The Lair of the White Worm (1988) | Ken Russell’s wild take on Bram Stoker’s novel uncoils on Blu-ray

Lair of the White Worm (1988)

From Lionsgate UK comes The Lair of the White Worm, as part of their ongoing Vestron Collector’s Series, restored and remastered on Blu-ray.

Lair of the White Worm (1988)

Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi) unearths an unusual animal skull while digging in the garden of a Derbyshire B&B run by his girlfriend Mary (Sammi Davis) and her sister Eve (Catherine Oxenberg).

Could it be linked to the local legend of a worm-like dragon (the Lambton Worm), which was said to have been slain by a distant relative of the current Lord of the Manor, James D’Ampton (Hugh Grant)? Could it have something to do with the disappearance of the girls parents many years beforehand? And why does the strangely alluring Lady (Amanda Donohoe) steal it?

As our our Scooby gang investigate, they unwittingly uncoil a centuries old mystery involving a pagan cult and human sacrifice…

Lair of the White Worm (1988)

Mercurial director Ken Russell treads a fine line between titillation and terror in this, his wildly OTT tongue-in-cheek adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1911 gothic novel. Amanda Donohoe camps it up big time as the very wicked Lady Silvia Marsh, a country-house aristocrat who enjoys worshipping a snake God and fanging the locals while wearing next to nothing. A shaggy-haired Peter Capaldi (who has since earned himself iconic status playing a certain Time Lord) gets an hilarious scene warding off a bloodsucking copper with a pair of bagpipes, while a fit looking Hugh Grant (fresh off the Edwardian gay love story Maurice) plays it typically posh and daft.

Russell’s schoolboy humour might be a tad lame, but his shocking visual asides at Catholicism (nuns and dildos) are wonderfully irreverent, and the practical special effects are an inventive highlight. Donohoe’s tight-fitting costumes are also a seductive treat and the chilly location shoots that include the Peak District and Manifold Valley in Staffordshire are gorgeously lensed. Stoker purists, however, will probably be greatly offended.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Audio commentaries with director Ken Russell and Lisi Russell
Worm Food: Special effects artists Geoffrey Portass, Neil Gorton and Paul Jones (who were all 18 or 19 at the time) talk about their experiences working on the film
Cutting for Ken: interview with editor Peter Davies
Trailers From Hell featuring producer Dan Ireland
Mary, Mary: interview with actress Sammi Davis
• Theatrical Trailer
• Still Gallery

NEWS JUST IN: Throughout March, Lionsgate UK are taking over the weekly, free entry Monday Film Club at The Alibi in Dalston, East London, with The Lair of the White Worm being screened on Monday 12 March. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/events/802548666603104/

Lair of the White Worm copyright: Programme Content and Photography: © 1988 Vestron Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved. Package Design: © 2018 Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK. All Rights Reserved.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on February 28, 2018, in Horror, Might-See and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I loved the soundtrack and Peter Capaldi dancing in a kilt!! Thank you for reminding me.

  2. Nice overview. I recently wrote an article about another one of Russel’s infamous films, The Devils. Truly a deranged genius in his time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: