After having a bash at Mary Shelley in 1987's disastrous GOTHIC, director Russell turned his feverish imagination loose on Bram Stoker in this very campy adaptation of Stoker's final novel. Updated and set in the Derbyshire region of modern-day England, the film begins as young Scottish
archaeologist Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi) uncovers an unidentifiable skull while digging up the garden of the inn where he is staying. Run by sisters Eve and Mary Trent (Catherine Oxenberg, Sammi Davis), whose parents have recently disappeared, the house just happens to sit on a site that,
centuries ago, was a convent during the Roman occupation. Soon Flint learns of local legends regarding a giant white worm-snake creature that terrorized the area in ancient times. The ancestor of a local lord is credited with having slain the evil worm, and each year there is a party celebrating
the event. Strangely, the skull Flint just discovered bears a distinct resemblance to paintings of the fabled worm. Meanwhile, mysterious, sultry aristocrat Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) returns to her mansion and reveals herself to be a fanged, vampire-like creature who worships the giant
white worm, which still exists in a warren of tunnels deep below the earth. Throw in handsome young aristocrat Lord James D'Ampton (Hugh Grant), and the mix is complete.
Given a distinctly playful treatment by Russell, who crams some kind of phallic imagery into almost every frame, THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM is solid, campy fun--much more entertaining than any of the director's "serious" films. Russell (who also scripted) enjoys himself with all kinds of
fetishistic images, from a naked Amanda Donohoe slithering around in green body paint, to a white bra- and panties-clad Catherine Oxenberg suspened over a pit as a sacrificial offering to the great white worm-snake--whose flickering tongue is, no doubt, firmly in his cheek.
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- Released: 1988
- Rating: R
- Review: After having a bash at Mary Shelley in 1987's disastrous GOTHIC, director Russell turned his feverish imagination loose on Bram Stoker in this very campy adaptation of Stoker's final novel. Updated and set in the Derbyshire region of modern-day England, th… (more)