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(2006), PG [PG*] (1hr 19min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
September 8, 2006
75 out of 100

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2006), PG [PG*] -- ..."barfmalloo", "the green slusher", "radioactive slime delight"....

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Gran Via, Imagine Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Walden Media
Distribution (US): New Line Cinema
Director(s): Bob Dolman
Producer(s): Cale Boyter, Michael Disco, K.C. Hodenfield, Mark Johnson, David Kaufmann, Alex Schwartz, Philip Steuer, Tom Williams
Novel by: Thomas Rockwell
Screenply: Bob Dolman
Cinematography/Camera: Richard Rutkowski
Music: Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Mothersbaugh
Film Editing: Janice Hampton, Frederick Wardell
Casting: Stephanie Corsalini
Production Design: Caty Maxey
Art Direction: John Frick
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Billy "Worm Boy" Forrester (Luke Benward) - with three "Rs" - is a victim of his father (Thomas Cavanagh) moving the family due to a new job. Now Billy has a new "job" -- to start a new life at a new school. Billy's little brother, Woody (Ty Panitz) doesn't help since Woody is the "perfect" cute little boy, at least according to mom (Kimberly Williams).

Once at school, Billy is tormented by class bully, Joe Guire (Adam Hicks) and his gang. Joe snatches Billy's lunch box and replaces the contents of the thermos with worms. Now, Billy must save face and boasts that he eats worms all the time. In the ensuing frenzy of social warfare, Billy hits Joe in the face with one of the worms. Now the gauntlet has been thrown down and Billy must eat ten worms on Saturday by 7:00 PM.

The rest of the show is about how Billy eats ten worms: fried, stewed, microwaved and a plethora of other ways to prepare worms. In one case, when the boys could not get to a way to cook the worm, Joe uses a magnifying glass to do the job, thus the "Magni-fried Worm." Others included "barfmalloo", "the green slusher", "radioactive slime delight", "the burning fireball" and "the Peanut Butter & Worm Jam Sandwich." Even the school principal, "Boiler Head" Burdock (James Rebhorn) ends up eating a worm in an omelet.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
This investigation area revealed a number of issues of violence, especially in the form bully tactics. Joe's older brother, Nigel (Nick Krause) bullies Joe to the point of submission. The film does hint that it is because of the older brother's tormenting that Joe is a bully. [Prov. 3:31] The adolescent crew is also seen trespassing and breaking and entering to commit petty theft as they concoct ways to cook worms and to find a variety of worms to win the bet for Billy to eat ten worms. [Hab. 2:9] And they do so without any regret or remorse.

Impudence/Hate (I)
The Impudence/Hate investigation area found many issues of tormenting. Tormenting is a form of oppression and God speaks darkly of oppression 20 times in the KJV Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Indeed, the amount of oppression in this film is the only reason this film earned a red CAPCon Alert light rather than a yellow light. See CAPCon Alerts for more information.

Sexual Immorality (S)
The very young Ty Panitz speaks a couple vulgar innuendo. I wonder whether the filmmakers knew that s/he who teaches and/or causes our youth (which includes at-home teens) to sin would be better off if a millstone were tied about his/her neck then cast into the sea? [Luke 17:2] And attention to the human posterior is not ignored in this film.

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
The only instance of Drugs/Alcohol noted in this film was the one instance of drinking an alcoholic beverage. God speaks quite ominously about abuse of drink in Eph. 5:18. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk or to drink in defiance such as underage drinking. A study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them and arrogance/defiance with them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco (or drugs) by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV? Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding.

Offense to God (O)
The boys claimed an old woman who owned a fishing store was a witch, but she clearly was not. The only example of behavior noted in this investigation area was the use of God's name in vain by an adolescent. While Luke 17:2 is again invoked, Deuteronomy 5:11 is too.

Murder/Suicide (M)
No instances of murder and/or suicide were noted.

With a final score of 75, How to Eat Fried Worms earned its place squarely in the middle of the scoring range earned by PG films in the comparative baseline database.

One can at least chuckle at the ingenuity of the writer on how to prepare worms for human consumption. By the way, the filmmakers were sure to inform everyone that no worms were harmed in the making of this film. I say "So what" if worms were harmed. I have threaded worms on hooks and drowned them hoping a fish would eat them -- then I the fish. Such rhetoric by filmmakers reminds me of the group of folks who shout "Cruelty!" at fishing, claiming that just because fish cannot scream does not mean they don't feel pain. Well, God gave us the wildlife on this planet for our use. Not our ABuse, mind you, but definitely for our use. We are to be good stewards of the wildlife but never subordinate to them. [Gen. 1:28, Gen. 9:3]


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor [man of violence], and choose none of his ways.
  • Hab. 2:9 Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin!
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["Wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not get intoxicated and not abuse the body.]
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Gen. 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
  • Gen. 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    How to Eat Fried Worms (2006) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • adolescent threats at others, repeatedly
  • bully tactics, repeatedly, some brutal
  • slapstick violence
  • breaking and entering with petty theft by adolescents
  • trespassing by adolescents

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • lots of energy spent on vomiting
  • lots of energy spent on vomiting
  • adolescent arrogance by kicking soccer ball in house and bouncing it off walls knowing it was wrong
  • adolescent mischief by stealing property of others in school
  • teen tormenting little brother, repeatedly
  • other tormenting, repeatedly
  • lies, repeatedly
  • deceit about what one was doing
  • adolescent running away to avoid
  • crude humor throughout
  • comments of hate of brother and wishing he was dead
  • name-calling, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • posterior humor
  • crude sexual comments by little boy
  • putting worms down front of underwear

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, once (adult)

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's name in vain by an adolescent

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • Christian Educators Association International



    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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