The Lair of the White Worm

1988

The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

TOMATOMETER

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Taken from Bram Stoker's last novel, Ken Russell adds his artistic flair to this campy horror comedy. While staying at the ancestral home of sisters Mary (Sammi Davis) and Eve Trent (Catherine Oxenberg), a Scottish archaeology student uncovers a skull of unknown origin. Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi) reveals his findings to the neighboring nobleman Lord James (Hugh Grant). The two connect the ancient legends of a dragon to a strange cult that worships a giant, ravenous subterranean white worm. The property of the Trent sisters is later revealed to have been built on the sight where ancient pagan rituals took place. Vampire vixen and cult-member Lady Silvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) lures victims to the white worm to feed on.

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Cast

Amanda Donohoe
as Lady Sylvia Marsh
Hugh Grant
as Lord James
Gina McKee
as Nurse Gladwell
Lloyd Peters
as Jesus Christ
Jackie Russell
as Snakewoman
Matt King
as Soldier-Witchdoctor
Miranda Coe
as Maids / Nuns
Linzi Drew
as Maids / Nuns
Caron Anne Kelly
as Maids / Nuns
Fiona O'Conner
as Maids / Nuns
Caroline Pope
as Maids / Nuns
Elisha Scott
as Maids / Nuns
Tina Shaw
as Maids / Nuns
Paul Easom
as Soldier / Witchdoctor
James Hicks
as Soldier / Witchdoctor
David Kiernan
as Soldier / Witchdoctor
Matthew King
as Soldier / Witchdoctor
Ross King
as Soldier / Witchdoctor
Andy Norman
as Soldier / Witchdoctor
Bob Smith
as Soldier / Witchdoctor
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Critic Reviews for The Lair of the White Worm

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (1)

Despite starring Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi (in a kilt), it is Amanda Donohoe that steals the film. She stars as Lady Slyvia Marsh, our seductress snake-vampire villainess, who brings a wry humour and a bounty of sensuality to the film.

Aug 23, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

If you're a Russell fan you should know what you're in for and, overall, it's a well-constructed, entertaining film.

Feb 15, 2018 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

More pantomime than horror, Ken Russell's unsurprisingly outrageous romp exposes conflicting substrates of British identity.

Jan 6, 2017 | Full Review…

A totally strange, gore-drenched horror/comedy about ancient pagan rituals that leaves you with only one certain thought in your head: that Ken Russell is one very bent fellow.

Feb 14, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Fun-filled, oddball British vampire flick

Jul 27, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Gleefully over the top - Ken Russell's last good movie.

Oct 7, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for The Lair of the White Worm

½

A very good, odd British horror comedy!

Dean King
Dean King

Super Reviewer

Dood. Ohmygod, do you guys ever watch American Dad? I know exactly how Roger feels about Chockodiles. This is the best movie since sliced bread. Words cannot express how unfathomably amused I was by this movie. It's insane, but it knows how insane it is, and it punctuates its nuttiness with hot chicks and brilliant banter, just in case you weren't already on board. It's a fascinating twist on vampires, since these monsters aren't exactly undead. They're more like venomous immortal snake women who serve this ancient god, and can infect you with thier... hotness? Malevolence? It doesn't matter. Sylvia Marsh is one of my new favorite cinema villains, and she genuinely has a ton of fun exploiting the local archaelogical breakthroughs and generally bringing her evil to the simple townspeople. Snake woman, trippy imagery, valliant swordsmen and the angry angry Scottish dude from In The Loop. I dare you not to get a kick out of this movie. I dare you. My friend who let me this on DVD is totally not getting it back.

Emily Armstrong
Emily Armstrong

Super Reviewer

I liked the Idea with Pagan Snake, its like Medusa. more later

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

A phantasmagorical and deliberately overblown tale of pagan snake worshippers in modern Britain. Ken Russel's least self-important film, and also his most fun outing.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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