Director: Ken Russell
Cast: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg
Release Date: January 31, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Hugh Grant, Amanda Donohoe, and Catherine Oxenberg star in this mix of heart-stopping horror and campy humor. James D’Ampton (Grant) returns to his country castle in England. Legend has it that James’s distant ancestor once slayed the local dragon—a monstrous white worm with a fondness for the sweet flesh of virgins. The young lord dismisses the legend as folklore, until archaeology student Angus Flint explores James’s property and unearths a massive reptilian skull and a pagan snake god’s ancient site of worship. When James’s virtuous girlfriend, Eve Trent (Oxenberg), suddenly disappears, James and Angus set out to investigate the foreboding cavern said to be the worm’s lair, where a centuries-old mystery begins to uncoil.
Serving as the sixth entry in the ongoing lineup of Limited Edition Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray releases, ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ tells the story of a group of individuals in England who discover that the infamous tale of their town regarding a deadly serpent and a legendary evil may in fact be far closer to the truth than they had ever imagined. Now this group of locals will have to use their wits and combined strengths if they stand any hope of eradicating the evil once and for all. Based upon one of the last works from the infamous Bram Stoker (Dracula), written for the screen and directed by cult classic filmmaker Ken Russell (Altered States) and starring Amanda Donohoe (Liar Liar), Hugh Grant (Four Weddings and A Funeral), Catherine Oxenberg (TV’s Watch Over Me), Sammi Davis (Four Rooms), Peter Capaldi (TV’s Doctor Who), and more. ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ is a goofy and bloody, over the top horror comedy that brings no shortage of fun to the table, and a notable cult classic that many genre fans will surely be thrilled to have the ability to own on Blu-ray as part of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series lineup.
Fans of the kooky cult classic and the work of filmmaker Ken Russell and the legendary Bram Stoker in general will all probably want to consider purchasing a copy of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ to add to your collection. Marking the sixth entry in the continuing lineup of Limited Edition releases in the Vestron Video Collector’s Series, this new Blu-ray release of the classic horror comedy delivers fairly impressive high definition video and audio presentations of the feature film, in addition to a number of fun extras including many new bonus goodies created specifically for this release such as ‘Mary, Mary: An Interview with Actress Sammi Davis’ along with more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below). Combined it should easily make this Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray a definite must own for many of the movie’s fans out there, along with those individuals making a point of collecting each title in the Vestron Video Blu-ray lineup.
Overall, fans of ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ in particular, in addition to many fans of Russell and Stoker’s work in general will likely want to pick up a copy of the new Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of the cult classic. This new Blu-ray release of the eccentric horror comedy brings the film home with notable high definition video and audio presentations, in addition to a number of solid extras including some created specifically for this BD release. I would definitely recommend the release to hardcore fans of the film, and if you haven’t previously had the pleasure of this one and are able to somehow find a rental option for the disc, I can’t imagine a better way to experience it for the first time.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and offers a sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish that also retains a notable amount of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of the source material. It holds up impressively at nearly every point, even during the many darkly lit sequences, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty gorgeous high definition video presentation that should thrill most fans of this kooky cult classic from the late 1980’s.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless stereo soundtrack provides a clean, clear and quite impressive audio presentation throughout. It holds up admirably at every point, sharing the dialogue, music and other auditory elements between the two channels without any issues to speak of; always making certain that the dialogue and everything else never becomes distorted or contradicted by other simultaneously occurring audio elements. Overall, this is a solid 2.0 DTS-HD MA stereo soundtrack that should have trouble pleasing the film’s fans.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ includes a number of fun extras, with some brand new supplemental material created specifically for this Blu-ray release. Included on the release are two ‘Audio Commentary’ tracks; the first is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Ken Russell’ and the second is an ‘Audio Commentary with Lisi Russell, In Conversation with Film Historian Matthew Melia’. We are also treated to a number of Interviews/ Featurettes with members of the cast and crew, they include: ‘Worm Food: Interviews with Special Effects Artists Geoffrey Portas, Neil Gorton and Paul Jones’ (running approximately 27 minutes in length), ‘Cutting For Ken: An Interview with Editor Peter Davies’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘Mary, Mary: An Interview with Actress Sammi Davis’ (approximately 16 minutes), and ‘Trailers from Hell Featuring Producer Dan Ireland’ (3 minutes). A ‘Still Gallery’ (approximately 3 minutes), and the ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes) for the film are also included.