The Lair of the White Worm (1988) starring Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg, Peter Capaldi, Sammi Davis, Stratford Johns, Paul Brooke directed by Ken Russell Movie Review

The Lair of the White Worm (1988)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Amanda Donohoe in The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

To The Manor Horn

Archaeologist Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi) discovers a curious skull not man or animal as he excavates a plot where a convent once stood. Not long after Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) returns to a nearby mansion which neighbours the mansion owned by Lord James D'Ampton (Hugh Grant) whose history is connected to the legend of the D'Ampton worm that was said to have been slain by one of his ancestors. But strange things start to happen when people go missing, the skull is taken and a watch belonging to one of the missing people shows up in a cavern. As Angus and James start to snoop they learn that the worm was worshipped by a cult and believe that maybe the worm not only survived but has returned.

Let me give you the serious stuff first as it won't take long. "The Lair of the White Worm" is an adaptation of a Bram Stoker story, yes of Dracula fame and it was producer and director Ken Russell who adapted it, he who made such movies as "Tommy". Those two names are quite impressive and it doesn't stop there as "The Lair of the White Worm" also stars some then young talent such as Amanda Donohoe, Catherine Oxenberg, Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi who with floppy hair looks surprisingly like Hugh Grant. But whilst "The Lair of the White Worm" has some impressive names it doesn't always make for an impressive movie which is the case here.

Catherine Oxenberg and Hugh Grant in The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

But "The Lair of the White Worm" is anything but a serious movie and I would say if there are any teen boys wanting erotica but are tired of teen comedies this movie would entertain. So let me explain, when I was about 18 I got to watch "The Lair of the White Worm" and whilst I quickly forgot the story I remembered a variety of scenes. A Young boy thinking he is going to get lucky only to have something bitten off, Amanda Donohoe in latex with a huge strap on and Catherine Oxenberg is skimpy underwear. Yes shallow but in truth these are the movies most memorable moments and trust me when you watch "The Lair of the White Worm" you do not forget any of these scenes.

Now you may ask well didn't Ken Russell make impressive movies? Yes he did but he also made some utter tosh and "The Lair of the White Worm" is tosh. But it is phallic tosh with not a scene goes by which doesn't insinuate something from worms and lairs being a metaphor to dialogue about swallowing as well as Amanda Donohoe sucking on a policeman's leg. I could go on because it is constant and hilarious for being so but at the same time it also has some horror. In fact some of the horror is surprisingly good and it could quite easily have become a really good horror movie rather than one which is remembered for all the phallic suggestions.

What this all boils down to is that "The Lair of the White Worm" is not a very good movie but it is one when watched once you certainly won't forget. Not only that you will feel an urge to watch it again to just make sure whether what you remember was in the movie, which does also involve a shocking rape scene.