Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint discovers an odd skull amid the ruins of a convent that he is excavating. Shortly thereafter, Lady Sylvia Marsh returns to Temple House, a nearby mansion,...
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Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint discovers an odd skull amid the ruins of a convent that he is excavating. Shortly thereafter, Lady Sylvia Marsh returns to Temple House, a nearby mansion, far earlier than expected. At a party in the village, Angus meets Lord James D'Ampton, who has just inherited his family's land right next to Temple House. Angus learns of the D'Ampton Worm, a huge dragon-snake that an earlier D'Ampton killed by cutting it in half. (There's a pretty catchy rock-folk song that tells the D'Ampton Worm legend.) As people begin disappearing and acting strangely over the next few days, the skull is stolen from Angus's room, and the watch of a missing person is found in a cavern that was the legendary home of the D'Ampton worm. Angus and James discover that there was an ancient cult that worshiped the worm as a god, and they theorize that the creature somehow survived its destruction, but it was trapped inside the cavern. The remainder of the movie shows Angus, James, ... Written by
I've now seen Ken Russell's adaptation of Bram Stoker's story about half a dozen times, each at different points in my life. This is one of those few movies that seems to age very well and get better with each viewing. Never a big fan of Russell, his over the top visual style seems right at home in this sometimes campy, sometimes scary, always entertaining horror film. But what makes this film stand far above others in its genre is the fact that it is in actuality a wicked black comedy. Every time I see it i pick up on something new that is in the background of a scene or some piece of dialogue I previously overlooked and I burst out laughing. The film features probably the single best line of any movie ever made, delivered with dead-pan foppishness by a not-yet famous Hugh Grant. "I believe we probably have another reptile on the premises." Watch it and you'll understand why it's so funny. It's all about context. While some may find many flaws in this production, I recommend just going with the flow and trusting Russel and his cast, who all also seem to be in on the joke. Amanda Donohoe as the evil serpentine priestess and Stratford Johns as Hugh Grant's butler are particularly on target with every line delivered. I'm going out on a limb and giving this a 10/10. In actuality it probably deserves and 8/10 at best. But it is one of my personal faves and seems to age like a fine wine.
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