Lair of the White Worm is a bizarre horror film written by novelist Bram Stoker. The novel was adapted for the screen by Ken Russell. Ken Russell also directed the film. Released on October 21, 1988, Lair of the Worm received several award nominations and one win. The film was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Costumes and Best Actress (1990), and an International Fantasy Film Award for Best Film (1989). Lair of the Worm won the Fantafestival Best Special Effects Award in 1989.
Lair of the Worm Plot
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Lair of the White Worm was based on one of the last horror stories written by Bram Stoker before his death in 1912. The famous horror novelist was suffering from Bright’s disease (kidney disease). This contributed to the novel’s strange dialogue, which gave already odd filmmaker Ken Russell even more material to manipulate in addition to his own off-the-wall ideas. Surreal and dark-humored, Lair of the White Worm is a story about a bizarre cult and a series of sacrificial murders, which took place to honor an ancient pagan god.
The story begins when archeologist Angus Flint (Peter Capaladi) discovers the skull of an undiscovered beast. After studying the skull, the archaeologist uncovers a bizarre myth concerning a medieval knight and the slaying of a dragon. Flint meets a descendant of the knight, Lord James D’Ampton (Hugh Grant), and he begins to learn about the creature. Flint soon discovers that a series of unexplained disappearances have plagued the local town. This leads him to the mansion of a recluse, Lady Sylvia Marsh played by Amanda Donohoe. Lord D’Ampton makes Marsh’s acquaintance although the townspeople have always thought that she had something to do with the disappearances. As Flint and D’Ampton’s stories begin to intersect, a bloodcurdling journey into the lair of an ancient god takes place. This lair holds the key to an age-old mystery.
Lair of the White Worm Cast and Characters
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Amanda Donohoe … Lady Sylvia Marsh
Hugh Grant … Lord James D’Ampton
Catherine Oxenberg … Eve Trent
Peter Capaldi … Angus Flint
Sammi Davis … Mary Trent
Stratford Johns … Peters
Paul Brooke … P.C. Erny
Imogen Claire … Dorothy Trent
Chris Pitt … Kevin
Gina McKee … Nurse Gladwell
Christopher Gable … Joe Trent
Lloyd Peters … Jesus Christ
Lair of the White Worm Trivia (From IMDb.com)
·Lair of the White Worm was filmed on the plot used in the TV series “The Adventures of Black Beauty” (1972).
·When PC Erny talks on the police radio, the voice on the other end is director Ken Russell.
·The skull of the pagan god Dionin used in the movie was constructed by adding sculpted sections to a real cow skull. The original teeth were pulled and replaced with fabricated ones to simulate the serpent look. Two skulls were fabricated for various scenes in the movie.
·The mouth of the White Worm (Dionin) seen in the tunnel towards the end of the movie was actually a painted over Volkswagen Beetle hood that bears an uncanny resemblance to the mouth of a snake.
·Director Cameo: Ken Russell calls out “Hello, Mary,” he walks by her farm at the beginning.
·According to an interview with Ken Russell in Fangoria Magazine spring 1988, Catherine Oxenberg got upset on location in the cave, when she lost one of her hand-muffs (i.e. hand warmers) during cold weather