The Lair of the White Worm

The Lair of the White Worm ★★★★

A bit of a tongue-in-cheek folk horror romp about an ancient dragon/snake/worm and the vampiric snake people who love him. The tone is slightly heightened throughout (where did archaeology student Peter Capaldi get his bagpipes and hand grenade?!), which undercuts the horrific elements but steers things in more of a fun direction than I expected. Although it's a more technically competent film, this ultimately reminded me of Rawhead Rex, with the archaic pagan beastie reawakening and showing the Christian population of rural England what's up.

I thoroughly intend to give the Ken Russell filmography a proper runthrough someday because he seems like a fascinating maniac. At the moment, though, it's just this and Altered States. The one key element they seem to share are those bizarre-ass, overlit composite shot hallucination sequences that feel like broadcasts from another world. I hope there are lots more of those to come in his other films.

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