecutive hours in a theater.

    The crowd likes to yell and taunt the movies, which sometimes is super annoying, but also sometimes kind of fun. During Squirm, I got to yell out a few “Mr. Beardsley!!”s and got a few laughs. Anyway, the crowd had fun with the movie and seeing it in its uncut form (and on the big screen) made me appreciate it just a little bit more (and the part with worm-Roger creeping up the stairs is awesome!).

    And because I’m sure you’re curious, this was the lineup at All Freakin’ Night 2011: Society (w/ director Brian Yuzna in attendance!), Squirm, The Hidden, The Monster Squad, and The Mafu Cage.

    By now it is common MST-knowledge that director Jeff Lieberman is NOT a fan of MST3k (or 2k, as he calls it). That is totally fine. He may not like the show, but I like some of his other movies and it is because of MST3k that I (and I’m sure other fans) became aware of him and his work, so I think credit is due.

    Lieberman’s follow-up to Squirm is a trippy LSD murder conspiracy movie called Blue Sunshine (1978) that I dig quite a bit, and his follow-up to that, 1981’s Just Before Dawn, is one of the most underrated slasher films out there. It’s really great and features the supreme denouement in slasher movie history. If you like horror movies, I absolutely recommend both of them.

    Cast and crew info:
    Don Scardino (Mick) would go on to be a very successful TV director (30 Rock, 2 Broke Girls) and just directed his first major motion picture, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Someone in the comments above mentioned that as an actor he was also in William Friedkin’s Cruising (1980), reminding me that I still need to see that one.
    Patrica Pearcy (Geri) was in Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter a couple years before Squirm. Great movie with a brilliant Warren Oates (she plays his girlfriend).
    Cinematographer Joseph Mangine also shot Alligator (1980) and Alone in the Dark (1982), a couple other horror movies I recommend.
    Special effects artist Rick Baker is one of the best in the biz. His work on An American Werewolf in London is some all-time great stuff.



    Crow: “How does Coily fit into God’s plans for us?”

    Servo: “More gray asses!”

    Servo: “You’ll be the first to die!”


    movie: “I don’t want you to be too disappointed if he doesn’t come.”
    Crow: “Mother, that’s private!”

    about Roger,
    Crow: “If Steve Young and Alvin the Chipmunk had a baby.”

    Mike: “It’s no worse than putting okra in something.”

    Crow: “Fine, aerate your own lawn. I don’t care.”

    Mike: “The worm had a shiv!”

    Crow: “Don’t eat the gorditas..”

    Servo: “Whoa, they have a teleporter.”

    about sister Alma,
    Crow: “Kevin McHale, crossdresser.”

    when dinner is served,
    Servo: “We have Eraserhead chicken.”

    Crow: “Death by particle board!”

    as Roger slithers outside the window, leering at Geri,
    Servo (singing): “Isn’t she lovely!”

    Mike: “You know it helps that I’m smooth and nutless.”
    Crow: “See how my scrotum-less bottom fits snuggly with the tree?”

    Next week is the end of the series, end of my run of watching all of the MST episodes in consecutive order, one a week, for the last 4 years.
    More on that in next week’s write-up for Danger: Diabolik…

    As for Squirm,
    the penultimate episode,
    I give it 4 out of 5 egg creams.


  • 122
    pondoscp says:

    This one’s pretty good. The short is gold. I too had the (dis)pleasure of having to sit through Squirm at an all-night horror marathon here in Tucson a few years back. Squirm was shown after Cannibal Holocaust (!) at around 5am. We made it halfway through, and just couldn’t hang all the way.
    Squirm. We’re almost done. I can’t wait to post my review of what we’ve seen of K-00-03 in a few weeks!


  • 123
    Depressing Aunt says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes ever, I’ve watched it far too many times. I remember seeing “Squirm” on cable one night (featuring Roger getting an eyeful of a topless Geri, pot smoking, and Alma discovering what a great hiding place the trunk could be by accident). I was so amused to see it was chosen.

    I agree with entry #119: Mick and Geri made a nice couple. (Skinny fair complected redheads need luv too.) I wonder if they went on to sell antiques in Fly Creek together? M&TB tease yet another lady as being manly, but I call that unfair. Alma was normal sized, she just wore tall shoes!

    It’s so cute when Mike panics due to having nothing for The Fair, and lamely offers his pen for a second.

    Love that short from the 1700s. “Can’t decide between short sleeves or long? Split the difference!”


  • 124
    goalieboy82 says:

    me i rather have a case of bass ale.


  • 125
    JC says:

    I think I figured out the cause of all the “database connection” and “no input file” errors this site has been having. Obviously people keep saying “Satellite News. Huh. I hope I never see Satellite News again for as long as I live.” This in turn causes Satellitenewsy, the Satellite News sprite, to make it disappear. Now everytime someone says “Gee, I wonder what MSTed actors were born today,” he says “NOOOOO Satellite News!” *whistle* “What does Sampo think about Girl in Gold Boots?” “NOOOOOO Satellite News!” *whistle* Someone should ask him to take back the wish and he’ll back down instantly.

    Anyway, the riffing on the movie always makes me laugh when I watch it but afterwards all I can remember is the short. A classic case of the short outshining the feature, which is perfectly fine in this case.

    “No springs? I don’t care, there’s still butter and meatloaf!”
    “SUFFICIENT SPRINGS!” *whistle*
    “WHOA! Just about nailed me in the crotch there, Steve!”
    “Welcome to Divot Hills.”
    “Look! God has a spring!”
    yada yada “…they get bent out of shape.” “By anti-spring extremists.”

