Loosely (to put it mildly) based on a Bram Stoker novel, this is the tale of the town ofD’Ampton, where once there was a monster (a clear reference to the Lambton Worm of legend).Archaeologist Peter Capaldi digs up the skull of what appears to be a giant snake. He andaristocrat Hugh Grant come to realize that a snake-worshipping cult is active in the area, and theysuspect Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe). They’re right: Donohoe is a snake-woman intenton sacrificing…a virgin to her giant snake god. Ken Russell never takes his material seriously, andthe film plays like a grisly parody of a Hammer gothic. The film emphatically belongs toDonohoe, who, tricked out in leather fetish gear and clearly having the time of her life, is theultimate embodiment of The Woman Your Mother Warned You About.
The sound is in 2.0. The music wavers a bit during the opening credits, but otherwise has astrong, expansive mix. The sound FX are very solid, with good environment creation and left-right separation. In fact, the overall effect is surprisingly strong for 2.0. (Very nice use of the callsof night birds).
Given how many fullscreen discs Artisan hits us with, it’s a pleasure to encounter awidescreen ratio (1.77:1), even if it isn’t anamorphic. There is a bit of dirt on the print, largelyin the opening minutes, and there are occasional moments of grain or speckling. The contrastsare excellent, on the other hand, as are the colours, blacks and flesh tones. The image is nice andsharp too.
Bare bones, but the movie is a lot of silly, sexy, gory fun.