- Actors: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg, Peter Capaldi, Sammi Davis
- Directors: Ken Russell
- Writers: Ken Russell, Bram Stoker
- Producers: Ken Russell, Dan Ireland, Ronaldo Vasconcellos, William J. Quigley
- Format: NTSC, Import
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Dubbed: French, Spanish
- Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Lions Gate
- Release Date: Aug. 19 2003
- Run Time: 93 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00009YXHG
The Lair of the White Worm [Import]
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Wittily updated from one of Dracula author Bram Stoker's lesser-known horror novels, The Lair of the White Worm is a camp classic that only Ken Russell could have delivered. It's got all the perversity one expects from the bombastic director of Tommy and Altered States: sensible plotting, intelligent dialogue laced with double entendre, graphic imagery with Boschian intensity, and a mischievous disregard for good taste and decorum. In other words, it's heretically hilarious, especially when skeptical Lord D'Ampton (fresh-faced Hugh Grant, in one of his earliest films) begins to suspect that seductive neighbor Sylvia (Amanda Donohoe, game for anything) is connected to the local legend of a monstrous serpent that feeds on sacrificial virgins. Evidence mounts with the help of a local archaeologist (Peter Capaldi) and two endangered sisters (Catherine Oxenberg, Sammi Davis), and Russell infuses Stoker's grisly plot with his inimitable brand of blasphemy, including a gouged eyeball, a venom-splattered crucifix, Roman soldiers raping nuns (in a delirious hallucination sequence), and some of the funniest one-liners since Young Frankenstein. Prudes beware; everyone else enjoy! --Jeff Shannon
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It's also an incredibly ridiculous movie, with goofy acting, hilariously bad special effects, a bunch of dream sequences that are apparently there to fill up time, and the villain ends up being more hilarious than horrifying. It rockets right past "horrible" and into "so bad you can get together with your friends and laugh hysterically at it."
It takes place in a small British town that has local legends about a knight who slew a giant white "worm," and young Scottish archeologist Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi) just found a giant snake skull. At the same time, wealthy recluse Sylva Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) -- a weird snake-lady who likes to eat people, literally -- encounters local noble, Lord James D'Ampton (Hugh Grant).
Then Angus' landlady Eve Trent (Catherine Oxenberg) vanishes without a trace, and James suspects that the ancient evil Christ-hating snake has returned somehow. Now he and Angus must somehow save Eve (and her idiot sister Mary) from Sylvia in the lair of the white worm...
I think they must have made up "The Lair of the White Worm" as they went along, because this movie really has no story. People wander around, speculate about the snake, Sylvia bites a few people, and then some random people start lurching around with giant comical snake fangs. That's it. Nothing really builds up to anything else.
Eventually the filmmakers seem to have realized that their story HAS to end, so they slap together one of the most unintentionally funny climaxes EVER. Think a giant snake puppet, a hand being SLOWLY sawed off, and a crazy lady wearing a giant fake ivory penis.
And that's not where the crazy starts. Since the plot is tissue-paper thin, the writers cram in a bunch of random hallucinations and dreams, all done in comically-bad greenscreen. Sexy stewardesses wrestling, porn nuns being raped by Monty-Pythonesque Roman soldiers, and Mary being molested by a bunch of dancing blue freaks with carved penises. I wish I were kidding.
And you know the acting MUST be bad when Hugh Grant looks like Lawrence Olivier -- he's basically your average aristocratic British guy. Capaldi looks vaguely embarrassed to be in this movie, Oxenberg is horribly affected, and Sammi Davis' constant idiot grin (even when she's scared or crying) made me want to repeatedly punch her in the face.
As for Amanda Donohoe's religious-bigoted blue snake woman, she's constantly dancing on the line between "hilariously campy" and "so bad it's embarrassing." When she isn't lounging around in dominatrix-wear, she's lounging around naked and seducing Boy Scouts. Why? Because BOOBIES.
"The Lair of the White Worm" is prime material for a "so bad it's good" movie night -- hilariously campy, horrible acting, and silliness all around.
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It's pretty "campy" which I usually don't like, but I DO like this movie.Read more
'guys! i read this bram stoker story and i think it could make a great movie... hear me out.Read more