Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lair of the White Worm

Lair of the White Worm

On this episode of Spandex and Monster, we visit the surreal 1988 Ken Russell directed horror film 'Lair of the White Worm'.  The source material was written  by Dracula writer Bram Stoker, and it was featured a woman who murdered and sent victims to a monster in a cave which is based upon Lambton worm.

there are folklore tales of the lambton worm monster

Ken did a screenplay which took elements of the book, and his characteristic approach to cinema which is make it as visceral as possible.  Future Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi and leading man Hugh Grant head out the cast along with Amanda Donohoe as the beautiful and cruel Dracula meets succubus meets cthulu worm mistress Lady Sylvia Marsh.

sex, death, and horror with Lady Silvia Marsh
Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi in their first international film roles

Donohoe mixes sex with horror and a dash of humor in her role as a vampire/snake worm mistress.  Russell to his credit also put in some fetish aspects to the film, esp where Lady Sylvia uses a strap on dildo to sacrifice a virgin to the worm monster in the cave.

Released to mixed critical reaction at the time, the film was a unique blending of horror, oscar wilde inspired vampire lady with a love of kinky sex , and another surreal cinema journey from director Ken Russell.

Ken also directed the literary horror film 'Gothic' about the night Frankenstein was born

Lair of the White Worm helped launch the careers of Donohoe, Grant, and Capaldi.  While not really fitting in with the other horror films at the time, Lair has become a cult film unto itself.

Lady Silvia strikes!

Worth a look for fans of surreal horror with a healthy dose of fetish.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Phantom from 10,000 Leagues

Phantom from 10,000 Leagues

The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues movie art

In this episode of Spandex and Monster, we visit a 1955 science fiction film cheapie obviously inspired by 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' and reflecting the social concerns of that era called 'Phantom from 10,000 Leagues'  It was directed by Dan Milner and produced by Jack Milner two former film editors who had worked together for this film.  Phantom starred Kent Taylor and Cathy Downs.

The evil sea mutant that is attacking people

In a nutshell, two investigators are on the trail of mysterious murders on the beach.  The corpses are burned as if by radiation.  One the shrewd scientist suspects the mysterious scientist of tampering with nature.  The other is a traditional gumshoe, off to investigate any wrong doings that may concern the government.  There are hidden secrets, shady characters, a seedy girlfriend, a beautiful daughter, and a scientist driven by madness to create an underwater atomic ray and a creature who murders anyone who gets too close.
Shrewd scientist figures out that it is a mad scientist and makes a play for his sexy daughter

Clocking in at 80 minutes, the movie is pretty solid and engaging despite its obvious lack of budget.  While not iconic as 'Creature''s interesting to see how other science fiction/horror film hybrids engage in the 'atomic monster craze' of the 50's (which in itself is a parable of our unease with the atomic weapons of the day).

Mad science of making atomic power mutants for evil!

Worth a look for fans of monsters in the deep!

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My name is Jerry Williams...I write books and make films...check out my show astro space hero now on it's 11th season.

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