Cinema: The Lady Vamps THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM

Directed and written by Ken Russell

Ken Russell is the movies' version of your dotty old aunt -- the one who lives in a house overstuffed with curios, who natters engagingly about arcane ( matters and who, when you ask for a snack, whips up a feast too big for one tummy or a hundred. Don't tell Russell that less is more; he'll say that too much is not nearly enough. His films (The Devils, Mahler, Altered States) are unguided tours of aesthetic excess. They turn classical composers into heavy- metal hellions, history into ranting nightmare, the Great Books into underground comics.

Bram Stoker's novel The Lair...

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