The Lair of the White Worm Reviews
Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi) is a Scottish archaeologist who is currently investigating a site somewhat close to home, Derbyshire in the East Midlands of England. During his scholarly work there Flint has taken up residence in a quaint bed-and-breakfast owned by a pair of sisters Mary (Sammi Davis) and Eve Trent (Catherine Oxenberg). Among the things that Flint found one item, in particular, sparked his academic curiosity, the skull of a rather large snake. He believes that it may be involved in the local legend of the d'Ampton 'worm.' According to legend, this mythological creature slain in Stonerich Cavern by John d'Ampton, the Lord of the Manor. His descendant, James d'Ampton (Hugh Grant), still resides in the ancestral home. The Manor is not the only ancient stately residence in the area. The nearby Temple House is impressive structure is currently home to the beautiful and seductive Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe). Not much is known about this woman usually, results in the operational of scary stories and suspicions that are a pastime in such small and isolated communities.
The mystery deepens as Flint discovers ancient Roman coins along with the reptilian skull, providing some framework that the ancient evil rights described in the stories might have occurred. The coins also appear to have an effect on Lady Marsh inducing very bizarre sexual hallucinatory fantasies. There is a supernatural conflict being force in this isolated region as long as anyone can remember. Lady Marsh comes from a long line of conjurors of evil. During the time of the Roman Empire, the infamous worm was summoned to confer supernatural power upon the legions to ensure the success as they raped and pillaged the enemies. Themes that concentrate on Bacchanalian excess are ideal for the directorial style of Mr. Russell, all conducive to present such hedonistic revelry into an exceptionally campy demonstration dark humor. As any fan of the works of Ken Russell will confirm when you set about to experience one of his movies, it is best to leave all sensibilities, and sense of traditional morality are aside. Mr. Russell eschews half measures only knowing how to drive headlong into overabundance. For example, he took the mundane phrase of "sex, drugs and rocked roll" and pushed it to a surrealistic level in the movie 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls', which ironically was written by the master film critics, Roger Ebert. While this movie is not as over-the-top as that example, but then again very few things are. One thing about this film is that Kurt Russell delivers on the promise made by the title. There is indeed a worm that is white and unspeakable things happen to those victims all injuries lair. Many derogatory things have been said about Mr. Russell, but he is not known for not delivering what he promised.
Throughout the ages mythology concerning the worm has changed as it was passed down through the generations. It is now generally believed that the Lord of the Manor was responsible for by bridging a dragon that resided in a nearby cave. As is commonly found in ancient stories, the antagonist is belittled by derogatory terminology; hence a vicious Dragon becomes a worm. The family reputation is at stake all those who have inherited the title of Lord of the Manor have preferred to retain 'Dragonslayer,' as the family's heritage. Russell is not one to only extend exposition and in keeping with this after a few establishing scenes of the archaeologist at work and short order holding a giant, reptilian skull, once the main characters introduced it is not long until the revealing its true nature. The hyper- sexualized Lady Marsh this soon revealed to be an immortal sorceress, a priestess to the ancient snake god, Dion, afforded Mr. Russell an opportunity for one of his favorite plot contrivances in a film, scantily attired beautiful women. She maintains the life of the vast snake in the cavernous tunnels that connect the side of the day, Temple House with Stonerich Cavern. Naturally, this ancient evil deity requires regular human sacrifices to retain its vitality. To (or "intending to") ensuring that there were no happy endings, another trademark of the current Russell film, there is a vampiric nature to the snake that is passed down to its caretaker to imbue it with immortality.
Many hard-core fans of the horror genre I had already possessed the DVD as part of my collection as well as having it in streaming video format. I was most intrigued when I received the notification that I would receive a preview copy of the Blu-ray release. In the past, I have found that movies that rely heavily on dimly lit scenes transferred to high-definition in a most beneficial fashion. If the remastering is done correctly, as it was here, the amount of detail that is brought out of the original 35mm Panavision film stock, provided ample detail that went unnoticed in previous, low-resolution formats. Likewise, the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 is robust offering a broad spectrum audio range quite expansive in comparison to the Dolby Digital Stereo presented in the previous releases. There is also an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 included. This his edition is part of the on 'Collector's Series' from Lionsgate.
A humanoid snake creature is biting people and inducing a poison which gives a sense of temporary death or unconsciousness and then they revive as a sort of snake vampire, but they can be killed without anything special. It's a crazy film. It's a fun film. Your friends have probably never seen or heard of it. It's not necessarily a very good film, but a cult film in its own right.
A film that only Ken Russell could have gotten away with as it's so campy, over-the-top, and silly, yet it's still oddly worthy of a look, which for a film staring Hugh Grant is really quite rare. The plot works as well as an inflatable pin cushion and is best just letting it go in one ear and out the next, the characters are have little to no depth, while on the other hand the performance from Amanda Donohoe is worthy of a watch alone as she largely semi-nakedly vamps the movie up to eleven. For a horror film this isn't frightening in the slightest, and I doubt it was ever really made with the sole intention to scare, rather to entertain. This really isn't a must watch at all, but there is some fun to be had here if you can catch it.
A Scottish archeologist discovers a strange fossil that appears to be from the Roman time period when they resided in the area of the excavation. Meanwhile, a female strange neighbor that resides in an eccentric house down the street that everyone believes is haunted arrives in town. Shortly after her arrival, the fossil turns up missing and so do people in the area. The archeologist and a group of his friends will hunt down the artifact, starting with the strange woman's house.
"Perhaps we should phone the hospital."
"No. No. No. No. They'd only amputate."
Ken Russell, director of Gothic, Tommy, Dog Boys, Treasure Island, Mindbender, Whore, Prisoner of Honor, The Rainbow, The Devils, and Billion Dollar Brain, delivers The Lair of the White Worm. The storyline for this picture is very average and reminded me of similar pictures from this era like The Howling or Serpent and the Rainbow. The acting was fun but nothing special. The cast includes Hugh Grant, Amanda Donohoe, Catherine Oxenberg, Gina McKee, and Sammi Davis.
"Here's to the first swallow!"
I had remembered seeing this as a kid and didn't remember it being too good, but I grabbed it off Netflix when I was in the mood for a horror film. This was below average as the special effects and make-up were disappointing; however, the characters were fun and worthwhile. Overall, I do recommend seeing this if you're a fan of the genre but I wouldn't go too out of my way to see this.
"I think we probably have another reptile on the premises."