The Lair of the White Worm (1988) Script

[ suspenseful music playing ]

[ music continues ]


What's to do? You cut yourself or summat?

Who's that yelling blue murder?


You'd think he'd found the missing link or something.

Don't worry-- it's only an old fossil.

It won't bite.

Sexy beast, isn't he? The caveman, I mean.

If that's a primitive man, it looks like a dinosaur sat on him.

It is a dinosaur, I think.

Oh, go pull the other one!

Oh, Dad had a cow looked like that once, called Bessie.

I reckon that's Bessie.

Silly moo, that's not a cow.

It's got no horns.

[ gasps ] Me spotted dick!

Let's see what she looks like.

[ rooster crows ]

[ water running ]

Even if it ain't a cow, I bet it ain't no dinosaur neither.

I'm afraid you're right.

Is it not?

It can't be.

Come over here.

You see those stones?

You mean those flints, Mr. Flint, the archeologist?

Still playing happy families at your age?

Not since we lost mum and dad, no.

Well, that layer of flints represents 1 ,000 years.

How do you know that?

There was a convent on this site.

It had just been built when the Domesday Book was written.

1 066, William the Conqueror.

Close. 1 086.

And what do you deduce from that?

Well, Mr. Smart, the schoolmaster, I deduce that your old skull dates back from Roman times, 'cause that's nearly twice as deep.

You're not as daft as you look.

Watch it.

And to prove it... these coins, found at the same level as the skull, bear the stamp of Marcus Carausius who governed the province of Mercia in 286 A.D.

And where, pray, is Mercia?

You're sitting on it.

Romans didn't keep pet dinosaurs, I take it.

No, they missed each other by about 25 million years.

Well, if it's not a dinosaur, what is it?

I don't know.

Maybe I'll find out when I've excavated further.

Tomorrow. What?


It's time to get ready for the party now.

It'll be dark in no time anyway.

What party?

No one's invited me to a party, have they?

Well, no.

Not in a manner of speaking, but they've invited me and Eve, and since the truck's packed up, we need someone to escort us.

What about supper?

Oh, you'll get plenty to eat at the party.

Our other guests are going to take potluck down at the pub.

Oh! Man: Hi, Mary!

And miss one of our Mary's hot dinners, how did you talk 'em out of that?

Bribery. Me and Eve promised them a hot water bottle each when we got back.

Mary, you're having me on.

[ laughs ] They're cute.

You might get one, too, if you play your cards right.

Happy families.

[ giggles ]

Turn the water off, will you?

Come on, Dino.

You're going to make history.

Man: 1 , 2, 3, 4!

[ Irish punk playing ]

♪ John D'ampton went a-fishing once ♪

♪ A-fishing in the weir ♪

♪ He caught a fish upon his hook ♪

♪ He thought looked mighty queer ♪

♪ Now what a kind of fish it was ♪

♪ John D'ampton couldn't tell ♪

♪ But he didn't like the look of it ♪

♪ So he threw it down a well ♪ Ha!

[ cheering ]

♪ Now the worm got fat and growed ♪

♪ And growed an awful size ♪

♪ With great big teeth and a great big mouth ♪

♪ And great big goggle eyes ♪

♪ And when at night it crawled about ♪

♪ A-lookin' for some booze ♪

♪ If it fell dry upon the road ♪

♪ It milked a dozen cows ♪ Ha ha!


[ squealing ]

♪ ♪his fearful worm would often feed ♪

♪ On cows and lamb and sheep ♪

♪ And swallow little babes alive ♪

♪ When they lay down to sleep ♪

♪ So John set out and caught the beast ♪

♪ And cut it into halves ♪

♪ And that's what stopped it eatin' babes ♪

♪ and sheep and lambs and calves ♪ Ha!

♪ So now you know how all the folks ♪

♪ On both sides of the weir ♪

♪ Lost lots of sheep and lots of sleep ♪

♪ And lived in mortal fear ♪

♪ So drink the health of brave Sir John ♪

♪ Who kept the babes from harm ♪

♪ Saved cows and calves by makin' halves ♪

♪ Of that famous D'ampton worm ♪ Ha!

[ cheering ]

♪ So drink the health of brave Sir John ♪

♪ Who kept the babes from harm ♪

♪ Saved cows and calves by makin' halves ♪

♪ Of that famous D'ampton worm ♪ Yee-hah!



Why all the fuss over a moldy worm?

Moldy, nothing!

He's our local hero!

Haven't you heard of the D'ampton worm before?

And brave John D'ampton?

Not before tonight. No, I can't say I have.

He's an outcomer.

Way out. The Orkneys.

He's staying with us.

As a paying guest.

How very convenient.

Welcome to D'ampton hall, Mr...

Flint. Angus Flint.

