Forgotten ’80s Gonzo Horror Gets Dug Up For Stunning Steelbook Release

By Robert Scucci | Published

the lair of the white worm

The cult-classic horror comedy, The Lair of the White Worm, is getting the updated physical release that we’ve all been waiting for in the form of a Blu-ray Steelbook edition. The updated release will be available to purchase at Walmart on May 14 for $24.99. This Steelbook edition will be jam-packed with special features, and will be a worthy addition to any B-horror movie fan’s collection of low-budget, oddball horror films.

The Lair Of The White Worm

the lair of the white worm

Originally released in 1988, The Lair of the White Worm is loosely based on the Bram Stoker novel of the same name, and incorporates English folklore about the Lambton Worm. This serpentine cinematic feature tells a surreal story about an ancient curse involving a mythical snake-like creature that torments the inhabitants of the Derbyshire bed and breakfast owned by the Trent sisters, Mary (Sammi Davis) and Eve (Catherine Oxenberg). When a Scottish archaeology student named Angus Flint (Peter Capaldi) unearths a mysterious snake skull, he has reason to believe it belongs to the D’Ampton worm, a mythological creature that he now thinks is more than a myth.

Hugh Grant’s Hero

At the center of the narrative, Hugh Grant’s Lord James D’Ampton learns that he’s a descendant of John D’Ampton, the man who was said to have slain the mythological creature in Stonerich Cavern. The plot thickens in The Lair of the White Worm when James realizes that a pocket watch uncovered at Temple House belonged to the Trent sister’s father, who went missing one year prior. The enigmatic Lady Silvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe), who occupies the Temple House, is revealed to be an immortal priestess to the ancient snake god.

Lady Silvia

Lady Silvia steals the snake skull in The Lair of the White Worm, and embarks on a terrifying journey of ritualistic human sacrifice. Caught in the middle of an ancient curse that needs to be eliminated, James, Angus, and the Trent sisters are plagued with nightmarish visions of Lady Silvia as they try to stop her from freeing the creature and reanimating it so it can wreak havoc once again.

The 1988 Theatrical Release

The Lair of the White Worm was a box office bomb upon its 1988 release, earning only $1.2 million against its reported budget of $2 million. Contemporaneous critical reviews for the title were mixed, but modern film criticism has been a lot more kind to the title due to the fact that it has since developed a cult following. Celebrated for boldly injecting English folklore with over-the-top sexual imagery and the gratuitous use of questionable special effects, The Lair of the White Worm currently boasts a 69 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Steelbook

the lair of the white worm

The updated Blu-ray of The Lair of the White Worm will include a number of special features that any B-movie enthusiast will be dying to sink their fangs into. The Steelbook edition will include audio commentaries from Director Ken Russell, as well as a featurette entitled Worm Food: The Effects of the Lair of the White Worm. The featurette, originally released in 2017, is a revealing deep-dive that highlights the use of special effects in the film.

If you’re a fan of cult horror films, then you absolutely need to snag a copy of The Lair of the White Worm when the Blu-ray Steelbook edition slithers its way into your local Walmart.