Critic Reviews



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Donohoe as the vampire seductress projects a beguiling sexuality that should suck the resistance out of all but the most cold-blooded critics. She is also hilarious, a virtue shared by everyone and everything in The Lair of the White Worm.
Slant Magazine
Cheap effects and gratuitous displays of nudity only heighten the film’s delirious demeanor.
Given a distinctly playful treatment by Russell, who crams some kind of phallic imagery into almost every frame, THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM is solid, campy fun--much more entertaining than any of the director's "serious" films. Russell (who also scripted) enjoys himself with all kinds of fetishistic images, from a naked Amanda Donohoe slithering around in green body paint, to a white bra- and panties-clad Catherine Oxenberg suspened over a pit as a sacrificial offering to the great white worm-snake--whose flickering tongue is, no doubt, firmly in his cheek.
Ken Russell's phallic farce starring Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi is drearily sexist, accidentally absurd and undeniably a stinker. But its defiant disrespect for plot and taste win me over.
Not a worm is left unturned in Ken Russell's buoyant, mischievous and predictably overwrought new film.
Say what you will about Ken Russell, his films are usually bonkers. His latest, Lair of the White Worm, will do nothing to alter his reputation as the champion of camp thrash, but at least it's a step or two -- if only short ones -- above such recent efforts as "Salome's Last Veil" and "Gothic."
It has everything you want: shadows, screams, feverish scientific speculations, guttering candle flames, flowing diaphanous gowns, midnights, dawns and worms. Russell was once, and no doubt will be again, considered an important director. This is the sort of exercise he could film with one hand tied behind his back, and it looks like that was indeed more or less his approach.
Though the film does contain a few other humorously erotic moments, it's mostly a listless exercise in intentional camp.
An embarrassing mish-mash of comedy and horror which fits neither criteria.
Time Out

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