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Lair Of The White Worm (art)
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Russell's best film!! But as I said, NOT everyone will appreciate it.
The movie (and book) takes place several hundred years later when the Lord James D'Ampton (Hugh Grant), grandchild of the knight who slew the worm, returns to his castle at the same time as an old skull, of unknown species is found by an archeology student (Peter Capaldi). At the same time a mysterious lady (Amanda Donohoe) arrives from her travels abroad. And people start to disappear.
The story is good, the actors are excellent, the filming is beautiful, but the special effects sometimes leaves something to wish for. One has to remember that this is Ken Russel directing which means spooky dream sequences, some weird camery angles and characters that are a bit too much - in a good way. This is also true for the dialogue. Hugh Grant is simply perfect as the snobbish lord that has set his mind to destroy the new D'Ampton-worm and with Amanda Donohoe as the evil worm-cultist, sexy and manipulating at once, things couldn't be better.
A Ken Russel-fan will definitely love this one, so will any one that has liked Sam Raimi's (Evil Dead) movies, even if this hasn't got as much gore). So will also anyone who likes their horror with an ironic touch. Anyone that wants the standard version of Hollywood Horror should choose another one.
For me, Ken Russell seems to go one of two ways. Awesome! (Tommy, The Devils) or "Can I please have those two hours back?" (Crimes of Passion, Listzomania, Altered States) While I haven't seen all of his films and some of the above I saw in original release, I must say that what I have seen has only fallen into one of those two categories, that is everything I had seen, until I saw this film. I would give this film 5 stars for the first 2/3 and one star for the last 1/3.
Russell goes back to what he is very good at, portraying life in England in the back countries. This film is based on Bram Stoker's original novel, one which also has a major case of schizophrenia. People either loved it or hated it. The source material seems to lead up to something and then drop it. Stoker was dying when he wrote this (some say drug addicted) and it isn't as powerful and masterly as some of his other work. This means that when you adapt it for the screen, you need to smooth the rough edges out and not go down an alley that you don't intend to explore. Russell does seem to avoid many of the pitfalls of adapting such a book.
Four of the five leads are quite solid but Catherine Oxenberg was a poor choice here. While there are some very brief indications of what the film-makers apparently saw when she was cast, one wishes she would have brought it the entire movie.
While Hugh Grant, Sammi Davis and Peter Capaldi have the standard, "Gee, whiz! Something odd is going on here. Let's figure it out." roles, they all bring a bit of quirkiness to those roles. It is easy to see why Hugh Grant has had a satisfying career and odd that the other two are more obscure.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was in excellent condition. I did not have to wait long to get the movie either. I saw it long ago, but I wanted to see it again. Read morePublished 4 months ago by brenda
Back in the late 1980’s two of the most popular TV shows were “L. A. Law” and “Dynasty.” Each show featured a European beauty in key roles. Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Oleson
With The Lair of the White Worm, a film loosely based on an obscure novel by Dracula author Bram Stoker, the controversial filmmaker comes up with a... Read more
Ken Russell, the writer and director of this slightly off center film, is a little bit of an acquired taste. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Wesley Bob
Okay, please understand the nature of these five stars when I say that this is the "Citizen Kane" of freaky Bram Stoker movies. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Baudelaire
Great, cheesy Brittish vampire movie. I love the campiness and Hugh Grant was so young!Published 10 months ago by Michi