This weekend’s B-Sides is without question the peppiest song and dance number ever put to music or film about a monstrous, man-eating worm. If you’ve never seen The Lair of the White Worm, then you’re in for a fun treat because both the song and the British hoedown scene in which it plays are a gas.
Before he made a name for himself as a romantic leading man starring in Four Weddings and a Funeral and then nearly destroying that box office fortune by getting busted having sex with a street hooker nicknamed “Pancake”, Hugh Grant starred in Ken Russell’s trippy 1988 big screen version of Dracula author Bram Stoker’s lesser known 1911 novel The Lair of the White Worm. The title refers to the legendary “D’Ampton worm”, a gigantic serpentine creature legend claims lives in the caverns beneath manor lord Grant’s estate. Grant and the future Mrs. Casper Van Dien, Catherine Oxenberg, will soon find themselves contending with this monstrous white worm and a seductive serpentine vampire lady.
But first, they dance!
Emilio Perez Machado and Stephen Powys perform the song; a take-off of “The Lampton Worm”, an actual Northeastern England folk song, which itself was the inspiration for Stoker’s novel. See how it all comes back around?
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