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The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

When an archeologist uncovers a strange skull in foreign land, the residents of a nearby town begin to disappear, leading to further unexplainable occurrences.

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(screenplay by), (adapted from the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Mary Trent
...
Peters
...
Imogen Claire ...
Dorothy Trent
Chris Pitt ...
...
Nurse Gladwell
Christopher Gable ...
Joe Trent
Lloyd Peters ...
Jesus Christ
Miranda Coe ...
Maid / Nun
...
Maid / Nun
Caron Anne Kelly ...
Maid / Nun
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Storyline

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 Alik Widge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Maldição da Serpente  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,189,315
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

When Eve is tied up and waiting to be sacrificed, Lady Sylvia places the Dionin skull next to her and walks away. Several seconds later the skull disappears while Eve is struggling to get away, but it reappears when Sylvia returns. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[James is driving with Angus, whom appears transformed at this point, along a country road]
Lord James D'Ampton: So... who was that on the phone back there? Was it the hospital?
Angus Flint: [gruff voice] Hospital?
Lord James D'Ampton: Yeah, was it about the girls and any updates on them?
Angus Flint: No. It wasn't the girls.
Lord James D'Ampton: Oh. Say... I'm famished. Before we go to the hospital to see the girls, do you want to stop some place for a bite?
Angus Flint: [wickely smirks] Why not?
Lord James D'Ampton: Perfect.
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Connections

References Dance of the Vampires (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

The D'Ampton Worm
Arranged and Performed by Emilio Perez Machado and Stephen Powys
Violinist Louise Newman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
That song sticks in your head for a while.
26 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

'Dr. Who' actor Peter Capaldi plays Angus Flint, an archaeology student who unearths a strange skull from the grounds of a bed & breakfast, where a convent had existed once upon a time. Meanwhile, the seductively sexy young Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) returns to her neighboring home, and more weird things are soon happening. It turns out, there is a local legend in the area, of a nobleman who'd vanquished a hideous reptilian beast - not literally a "worm" - centuries ago. Also mixed up in the plot are that noblemans' descendant, James D'Ampton (Hugh Grant), and lovely sisters Mary (Sammi Davis) and Eve (Catherine Oxenberg).

The director is Ken Russell of such classics as "The Devils", and he also produced and adapted the novel by "Dracula" creator Bram Stoker. So we know going in to expect a fair amount of outrageousness. Fortunately, this film never does get out of control, but it combines some sober drama with some very campy and sometimes hilarious horror. Clearly, it's not meant to be taken all that seriously, especially when we consider the crudely done fantasy sequences envisioned by the characters and the audience. (People who are easily offended will undoubtedly be put off by some of this imagery.) The makeup is amusing, but what's really a hoot is the beast itself, Dionin. Excellent location shooting adds atmosphere.

The actors, commendably, maintain serious expressions. Although he's reputed to refuse to talk about this film, Grant does a good, droll job. Capaldi is a decent hero who, at one point, attempts to attract a reptilian presence by putting on a kilt and playing the bagpipes. Oxenberg and Davis look appropriately scared, Stratford Johns is a solid presence as the butler Peters, and Donohoe, often dressed in very sexy outfits, does appear to be having some real fun as the villainess.

A truly frightening film this is not, but it's quite entertaining just the same.

Eight out of 10.


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