Guardian journalist, Peter Walker has flagged up one corker of a cinematic train-wreck featuring our incumbent Time Lord. Peter Capaldi starred as a young Scots Archeologist in 1988’s semi-comedic horror flick, Lair of the White Worm from director Ken Russell. I haven’t seen it. But the trailer left me speechless.
…[it] revolves around an ancient monster, as much dragon as snake, which intermittently emerges from its cavern in the Derbyshire hills to feed on humans, and is hunted down by an alarmingly young-looking, floppy-haired Peter Capaldi and Hugh Grant.
He is very clear – it’s atrocious but he loves it anyway. From someone with a soft spot for Time and the Rani I can see where he’s coming from. It’s clearly bonkers, hyper-camp nonsense on a shoestring (sound familiar?) with baffled actors either playing it straight or abandoning all hope and just having a laugh.
The Guardian features a tidied-up modern trailer, but I prefer this one complete with the zany song detailing the local legend of the White Worm. You’ve gotta love a film that sets these lyrics to folk-rock:
“Now the worm got fat and good and growed an awful size, with great big teeth and a great big mouth and great big goggle eyes…”
Check it out:
Forgive me a little musing but there’s something a bit Who about the whole thing – mysterious skulls, ancient monsters haunting moors and modern-day scientist heroes battling local lunatics. This is straight out of Hinchcliffe era Doctor Who – you even wonder whether one Alan Barnes had this in mind when he penned Big Finish’s Trail of the White Worm set in the “wilds of Derbyshire”…
The whole film is available on YouTube (as you can see at the top of the page) and a sneak-peek tells me that fans of Kinda will enjoy the dramatic climax. Be warned though, if you go looking for other Ken Russell material there is some weird, saucy stuff out there that should come with a parental advisory warning. Have fun on the Derbyshire hills!