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KenRussellfilms
looking for a budget 4

 

1988

The Lair of the White Worm

  A filming of Bram Stoker's badly written novel. Strange considering Ken found Stoker's most famous book Dracula to be boring.

Lair of the White Worm, Ken Russell Ken Russell Lair of the White Worm

The worm is actually a snake, and a snake woman searches out sacrifices. Her car, moving through the night with green headlamps looks like a snake ("I change my cars like a snake sheds its skin"). With her make-up she looks sexy but not frightening, but it doesn't matter as the film becomes a horror-comedy.

Ken Russell Lair of the White Worm Donohoe Ken Russell Lair of the White Worm Donohoe Lair of the White Worm Donohoe

Hugh Grant is the lord of the manor, who slays a symbolic snake at a party (in a scene based on Lang's Siegfried) and later kills the snake woman in the same way. But the snake woman is only the servant to the god.

Ken Russell Lair of the White Worm sacrifice

Because Oxenberg refused to appear nude we have the unique sacrificial scene where the executioner is naked but the victim, tied and bound and waiting to be sacrificed to a giant worm, still wears her knickers.

people Unknown Sammi Davis is good in the role of helpless female. Catherine Oxenberg of Dynasty is not especially good.
Amanda Donohoe in Lair of the White Worm Amanda Donohue is superb as the Snake Woman.  Hugh Grant plays a grinning Englishman with a cute hairstyle. Hugh Grant in Lair of the White Worm

Ken Russell's daughter appears briefly in a film within the film.

best image The hose-pipe writhing like a snake.

The hands of the watch turned into snakes.

Ken Russell Lair of the White Worm

Ken Russell Lair of the White Worm

"I would like to suggest another best image for Lair of the White Worm. You feature a picture of Amanda Donohoe hissing on the crucifix. When she draws back there is a shadow on the wall from a spider plant. It forms a man's head with a starburst for an eye. It's a neat image. And quite low budget" (thanks Francesca)

best scene The folk band performing and the ceremonial worm being cut in half.
themes The party sequence with the ceremonial worm is a homage to Fritz Lang's Siegfried.

There is a lame Rosebud joke.

Lots of snakes, the game of snakes and ladders. A nunnery and a dream sequence featuring nuns, rape, crucifixion and snakes.

Ken Russell Lair of the White Worm

The caves and lighting are similar to the caves in Altered States.

Ken Russell Lair of the White Worm

films Other films released in the same year include Rainman, A Fish Called Wanda and The Last Temptation of Christ and Russell's Salome´s Last Dance.

 

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