The Lair Of The White Worm SteelBook

Featured In Issue Issue 273, May/June 2024

WSR Score2.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Ken Russell
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DTS HD Lossless 2.0
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"The Lair Of The White Worm" is a campy humor film staring Hugh Grant as. James DíAmpton, who returns to his country castle in England. Legend has it that Jamesís distant ancestor once slayed the local dragon ó 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 (Sami Davis) explores Jamesís property and unearths a massive reptilian skull and a pagan snake godís ancient site of worship. When Jamesís virtuous girlfriend, Eve Trent (Catherine Oxenberg), suddenly disappears, James and Angus set out to investigate the foreboding cavern said to be the wormís lair, where a centuries-old mystery begins to uncoil. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Ken Russell, commentary with Lisi Russel and film historian Matthew Melia, the featurettes "Worm Food: The Effects Of The Lair Of The White Worm (HD 27:08), "Cutting For Ken" interview with Editor Peter Davies (HD 09"32) and "Mary, Mary" interview with Actress Sammi Davis (HD 15:42), still gallery, "Trailers From Hell" featuring Producer Dan Ireland, theatrical trailers and a digital copy.

The 1.78:1:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed on 35mm film stock and sourced from a digitally restored 2K Digital Intermediate. Film grain appears generaly smooth and unobjectionable. The production design during interiors exhibit low light conditions for much of the film. Some scenes during hallucinations and the worm scenes are much brighter. The color palette exhibits generally warm hues with an emphasis on browns and earth tones. Flesh tones appear generally natural. Contrast is fairly well balance with shadowy black levels and desaturated white levels. Resolution is a bit soft overall though not terribly disappointing. In brightly lit or outdoor daytime moments, sharpness and clarity are generally good and fine detail levels are similarly satisfying. This is a low budget British production and is dated but comedic in its story and sets. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo soundtrack is dialogue focused with dialogue greatly ADR produced. Nevertheless, dialogue is intelligible throughout tough lacking in convincing spatial integration. The music is a mixture of folk, orchestral, synthesizer, harmonica, bagpipe and organ, and occupies the stereo soundstage, while the other sound elements image center stage. This is a dated soundtrack that is not thrilling. (Gary Reber)