All Jacked Up and Full of Worms

12/13/2022 06:23

Film: All Jacked Up and Full of Worms

Year: 2022

Director: Alex Phillips

Writer: Alex Phillips

Starring: Phillip Andre Botello, Trevor Dawkins and Betsey Brown



This is the last movie that I got to see at Nightmares Film Festival. One of my favorite time slots is the midnight movie even though I’m normally exhausted. I got to see the Midwest premiere of this one as well. Other than that, I came in blind.

Synopsis: this follows Roscoe (Phillip Andre Botello), a seedy motel caretaker, after discovering powerful hallucinogenic worms and meeting Benny (Trevor Dawkins). They fall in love making worms together before embarking on an odyssey of sex and violence.

Much like the other movies I’ve seen in this timeslot of the festival, this is difficult to talk about. As our synopsis said, we follow Roscoe for the most part. There is also Benny though. He sees a prostitute that he’s in love with by the name of Samantha (Betsey Brown). We get to see that Benny wants to be a father. He even buys a sex doll that is small like a baby. This was creepy to be honest. Benny does what he can to care for it though.

Benny sees Samantha and tells her about what he wants. She doesn’t seem interested. He cannot get it up so she offers him a worm. She claims that they get you high. He declines at first but relents. This is when he runs into Roscoe and they do them together. This leads to terrifying nightmares and encounters with a ruffian by the name of Biff (Mike Lopez). It is then a fever dream of what is real and what’s not.

Now I know that I went lighter with my recap here, but I think that gives you enough heads upabout the characters we follow. There is a good part of this where we have characters eating and snorting worms. This causes them to hallucinate and making us as the audience wonder what we are seeing. It is interesting to watch this as tired as I was, because I’m sure I nodded off a couple of times and came to not necessarily sure what was happening. I think being in that state of mind adds something here.

As a story guy, I do have issues. There is quite a bit that isn’t explained. If you follow my reviews, then you know that I don’t necessarily need everything fleshed out or given to me. I was curious if these worms were different from me digging out in the grass by my house. Are they just normal earthworms or is there something special there. I think by just giving me that would help. To spin this into a positive, I do like the allegory to drug use that we get here. Roscoe seems like a good guy who just works hard until he tries this. It then causes his life to spiral out of control. Benny is a bit weird, but he has a good heart. Getting into worms causes them to fall into the seedy underworld.

There is something else that I want to shift over here and it involves Samantha. We see her first encounter with Benny and he is unable to get it up. It is funny that he wants a child but having this issue. Samantha seems to like him enough. She is a prostitute so part of that is her job. She knows that he’s harmless. She ends up pregnant and claims it is his. There is a moment where he questions this, but since he wants a baby, he goes along. I did find this an interesting commentary on a woman making a claim for the best candidate to help her. I also don’t fault her completely. She is taking advantage still.

Where I want to go then would be with the acting. I thought that Botello and Dawkins were solid. They play well off each other. I also think they did a solid job as playing high. It was interesting to see them lose control as well as they get hooked on worms. It felt real. Sammy Arechar was solid as Dennis. He’s a funny character with his introduction. They get me to like him so seeing his fate made me feel bad. Brown was good. I also thought that Lopez and Noah Lepawsky rounded this out for what was needed.

That brings me to the last things which would be with the filmmaking. I did think that this was well-made. It feels like a fever dream which is good since our characters get high. It makes this disjointed, but that works with the subject matter we are dealing with. There are effects that we get. They looked to be practical which is good. I’m assuming there is a bit of CGI to go along with that. I had no issues there. Other than that, I’d say the soundtrack fit for what was needed.

In conclusion, this is an interesting movie. It is perfect for that midnight movie time slot at a film festival. I did want a bit more from though. There is just a bit lacking for the story for me to fully get into it. For what they give to us, this feels like a fever dream that goes from different set piece to the next. I do think that this is well made. The acting is fine. I’m not sure if I would come back to it, but I enjoyed my time with it.


My Rating: 5.5 out of 10