Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fighting 80’s Snake-Dragon Cults, or Thoughts on Ken Russell’s The Lair of The White Worm

 The Lair of The White Worm (1988), a very liberal, let’s say inspired adaptation, of the 1911 novel of the same name by Bram Stoker, stars British superstar and Professional Englishman Hugh Grant in one of his first feature films.  From Director Ken Russell of The Devils (1971), Tommy (1975), Altered States (1980) and Gothic (1986), Hugh Grant portrays Lord James D’Ampton, the handsome scion of D’Ampton Manor, home of local legend of the D’Ampton Worm, and village mascot, and also the greatest theme song ever committed to film.
Peter Capaldi, who as you know would go on to become the Twelfth Doctor appears as Angus Flint, Scottish archeology student who finds a giant reptilian skull in the front garden of an English bed and breakfast run by two charming sisters.  Catherine Oxenberg, most famous for her portrayal of Amanda Carrington of Dynasty is Eve and Sammi Davis of Mona Lisa (1986), Hope and Glory (1987) and Four Rooms (1995) portrays Eve’s sister Mary.
Amanda Donohoe is a vision in her vintage E-type Jaguar as the eccentric Lady Sylvia Marsh, with an unhealthy fascination for snakes and a taste for random hitchhikers and thigh-high patent leather boots (it’s a Ken Russell film, after all).  Amanda Donohue would go on to LA Law (1990), The Madness of King George (1994) and also, anecdotally, dated Adam Ant and was featured in the Antmusic and Stand and Deliver videos.
Romantic and sentimental, this wacky horror-comedy with a snake-vampire that pre-dates the vampires in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) features the signature Ken Russell flirty-blasphemous dream sequences complete with crucifixions, stewardess wrestling, topless nuns and giant albino serpent-worm-dragon thingys.  Like all Ken Russell movies it’s heavy on visual style, gloriously theatrical, a bit kinky, and not intended to be taken too seriously.



my first novel? thanks for asking:)  it’s a 4 volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, supernatural martial arts shenanigans and a 24hr diner with the best pie in town
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback from these fine (amazon) bookstores.