Lair Of The White Worm (1988)

The residents of Rockwell Falls are dying for you to visit…

Writer: Ken Russell
Director: Ken Russell

Lair of the White Worm is Ken Russell having fun. The story revolves around an archaeologist (Peter Capaldi) digging up an old skull and discovering that the local legend of a giant worm (or wyrm) is actually true. Helped by a descendant of the man who originally killed the wyrm (Hugh Grant) he sets out to destroy it again.

It’s second rate B movie trash, or at least it would be if it took itself seriously. Fortunately it doesn’t and the top notch cast has a great time, especially Amanda Donohoe who gets to play “rich sexy evil” and revels in lines like: “I change my car as regularly as a snake sheds its skin”. Special credit to Chris Pitt for managing to film his short appearance with a straight face, I hate to think how many takes it took.

And amongst the comedy there are the dream sequences where Ken Russell gets to let rip and really be Ken Russell, totally over the top and full of symbolism.

Lair of the White Worm cannot possibly be called a good film, but it is a strangely enjoyable one. File under ‘guilty pleasure’.