If you col­lect­ed gen­re flicks dur­ing the glo­ry days of the DVD for­mat, you prob­a­bly remem­ber MGM’s “Midnight Movies” line with fond­ness.  This DVD line res­cued a lot of American International Pictures titles from obliv­ion and restored them to cel­lu­loid-on-video glo­ry, often throw­ing in a few extras.  When Scream Factory tapped into the MGM cat­a­log, they picked up the gauntlet that the Midnight Movies line had laid down.  Squirm is an exam­ple of what Scream Factory does with an old Midnight Movies fave in the Squirm-blurealm of high-def and the results are like­ly to please fans.

The pack­age begins with a nice-look­ing HD trans­fer: the film’s earthy col­or scheme is faith­ful­ly rep­re­sent­ed, the clar­i­ty is nice and the black lev­els are appro­pri­ate­ly inky.  You might notice a lit­tle black “crush” dur­ing the night sce­nes but oth­er­wise this is a solid trans­fer.  The stereo sound­track mix is pre­sent­ed in a loss­less 2.0 DTS for­mat and sounds pret­ty good for a vin­tage mix, with clear dia­logue and a nice pres­ence for the analog syn­th-tinged musi­cal score.

Scream Factory includes a nice lit­tle com­ple­ment of spe­cial fea­tures to accom­pa­ny the main event.  First up is a com­men­tary track car­ried over from the MGM DVD, a solo affair fea­tur­ing writer/director Jeff Lieberman.  He has no prob­lem fill­ing the track on his own as he chas­tis­es MST3K for fail­ing to under­stand the film’s satirical/playful side, dis­cuss­es the moti­va­tions behind dif­fer­ent plot choic­es and gives insight into the dif­fer­ent actor’s styles and Squirm-03how he often rewrote dur­ing the shoot to incor­po­rate their tal­ents into the sto­ry­line.

Elsewhere, he reveals which actors didn’t make it into the film (Kim Basinger, Sly Stallone and Martin Sheen!) and talks about the child­hood mem­o­ry that inspired the film’s plot.  All in all, a con­sis­tent­ly engag­ing track for the film’s fans.

In the main extras sec­tion of the disc’s menu, there are two new fea­turettes.  The first is a 33-min­ute piece enti­tled “Digging In” that incor­po­rates inter­views with Lieberman and star Don Scardino. Lieberman expands on some sto­ries from his com­men­tary and adds addi­tion­al inter­est­ing details like how the film was orig­i­nal­ly set in New England until sched­ule issues forced a Georgia shoot and how cin­e­matog­ra­pher Joe Mangine Squirm-05helped up him stay on sched­ule while learn­ing his direc­to­ri­al craft.

He also doles out fun anec­dotes about the “tree crash” and “room of worms” FX sce­nes plus an amaz­ing tale about how the film almost end­ed up as a Columbia Pictures release.  Scardino adds mem­o­ries from an actor’s point of view and both men dis­cuss how their instant rap­port led to them work­ing togeth­er to flesh out the char­ac­ter of Mick.  Clips and ad mats are deft­ly woven in through­out the piece, giv­ing it a nice visu­al ener­gy to match the enthu­si­as­tic sto­ry­telling from Lieberman and Scardino.

Eureka” is a quick 7 min­ute piece in which Lieberman adds a new fresh­ness to his tale of the child­hood inci­dent that inspired the film by tak­ing the view­er back to his child­hood home.  It clos­es with a fun reen­act­ment that includes a spe­cial “guest star.”

Next up is a quick set of pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als.  A 2-min­ute the­atri­cal trail­er fea­tures great dead­pan-creepy nar­ra­tion and expert­ly exploits the ick fac­tor of the film’s worms.  A one-min­ute t.v. spot offers a decent con­densed ver­sion of the the­atri­cal spot.  A one-min­ute radio spot reuses the effec­tive nar­ra­tion from the trail­ers and throws in the “worm scream” sound effect from the film for good mea­sure.  A still gallery rounds the pro­mo extras out, dish­ing up 25 Squirm-04images that mix plen­ti­ful col­or and black-and-white stills with a few lob­by cards and posters (includ­ing some inter­est­ing inter­na­tion­al designs).

The final inclu­sion is a “more from Scream Factory” set of bonus trail­ers for Pumpkinhead, Motel Hell and The Beast Within.  The rural ter­ror the­me to the­se spots makes them a nice com­ple­ment to the main fea­ture.

In short, Scream Factory has done well by this old “Midnight Movies” favorite.  If you love the movie, this disc pro­vides a fun way to give Squirm the high-def bump.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of Squirm, click here.