5.9/10
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The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

R | | Horror | 21 October 1988 (USA)
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When an archeologist uncovers a strange skull in foreign land, the residents of a nearby town begin to disappear, leading to further unexplainable occurrences.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

Ken Russell (screenplay by), Bram Stoker (adapted from the novel by)
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Popularity
4,713 ( 2,974)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amanda Donohoe ... Lady Sylvia Marsh
Hugh Grant ... Lord James D'Ampton
Catherine Oxenberg ... Eve Trent
Peter Capaldi ... Angus Flint
Sammi Davis ... Mary Trent
Stratford Johns ... Peters
Paul Brooke ... P.C. Erny
Imogen Claire Imogen Claire ... Dorothy Trent
Chris Pitt Chris Pitt ... Kevin
Gina McKee ... Nurse Gladwell
Christopher Gable Christopher Gable ... Joe Trent
Lloyd Peters Lloyd Peters ... Jesus Christ
Miranda Coe Miranda Coe ... Maid / Nun
Linzi Drew ... Maid / Nun
Caron Anne Kelly 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:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Maldição da Serpente See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,189,315
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

White Lair See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The skull of the pagan god Dionin used in the movie was constructed by adding sculpted sections to a real cow skull. The original teeth were pulled and replaced with fabricated ones to simulate the serpent look. Two skulls were fabricated for various scenes in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Angus's fingers are not moving on the chanter of the bagpipes while he is luring P.C. Erny around the sundial. See more »

Quotes

Lady Sylvia Marsh: Can I help you?
P.C. Erny: Oh, your ladyship, I've been stung by a snake.
Lady Sylvia Marsh: Snakes bite. Bees sting.
P.C. Erny: Yeah, it wouldn't be a bee this time of year.
Lady Sylvia Marsh: Hardly a snake either. It's probably a nettle.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A British Picture (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

The D'Ampton Worm
Arranged and Performed by Emilio Perez Machado and Stephen Powys
Violinist Louise Newman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Alluring,sensuous, witty and Ken Russell.
26 November 2005 | by CemetarygirlSee all my reviews

Of all the Ken Russell films this is my favourite. I found it extremely sensuous and the snake imagery a 'classic'. This is also one of the best Hugh Grant movies out considering he has become hopelessly typecast these days. Russell uses three different versions of the legend of the "Dampton" worm and this includes that written by Bram Stoker. The other two based on stories within Britain. And surprisingly enough the tale is closer to them than Stoker. Amanda Donohoe was simply stunning as Sylvia and she delivered her lines with charm and wit, and her costuming was slithering skintight scrumptiously slinky. I even bought a snakes and ladders set just like the one "Rosebud" that she threw into the flames. The worm was brilliant and deserved an Oscar for his role as he arose from the depth of the cave. I also love the song played in the beginning too. My only irk is that Catherines voice appears to be dubbed by someone else. One of the high points for me was when Sylvia sprayed venom over the cross. My reason for voting this movie so high is because it delivers on so many levels and it is a 'classic' in my book.


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