The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

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Even when working to create a silly horror mystery full of campy entertainment value, as he is here, Ken Russell can’t help but transform it into A Ken Russell Movie. Lair of the White Worm works best when it’s explicitly dabbling in Russell’s deranged subconscious; the hazy VHS-shot visions and nightmare sequences, indulgences in the kink of the occult and the weird, Amanda Donohoe slinking around as a snake-worshipping dominatrix vampiress – this is the stuff you will walk out remembering forever. There’s also a gloriously batshit ending that goes exactly where the film’s title promises. Russell reassuring you in the final stretch that, yes, you did sign up for a monster movie and he’s going to give it to you. Also, Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi are the Holmes and Watson we deserve.

Watched on Vestron blu-ray.

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