All Jacked up and Full of Worms does not take long to live up to its title. The montage-like opening introduces audiences to the film’s characters. In between these increasingly odd moments are quick cuts of disturbing images. And this is before the worms enter the story. The actual premise follows a group of people who have found a new way to use worms to entertain themselves. This leads to a night of debauchery and violence.
Horror movies rarely have ensemble casts; instead they have fodder to be dealt with. (In all fairness, All Jacked Up and Full of Worms is more WTF than horror.) Writer-director Alex Phillips manages to pull it off by creating a number of strong characters. It helps that just about everyone is likable. He also does a good job of making sure none get lost in the plot.
Pacing keeps audiences engaged. Up until the third act, All Jacked Up and Full of Worms never stays with one person for too long. The downside is none of them has much depth. That being said, things keep moving at a frenetic pace, making it impossible to look away from. The movie is a wild ride that switches between comedy, gross imagery, and uncomfortable moments.
There have been a number of films over the years that have included hallucinogenic drug trips. All Jacked Up and Full of Worms is one continuous ride that shows the ups and downs. This is common in movies dealing with addiction, but those are usually done to add emotion or to convey a message. All Jacked Up and Full of Worms is not that type of film, however. It is less about showing the highs and lows of addiction and more about giving the audience the feeling they have also ingested something. A disclaimer after all the credits even advises viewers to go to a hospital if their television is talking to them.
At times, this leads to a “throw everything at the wall” feeling, and the plot amounts to little more than a drug fueled night gone wrong. The humor will not be for everyone – it ranges from dark to goofy – and things can get incredibly dark. But there is a creativity and charm that makes All Jacked Up and Full of Worms one of the best mindfucks of the year.
All Jacked Up and Full of Worms comes to Screambox November 8
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