Ken Russell Double Bill of Terror

Titles: LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM and GOTHIC
Location: Silent Movie Theatre, 611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Link out: Click here
Description: As part of its 3rd Annual Halloween Horror Film Fest, the Cinefamily presents two terrifying films from the outrageous director Ken Russell.

Lair of the White Worm - 8:00pm
First up, Russell tackles an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s bizarre, seemingly unfilmable story of a worm cult terrorizing the British countryside, coming up with an outrageous, campy cult classic that delivers so much entertainment value per minute it’ll make your head spin. Slinky Amanda Donohoe stars as the high priestess of a pagan god who’s risen again to claim fresh victims, with a foppish, very young Hugh Grant leading the attack against her as the descendant of her ancient rival. You also get impaled nuns, Jesus being attacked by a giant serpent, a very unlucky boy scout, a lesbian catfight on a plane, random Citizen Kane jokes, more phallic imagery than you can shake your stick at, and nighttime soap queen Catherine Oxenberg dangling over a giant pit in her underwear! What’s not to love?
Dir. Ken Russell, 1988, 35mm, 93 min.

Gothic - 10:00pm
No one knew what to expect when cinematic bad boy Ken Russell tackled his first bona fide horror film in 1986, and the result, Gothic, shocked more than a few unprepared viewers. The late Natasha Richardson became an instant star in the making with her harrowing turn as Mary Shelley, who spends a fateful weekend in 1816 with Lord Byron (Gabriel Byrne) and her poet lover Percy (Julian Sands) -- a short span of time that would inspire her to write "Frankenstein". Along with her unstable cousin and the repressed, gay Dr. Polidori, they each agree to come up with a scary story and descend into a night filled with monsters, hallucinations, drug use, masturbatory stigmata, eyeballs appearing in female breasts, and a pounding score by ‘80s synth-pop god Thomas Dolby! The terrible DVD of Gothic currently in circulation doesn’t even begin to convey the visual richness of this unique, fascinating film, shown here in 35mm for maximum freak-out effect.
Dir. Ken Russell, 1986, 35mm, 87 min.

Date: 2010-10-26 starring at 8pm