Unburied Trailers: The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

by "Penguin" Pete Trbovich on August 15th, 2018 | , | ,

Welcome to our continued series: “Unburied” ! Each week, we’re going to select one forgotten oddball horror movie trailer from way back and dig it up so you can play with the bones. And just look what crawled out of the crypt this week!

Let’s talk about the late Ken Russell. Russell only had a few films in his directing career that qualified as horror, but he had a much wider reputation for, as Wikipedia diplomatically puts it, “his flamboyant and controversial style.” He was edgy and uncompromising, noted especially for his over-the-top production of The Who’s rock opera Tommy (1975) and for the psychedelic mind-twister Altered States. He was also known for an unflinchingly negative portrayal of religion, particularly Catholics, in films such as The Devils (1971), which got an X rating in the UK and US and banned in several countries.

Oh, and he also had a thing for disturbing sexual content. So we come to The Lair of the White Worm (1988), based on the novel of the same name by Dracula author Bram Stoker. While the book got pan reviews, Ken Russel saw the potential for disturbing sexual content with religious symbolism laid over it, and he was all over it like ants on a donut. As you can see in the trailer, one of the conundrums posed in the film is “what happens when a person with fangs gives you a blowjob?” Leave it to Ken Russel to bring things like that up. Now add in Hugh Grant, of all people, being his most British fop, and the jaunty jig theme tune, plus a dozen other wacky Ken Russel ideas, and you have a trailer that beguiles you with its camp while making you cringe at the same time.

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Writer, artist, prophet, cult leader. Take good care of my memes. I’ve raised them since they were daydreams.

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