The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

Free Great Movies Review

  •  (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Ken Russell directs this silly yet entertaining adaptation of Bram Stoker's horror novel The Lair of the White Worm, updated to 1980s rural England. Peter Capaldi plays archaeologist Angus Flint, who digs up the skull of a giant snake. He's staying at a bed and breakfast run by sisters Eve (Catherine Oxenberg) & Mary (Sammi Davis). They bring him to a party at a manor presided over by Lord James D'Ampton (played by a young Hugh Grant). The four of them try to uncover what happened to the missing parents of Eve & Mary. Soon, the giant snake skull is stolen from their bed and breakfast, and the mysteries pile up from there. Behind the mysteries is a seductive snake woman named Lady Sylvia Marsh, who is wonderfully portrayed by actress Amanda Donohoe. This film is played mainly for laughs as Hugh Grant blasts Turkish snake charmer music to woo Lady Sylvia, and Peter Capaldi plays the bagpipes to attempt to woo her once again. Like all Ken Russell films, it's well shot with some trippy venom-induced dream sequences injected in that look similar to the hallucinations in his movie Altered States (1980). It's mostly too silly to be scary, but there are moments that might make you wince or jump. Fans of Russell's blasphemous humor will definitely get a kick out of this one.

(Summary by

More Like The Lair of the White Worm