All Jacked Up and Full of Worms Image

All Jacked Up and Full of Worms

By Sumner Forbes | November 4, 2022

Do you want to do worms with me? Of course, no one ever anticipates being in a position to write something like that. But, thanks to writer-director Alex Phillips and his completely bonkers film, All Jacked Up and Full of Worms, we’re able to add such nonsense to the lexicon. This film is a trip, in more ways than one. We’ve all seen plenty of movies involving young adults expanding their consciousness through the use of various hallucinogens (some of us even taking part in said explorations of the mind). But never before have worms been the medium of these adventures – at least to this reviewer’s knowledge.

Worms. Those durable creatures we stick on the end of fishing hooks provide the key to the psychedelic escapades. The horror tale loosely follows the travails of Roscoe (Phillip Andre Botello), a maintenance worker in the seediest motel imaginable, and his new friend Benny (Trevor Dawkins), a disturbed man yearning for a baby. However, the closest thing he gets to fatherhood is the purchase of an infant sex doll with a truly unforgettable visage. There are more characters and occurrences, but because this is a film that’s purposely obtuse, these are probably best left experienced rather than read about.

“…the travails of Roscoe, a maintenance worker in the seediest motel imaginable, and his new friend…”

What All Jacked Up and Full of Worms leaves us with is the strangest descent into psychedelics, violence, and sex imaginable – all as a result of the consumption of these special worms. It gets truly bananas, and any potential viewer needs to realize that there’s not much sense to be made of this, nor is there a strong narrative drive toward alleviating the audience’s inevitable confusion. Some viewers might dig this off-kilter approach, but the inherent silliness and lack of cohesion prevented me from maintaining any kind of meaningful connection with the material.

That’s not to deny there’s not a solid directorial flair here, as it takes a special kind of artist to articulate a scene involving masturbation and 2% milk being poured down a sex doll’s mouth. Additionally, there are brave performances coming from Dawkins, Botello, and Betsy Brown. Still, when shock begins to feel intentional, it can quickly shift away from being brave and inspiring to something pretentious and unnecessary. And the biggest failing of Phillips’ film is that it’s more concerned with gross-out moments than any poignancy, even of the sadistic kind. It is natural for a filmmaker to strive to deliver a unique experience, but at some point, audiences are going to need something more.

All Jacked Up and Full of Worms might work better under the influence of psychedelic worms. Still, for us sober viewers, it’s sadly little more than a bizarre trifle that won’t move the needle for an audience that has become inured to shock value due to platforms like Reddit and 4chan. Occasionally fun and constantly deranged, it’s a film that could have been much more with a modicum of restraint. I gave the worms a shot, but I think I’ll stick to eating worms of the gummy variety.

All Jacked Up and Full of Worms (2022)

Directed and Written: Alex Phillips

Starring: Phillip Andre Botello, Trevor Dawkins, Sammy Arechar, Betsey Brown, etc.

Movie score: 5/10

All Jacked Up and Full of Worms Image

"…the strangest descent into psychedelics, violence, and sex imaginable.."

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