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Rated R
Copyright 1988 Vestron Pictures Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Angus - Scottish archeologist, pretty tough guy too. Well of course he is tough, he's Scottish!
  • James D'Ampton - Hugh Grant! Nobleman and descendant of the knight who slew the worm centuries ago.
  • Mary - Hostess of the D'Ampton bed and breakfast, she is on the edge of a total breakdown due to the disappearance of her parents one year ago.
  • Eve - Mary's sister, she has been flirting a good bit with Lord D'Ampton, turns out she is still a virgin in her late twenties.
  • Officer Erny - Constable with two lazy eyes (it's really odd) who is bitten and becomes a thrall to Lady Sylvia.
  • Kevin - Goofy boy scout seduced and emasculated by Lady Sylvia.
  • Lady Sylvia Marsh - Immortal worshipper of the White Worm and part snake herself. Dropped into the creature's gaping maw by Angus.
  • Dionin - Spelling might be an issue here, but whatever the case, this is the pagan god also called "The White Worm." A huge and loathsome beast which dwells beneath the ground until it develops explosive indigestion.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

We begin with Angus excavating ancient ruins in Mary and Eve's backyard just as he makes a bewildering discovery. In addition to the structural remains of a nunnery and a Roman temple he finds a large skull, vaguely reptilian in form. Only later, at one of Lord D'Ampton's parties, does he learn about the Legend of the White Worm.

The worm is not only a legend and Lady Sylvia is picking out the annual virgin sacrifice for her pagan deity. Eve's mysterious status as an unsullied lass of almost thirty puts her at risk of becoming worm food. Only heroic efforts by the men folk (and a hand grenade) prevent her consumption.

The film is riddled with revolting erotic images and snake references. I really didn't need to watch a confusing dream sequence involving nuns being raped by Roman soldiers, though later another vision showing them impaled on stakes is equally twisted. There is also the human sacrifice ritual, apparently Lady Sylvia uses a spearlike strapon to commit the deed. Try to remember these are intended to portray the depravity of the White Worm and do so rather well. Meanwhile the protagonists use every trick in the book against snakes to combat Lady Sylvia, including snake charming music and a mongoose. You have to feel sorry for the mongoose, in this case the little hunter was in over its head.

Hugh Grant encountering a pagan snake god is pure entertainment, plus the story was inventive and well paced. Is it frightening? Well no, but it did not bore me and was a welcome "alternative vampire" sort of story.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Spring is an ambiguous thing in the British Isles.
  • Nuns had it pretty rough during Roman times.
  • There is a pagan version of "Shoots and Ladders" called "Snakes and Ladders." (Several readers pointed out this was the original title of that game.)
  • Never get a blowjob from some woman with two-inch fangs.
  • English noblemen regularly have dreams involving catfighting airline stewardesses.
  • Cavemen knew what transsexuals were.
  • Snake women sleep in woven baskets.
  • You can suck the poison out of someone bitten in the jugular.
  • Bagpipes can be used in snake charming.
  • Even a god should not go around swallowing grenades.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - The scary thing is that I'm getting into this Scottish squaredance/techno music.
  • 7 mins - You've obviously spent enough time at the buffet my friend, move along Porky.
  • 11 mins - Actually the headlights were on.
  • 24 mins - What in the hell? Okay, this is an amazingly f***ked up scene.
  • 30 mins - Exactly how many adolescent male wet dreams can we address here?
  • 33 mins - Paralyzed by her venom, but his eyelids close when she pushes him under the water.
  • 45 mins - Hey idiot, can you make any more noise?
  • 56 mins - Eve needs to do a better job of shaving her legs...
  • 90 mins - That hospital had better get a good lawyer, this has malpractice suit written all over it.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note whiteworm1.wav Eve: "I remember now! After I passed out, I remember! A serpent, a horrible thing...towering above me, coiled around a crucifix!"
Green Music Note whiteworm2.wav Sylvia: "Do you believe in reincarnation, Eve? I do, but then I am immortal and I have seen the same souls inhabit different beings throughout history."
Green Music Note whiteworm3.wav Angus: "Dionin was a pagan snake god."
Green Music Note whiteworm4.wav James: "Thanks for the warning, I think we probably have another reptile loose on the premises."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipwhiteworm1.mpg - 1.9m
Hugh, the Barbarian. (It was that or a "Highlander" joke.)

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6
The Lair of the White Worm
Reply #17. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Felicity
This was a boring movie.  I taped it only because I wanted to watch it with a friend who is a big David Icke fan and see if it could be appreciated on a “British aristocracy are actually reptoids” level.

The setting is relentlessly dismal and bleak and drab.  It essentially qualifies as a small town setting.  The villainess was sexy but completely unlikable.
The Lair of the White Worm
Reply #18. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by :)
The film was scored by Polish composer Stanislaw Syrewicz and the score was actually released on CD.
The Lair of the White Worm
Reply #19. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Sabrina
This was a great film.  I like those weird, dark, B-movies.  Hugh Grant was hot, but I've developed a mad crush on all of Scotland!  You can seduce me with your manskirt and bagpipes ANYTIME, Angus!
The Lair of the White Worm
Reply #20. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Emilio Perez Machado
The Lair of the White Worm
Reply #21. Posted on March 30, 2006, 10:31:55 AM by jasmine
I saw this shortly after it was released.  I remember being quite impressed with Hugh Grant as he had a sort of Cary Grant air about him.  I was famililar with all the other cast members as well, so found it an enjoyable movie in a twisted sort of way.
The Lair of the White Worm
Reply #22. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by BoyScoutKevin
What I once questioned, I no longer question. If you look at the expression on Kevin's (Pitt's) face, when Lady Sylvia's (Donohoe's) head disappears below camera range, that is the expression of someone receiving their first oral sex from a woman. What is still questionable, is whether she emasculated him or merely bit him.
The Lair of the White Worm
Reply #23. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Total Nut
I know I have to see this. I actually like Ken Russell, just because he's different. His stuff either works (The Devils, Salome's Last Dance, Altered States, Women in Love) or it doesn't (everything else). But either way it's unique.
The Lair of the White Worm
Reply #24. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Zach
I remember renting this many moons ago.  Started off slower than Rosie O'Donnell in concrete shoes.  Next thing you know nuns are being raped with spiked dildos.  Where in the hell did that come from?  Admittingly, that was not the most uncomfortable part of the film for me.  It has to be Amanda Donohoe's hairy armpits.  Sadistic sexual attacks on religious women are one thing but bad female grooming habits is where I draw the line in the sand.
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