The Lair of the White Worm

Watch The Lair of the White Worm

"Some legends really bite."
  • R
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.0  (14,430)
  • 61

The Lair of the White Worm is a British horror film from 1988, directed by Ken Russell and starring Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, and Catherine Oxenberg. It is a loose adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel of the same name. The film begins in the English countryside, where a local archaeologist, Angus Flint (played by Peter Capaldi), uncovers the skull of a strange, serpent-like creature on the grounds of a mysterious mansion owned by the enigmatic Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe). As Angus begins to investigate the origins of the skull, he becomes embroiled in a web of occult activity that centers around Lady Sylvia and her obsession with a legendary pagan deity known as the White Worm.

Hugh Grant appears as Lord James D'Ampton, a nobleman who is drawn into the conflict after his ancestor was said to have slain the original White Worm centuries ago. Catherine Oxenberg plays his love interest, a visiting American named Eve Trent who becomes caught up in the supernatural occurrences at Lady Sylvia's estate.

As Angus delves deeper into the mystery, he encounters a host of bizarre characters, including a local psychic named Mary (Sammi Davis), a snake-charming performer named Kevin (Paul Brooke), and a sexually perverse policeman named Dickman (Stratford Johns). Together, they must uncover the hidden secrets of the Lair of the White Worm and stop Lady Sylvia's nefarious plan to awaken the ancient deity and unleash it upon the world.

The Lair of the White Worm is a film that blends horror, comedy, and eroticism in a way that is typical of director Ken Russell's style. It features surreal dream sequences, graphic violence, and scenes of sexual depravity that are intended to shock and titillate the audience.

At its core, however, the film is a love letter to the traditions of British horror, featuring nods to classic Hammer Horror films and the works of authors like Bram Stoker and H.P. Lovecraft. The film's score, composed by Russell himself, is also noteworthy, featuring a mix of medieval music and synthesizers that creates a haunting, otherworldly atmosphere.

While The Lair of the White Worm was not a commercial success upon its initial release, it has since gained a cult following among fans of horror and surrealism. Its bizarre imagery and unabashedly campy tone make it a memorable addition to the canon of British horror cinema.

The Lair of the White Worm is a 1988 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0 and a MetaScore of 61.

The Lair of the White Worm
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (14,430)
  • Metascore