Starring Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi this is a British 1988 adaptation of Bram Stokers least popular Novel ‘The Lair of the White Worm’. Possibly the source material really was ‘that bad’ but the adaptation doesn’t try to be scary, it tries to be funny. It was a good way to go; it does the job of making the ridiculous story hilariously entertaining. You know how it’s going to be within the first minute of opening when they do a jump scare on a garden hose. Frankly it’s taking the piss out of this entire Horror ‘thing’ with a lot of innuendo and phallic imagery.

Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi) is a Scottish archaeology student who unearths a mysterious skull when excavating a Roman Convent. Is it a dragon or giant snake? He thinks it’s connected to the local legend of the d’Amptom Worm (yup, spelt worm, not Wyrm. Not a typo on my part at least!) He’s even more convinced when he uncovers a mosaic of a Christian cross with a snake coiled around it.

Meanwhile the appropriately named Eve (Catherine Oxenberg), one of the sisters who runs the B&B where he is staying, starts having visions of serpents. Lord James D’Ampton (Hugh Grant) comforts her and casually starts speculating about whether her missing Father was eaten by a giant mythical snake. Why not? Then asks for a cup of tea. The way that Hugh Grant’s character calmly and casually makes this enormous, ridiculous logic leap is hilarious. Very good comedy deadpan.

Amanda Donohoe as Lady Sylvia Marsh, the priestess of the snake-cult, gets some of the best lines as she stalks the virgin Eve. She sprouts fangs with which she can convert people into vampire-snake-minion-things or hisses and sticks her tongue out during surreal dream sequences. I also noted she seemed to be doing a strip-tease as the movie progressed; at the beginning she’s covered up from head to toe and by the end she’s nearly 100% naked.

This movie answers questions like what does Hugh Grant’s wet dream look like? What will Peter Capaldi pull out of his sporran? Can you really rely on the NHS? And can you defeat a vampire-snake-thing with Bagpipes?! But alas we may never know why the villainess looks like Mystique with a strap-on but, dang, she looks hot! One thing is for sure, the Worm will rise from it’s Lair 😉

Some people will definitely groan at this; it has low production values and the plot is ridiculous. (You don’t get another worm if you cut one in half and snake charming does not work that way!) But it’s a comedy, and the ridiculousness is part of the humour. Due to it’s weirdness it also has plenty of surprises or ‘WTF?!’ moments so you are unlikely to be bored. If you get it, it’ll probably be a favourite.

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