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Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives

Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

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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 a 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 (290 votes, average: 4.45 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 included in Shout’s “MST3K: Volume XXXI.”
• 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” in which he talks about a “rice a pipple.”
• Also in that segment, notice that somebody was making the little worm wiggle.
• In a 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.” That’s it.
• 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.”

167 Replies to “Episode guide: 1012- Squirm (with short: ‘A Case of Spring Fever’)”

  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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!”?”



  4. “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…


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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”.


  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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.



  11. 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.


  12. 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?”


  13. 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.


  14. 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.


  15. 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.


  16. 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.


  17. 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


  18. 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.


  19. 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. :D

    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.


  20. 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 :). 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).


  21. 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.


  22. 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!


  23. 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!”


  24. goalieboy82 says:

    me i rather have a case of bass ale.


  25. 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.”


  26. 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.


  27. trickymutha says:

    I’ll have an egg cream with extra worm.


  28. 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.”


  29. Depressing Aunt says:

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

    @126 Thanks! I wondered about that.


  30. 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.


  31. 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?).


  32. 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.


  33. Depressing Aunt says:

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


  34. Depressing Aunt says:

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


  35. 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!”


  36. 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.


  37. Cornjob says:

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


  38. 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!


  39. 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.


  40. 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.


  41. 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.


  42. ChubbyBlueLine says:

    We inch closer and closer to Season 11.


  43. thequietman says:

    Do you like things? I sure do!

    As the last “regular” episode before the ‘Diabolik’ left us waiting long years for Season 11, this one is still a gas. A classic short, funny host segments (even the Castle Forrester parts), as well a movie that’s comprehensible yet still completely ridiculous. For instance, wouldn’t the power company have something to tell them a line had come down so they could shut it off, instead of wasting all the electricity now going into the ground?

    Speaking of which, when Roger starts his “thumb story” and Servo mutters “oh boy, here we go…” that still gets me every time.

    Fave riffs
    “one of the most bizarre freaks of nature…”
    Oh, Broccoflower!

    “…on the cot in the extra room.”
    You mean the bathroom?

    Now I can prance and skip and gambol and cavort all I want! Whee!

    [Sheriff leers]
    Lookit mah horrible teeth!


  44. Torgover says:

    When Crow says “Ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball.” as Alma, the sister, walks after Mick, what is it a reference to? I know it’s from “Pinball Wizard”, but don’t get it.


  45. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    My wife is not a big fan of MST3K. She will go to live events– MST3K tour of Eegah and that “surprise secret film” Sharknado and the MST reunion at the State Theater and about every other Rifftrax live show. About the only Mstie in-joke she understands and reciprocates is Coily’s whistle. That is the one thing we share whenever we run of or want something… “No xyz” sad whistle. I tried using a joke with her about the crispy worms Mike makes by zapping their keister after her roasted carrots turned out a little crispy, but unfortunately she took it personal until I explained it.

    I love pretty much everything about this episode. Squirm is ranked very high for me, rounding out my top 10 favorite episodes at number 10 (1. Cave Dwellers 2. Pod People 3. Eegah! 4. Giant Spider Invasion 5. Final Sacrifice 6. Sidehackers 7. Time Chasers 8. Space Mutiny 9. I Accuse My Parents)

    Two expressions that I utter with undue frequency are I would dye my hair clown red for you, and You gonna be the worm face!

    I know we’ve had weekend threads about lines from MST3K that become part of your regular parlance. This episodes has given me at least those 3.


  46. Sitting Duck says:

    Squirm passes the Bechdel Test. Geri and Alma discuss their concerns regarding their mom’s mental state.

    In the Golden Turkey Award series, Squirm got nominated for Most Idiotic Ad Line for this little gem: “An AVALANCHE of KILLER WORMS!” However, it lost out to Kwaheri.

    Joel is on the record stating that this is the only film from the original MST3K run that he paid to see in a theater. That he’s willing to admit, anyway.

    I’m going to take a guess that their prize pig Winston is named after Winston Churchill.

    So why did Mick bring along a tennis racket? Fly Creek doesn’t look as if it would have a tennis court.

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I think he looks kind of like Turlough from Doctor Who.

    Anyone else get a Jack Elam vibe off of Roger? Though Mick is considerably less imposing than Big Stupid.

    War of the Colossal MST3K Fan Guide had this amusing thought regarding the actor: “Among the many odd names appearing in the various credits of MST3K, Don Scardino is probably my favorite. I imagine him with a shock of gray hair and enormous jowls, seated behind an extravagant teak desk, wearing so many jeweled rings that he can’t bend his fingers, ordering Mob hits while he sucks rich, flavored smoke through a Cuban cigar. As a name, it seems wasted on a skinny, spectacled little redhead.”

    Opening: The SOL’s annual safety check reveals a surprising lack of same

    Personally, I’d think it would be not at all surprising

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:

    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.

    Technically Jamestown preceded them by thirteen years. But I’d gladly let the Pilgrims take credit for introducing Great Old One worshipping inbred psychos to the continent.


  47. Lisa H. says:

    nerdy unlikeable hero

    I don’t know that we oughtta be casting the stone of “nerdy” around these here parts.


  48. Mr. Krasker says:

    When Crow says “Ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball.” as Alma, the sister, walks after Mick, what is it a reference to? I know it’s from “Pinball Wizard”, but don’t get it.

    She’s barely able to walk because she’s wearing huge platform heels — much like those that Elton John wore in Tommy.


  49. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    “Are we just gonna have afterglow, or are we gonna have sex?”


  50. docskippy says:

    Squirm is, of course, an animal attack film, of which there are many many (and even more animal attack books). It was a rich vein in the 70s and (mostly early) 80s. For my money, I’d say Squirm has a lot of untapped potential. I think it would have turned out much more entertaining if it had been made by the Italians, or perhaps even by J.P. Simon (see his film version of Slugs, which is great). The effects would have been juicier and the end result would have been more tasteless.


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