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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
3,531 ( 253)
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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,155, 23 October 1988

Gross USA:

$1,189,315

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

Dissociative identity disorder is erroneously referred to as schizophrenia. See more »

Quotes

Kevin: I'm not really into headbanging.
Lady Sylvia Marsh: Are you into any kind of banging?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comic Relief Does University Challenge (2005) 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

See more »

User Reviews

One of the best Irish/Celtic Horror Films.
3 February 1999 | by wes26See all my reviews

A lavish, and kinky version of Bram Stoker's seldom read story (which I imagine was quite different). The Worm of the title is actually a Wyrm, an old English term for snake or dragon. The followers of this beast are a combination of snakes and vampires. They spit venom and can paralyze or transform their victims with a bite.

The film makes interesting use of Pagan and Christian mythology, which could have been quite controversial if it hadn't come from Ken Russell whose blasphemies seem to be taken in good humor.

Amanda Donohue is icy and sardonic as the head of the snake cult and the film is worth seeing for her alone (A friend told me that she looked like how he always pictured the White Queen from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).


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