Excellent, stylish, funny and intelligent vampire film was Russell's best picture in years and helped propel Grant to stardom as well. Grant plays a British rich kid who has an ancestor who once did battle with a legendary "white worm"—a creature that most local folks in the English town he lives in consider an old wife's tale. Naturally, it's a true story. A gorgeous neighbor (Donohoe) who has moved into the chateau nearby happens to be a blood-sucking vampire who wants to sacrifice a virgin to this giant, monstrous white worm, which is still alive and well in a cave nearby.
Many aren't going to understand the wit of "Lair of the White Worm." But for those with enough intelligence, this will be a kick-ass movie, up there with "Nadja" as a subtle, quirky, witty, off-beat horror flick that successfully spoofs the whole genre and Russell's own work at the same time. Fans of The Pogues should be thrilled to know that the band plays a party early in the film.
I wouldn't call "Lair of the White Worm" scary, but like most of Russell's work it has plenty of style. I especially enjoyed the nightmare sequence featuring ravished nuns the worm wrapped around the crucified body of Christ, a scene reminiscent of Russell's "The Devils." Donohoe delivers a wonderfully wry performance as the vampire bitch. Highly recommended.