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
Contains 2 future Dr. Who Doctors. Peter Capaldi became the Doctor in Season 7 and Hugh Grant also played the Doctor in the BBC short special 'Comic Relief: Doctor Who - The Curse of Fatal Death' See more »
The snakes used in the film are not native to the United Kingdom nor are they venomous. See more »
Doesn't every Scottish archaeologist own a mongoose and a hand grenade?
Before Hugh Grant hit the big-time playing floppy-haired fops in rom-coms, he mostly played floppy haired-fops in costume period dramas; an exception to this was Ken Russell's The Lair of The White Worm (1988), in which Hugh went against type by playing modern-day floppy-haired fop Lord James D'Ampton, who teams up with archaeologist Angus Flint (played by the new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi) and B&B owner Mary Trent (Sammi Davis) to defeat a pagan snake-woman (Amanda Donohoe) who worships a giant, ancient, subterranean wyrm (another name for dragon).
This being a Russell movie, there is plenty of surreal weirdness on offer, with psychedelic dream sequences, Christian-baiting blasphemous imagery, phallic symbolism, and cheap titillation courtesy of Donohoe, who spends a lot of her time naked, and Catherine Oxenberg, who is stripped to her undies as a sacrifice for the creature. However, what could have been extremely controversial actually proves to be rather amusing thanks to the director's tongue-in-cheek B-movie approach (some might call it 'camp') and the tacky special effects; ultimately, this is silly, harmless fun for the cult movie crowd.
6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for the Concorde dream sequence, which is downright trippy.
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