    “Daddy’s things are in the chest in the attic.” “Along with Daddy.”
    “Maybe they’re from NEW York!” “Er Mass-AH-cha-setts!”
    “Like my Dorothea Chambers signature racket?”
    “Mr. Beardsley?” “I’m only gonna call you 50 more times!”
    “Stop having worms in your body, you idiot!”
    “I’ll randomly nail up plywood.”
    “Argh. I’m a pirate. Argh.”
    “Death by particle board!”
    “I accidentally married one of the sheep.”


  • 126
    JC says:

    A note for the curious: In the short, when the guy gets into the car, after the Billy Barty joke, Crow moves his mouth but doesn’t say anything. An outtake tape reveals that the riff they censored out was: “I like the steering wheel to crush my genitals!” Yeah, a little graphic and unnecessary, even for season 10.


  • 127
    trickymutha says:

    I’ll have an egg cream with extra worm.


  • 128
    JPB1 says:

    Great episode. Couple of my favorites: From the short- “Spring loving b@5t@rd,” and “Nice touch,” when the guy has a terrible putt. The movie- “We shape our hair into waves down here boy.” “Look at my horrible teeth,” and “I’m gonna Willem Dafoe all over you.”


  • 129
    Depressing Aunt says:

    @125 Yes! That sprite keeps eating up my replies.

    @126 Thanks! I wondered about that.


  • 130
    Joseph Nebus says:

    Ah! Here it is. From page 20, there’s an article about the making of Squirm.

    Apparently Bernard Hermann was slated to do music for the film, but died just too young to participate. The making involved a quarter of a million live worms, with Boy Scouts serving as worm wranglers, and wouldn’t you like to see the merit badge for that?

    Also don’t miss the article The Bionic Woman: Creating a Cyborg for the 70s, because it doesn’t get much more 70s than that.


  • 131
    Justin says:

    Mikey the Mike Sprite is one of my all-time favorite sketches on the show. “The naymsh Mikey!”

    They could have really gone down the rabbit hole if they had asked Mikey if there was a sprite for HIM (Mikey-ey?).


  • 132
    Cornjob says:

    See #102, 107 for my previous comments.

    I have a great fondness for this movie and this episode. The director seems to think that saying “I meant to do that” makes you immune to criticism or mockery. I wonder if his getting the name of MST3K wrong is a sign he didn’t know the name of our show, or if it was intentional derision like Churchill deliberately mispronouncing “Nazi”.

    As someone else pointed out this is another movie where the cast really needed to familiarize themselves with the “16 warning signs that you might be a serial killer” so they wouldn’t go out on boats with guys like Roger.

    Speaking of which. Editing out the “worms in the face scene”, the movie not only lost it’s money shot, but a significant plot point as well. It also made the “Do worms usually blind people?” riffs seem unearned.

    Finally, what was the deal with the sister’s shoes. Beyond the fact that she could barely walk in them, is that really muddy terrain wear?

    Despite all the nonsense, the film is genuinely creepy and scarey in parts. Fun movie to watch while listening to the riffers joke.


  • 133
    Depressing Aunt says:

    @132 A fun combination of comic relief and teenage vanity, I’m thinking.


  • 134
    Depressing Aunt says:

    ^^^D’oh! I was referring to the shoes.


  • 135
    thequietman says:

    A good episode, another I remember fondly from the final run of Sci-Fi airings. One thing I eventually noticed towards the end is when Mick is looking up in the attic and there’s only a candle for light. Suddenly WormFace Roger pops out and attacks. In the next shot the darkness is gone and the hallway is lit perfectly. Seemed like a missed riff opportunity: “Let there be light!”


  • 136
    Rich says:

    Regarding the “no file” error- I get that too, but by coincidence (or not) my system suffers corrupted DNS cache data on a regular basis and I clear it all the time.

    I have this one from my SciFi rerun era (if I recall) and I am not often tempted to watch it. It doesn’t seem to have the unintentional hilarious-ness that may favorites have (like “Giant Spider…” or “Merlin’s Shop…”) so it’s essentially a tepid, deadly straight “scary” movie. The macro shot of the worm apparently puking up its guts always makes me leap, tho.


  • 137
    Cornjob says:

    Always “copy” posts before posting them in case they get lost.


  • 138
    Cheapskate Crow says:

    Fun short, I wonder why the Brains never did it back in the golden age of the show as it obviously left a mark on them at that time. Forgettable and gross movie, this is definitely an episode where I would watch the short and then No Movie!


  • 139
    This Guy says:

    In a parody of this type of short, if not this EXACT short, The Simpsons had long ago an educational film about zinc in which the dimwitted, teenaged protagonist wishes there were no zinc, completely ruining his life. He even tries to commit suicide, but his gun has no firing pin (NO ZINC! *whistle*) He cries “Come back, zinc! Come back! Zinc!” and wakes to find it was All Just a Dream.

    Anyway, not inspired by this episode, I found a bottle of Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup at the grocery store and have been making egg creams at home. They are, in fact, delicious, and no amount of ham-fisted “clash of regional cultures” jokes can take that way.


  • 140
    Cornjob says:

    Kentucky Fried Movie features a skit where Zinc Oxide starts disappearing from a kitchen resulting in fires, chaos, and death. Clearly inspired by this sort of short. As a child of a philosophy teacher, the whole Coily phenomena is such mass of delightful nonsense I’m not even going to try and start unpacking it.


  • 141
    little winged potatoes says:

    How did those two gingers ever meet, anyway?

    Line I say to my beloved spouse with surprising frequency:

    I would dye my hair clown red for you.


  • 142
    Karen says:

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