Edith’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’ve seen you before, Eve. Many centuries ago, in the time of my lover, the great Emperor Carausius.
With all the British Museum YouTube I’ve devoured it seems only natural to watch this one. It’s definitely more heavy metal than Mandy and undoubtedly suited for a man like Ken Russell. Comparable to Kenneth Anger — and possibly Richard Stanley — a man who understands that religion is a powerful cultural institution as oppose to some moral banality of right vs wrong storytelling. Religion is so embedded within the occult that I cannot imagine the discovery of mystical artifacts being less than profound. More interesting than The Mummy and more psychedelic than Indiana Jones, The Lair of the White Worm blends mysticism and archeology with an informative understanding of pagan ritual.
Before I gush about The Ishtar Gate and my own fascination with Sumerians, this is a story about a seductress of emperors — an old school Demi-monde. From the setting to the mood, we establish how the worm evokes dark unrealized yearnings. We have a lineage of knight ancestory and lore. Hugh Grant sleeps in a bed shrouded in virile imagery and a photo portraying the valiant knight that slays the insidious snake. We tackle sexual energy and human nature. Amanda Donohue (former girl of Adam Ant) is a force of nature. She completely embodies the androgynous sex appeal of a pagan goddess. It subverts expectations when we think of our hero slaying the beast that in turn, knowledge and understanding of ancient traditions prevail.
I absolutely love this film. It’s everything I look for in my occult cinema. Possibly the sexiest movie I’ve ever seen. And that folk punk song at the party... dude, that sh- slaps.