The archeologist.

And I'm James D'ampton.

The landlord.

Ah, the D'ampton worm.

I didn't mean--

I'm sorry. I meant you must be connected.

No, well, distantly, we are.

Sir John D'ampton was a valiant knight who slew the local dragon.

For centuries, my ancestors have immortalized the occasion with an annual banquet for the locals, usually with tankards of mead and Morris dancing.

This year--which is my first as lord of the manor, as it were--

I thought we'd hit the worm with a little roll or rock.

You really digging up my farmyard?


Yeah, the Trent girls are my tenants.

I'm sorry. I--

Don't give a damn. Have fun.

I suppose digging in cow dung is fun, is it?

It depends on what you find underneath.

Well, look, if you find any chastity belts, for God's sake, let me know.

The maids are always getting into trouble.

We have the most terrible staff problem these days.

I will, but I don't expect to.

It's the site of an old convent.

Good lord, whatever next?

I think I might have found your worm.

Or its ancestor.

I unearthed a skull this afternoon on the site of what I suspect to be a Roman villa.

So you really are an archeologist.

I'm a student on a scholarship grant.

I'm writing a paper for my graduation on the Romans in Mercia.

Why pick them?

There was quite a large Roman settlement here according to the records, but it's never been thoroughly excavated.

And you've, uh, dug up our worm?

Well, it's closer to Tyrannosaurus Rex than a worm, I reckon.

Well, you mustn't take the word "worm" too literally.

It's an adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon wyrm, meaning dragon or snake.

The Gothic waurms, the German wurm--

It's all the same word.

No, the common earthworm was not always the lowly creature it is today.

Remember that next time you bisect one with your shovel.

You want some more?

Mmm! It's very tasty.

Oh, good. So you've taken to our local specialty.

Pickled earthworms in aspic is not to everyone's taste, I can tell you.


Bleh. [ laughs ]

Cheer up, Angus.

We're going home.

And we're going to dance?


She won't have to come back alone, will she?

Of course not.

James will fetch her back in his posh car.

I swore I'd never come this way again meself, and I wouldn't neither, if it weren't for me brave Scotch lad.

Scots, please. Scotch is a drink.

Wouldn't say no to one just now.

Mmm. It's chilly.

[ laughs ]

My mum and dad used to come this way home from the pub.

It's a neat shortcut.

Or was.

Nobody uses it at night now.

Not since they... disappeared.

What do you mean, "disappeared"?

It was last year.

They left the pub as usual, set off through the grove, and then, well, it's as if they were just swallowed up.

You mean they vanished with no trace at all?

No sign of a struggle? Nothing?


There were search parties, tracker dogs--


I still can't believe they're gone.

I have a feeling they've been spirited away.

They’ll come back again someday.

And in the meantime, you're both running the guest house?

Till something better comes along.

It looks like something has for Eve.

You mean James?

Some hopes.

They're just good friends--

In the old-fashioned sense.

He's a proper fly-by-night, that one.

Never here.


He was kind to us, when--

When we were--


Sounds funny, don't it?


Was there no one else to help?

If you're trying to ask me if I've got a boyfriend, the answer's no.

Not now.

He killed hisself on a motorbike.

Daft bugger.

[ approaching engine ]

[ eerie music ]

My God, that scared me.

It's only a car.

Driving in the dark without headlights?

There's moonlight.

To a deserted house?

Did the police look there? For your parents?

First place they did look.

I want to go home.

[ clock ticking ]

[ door opens ]

Hello, Mary.

Hello, Ernie.

What are you doing here at this time of night?

Enjoying a cup of tea.

Brewed by one of your guests before he went to bed with a hot water bottle.

Seems he was tired of waiting.

What's up?

You haven't found an...

[ gasps ]

It's our Dad's.

Where did you find it?

I thought it might be.

It was found in Stonerich Cavern by a potholer.

Was there anything else?

Not so far.

[ quietly ] No.

It was taken last summer.

Is there any hope?

We're resuming the search in the morning.

I'll join you. Pick me up on your way.


But if you're all right, then...

I'll be off.

Thanks, Ernie.

Oh, um, I saw a strange car with hooded lights in the grove near Temple house.

Oh, well, better take a look, I suppose.

Bang goes another early night.

Good night, Mary.

Good night.

Good night. I'll be along tomorrow as well.

It is tomorrow.

[ eerie music ]

[ crow cawing ]

[ whispering ] Hello, Charlie?

Ernie here.

CHARLIE OVER RADIO: Where are you?

I'm up at Temple House.

There's an intruder on the premises.

Get over here as quick as you can.

How can I? You've got the car.

I know I've got the car. Get a taxi.

I arrested him for drunken driving.

You've locked him up for drunken driving?

I don't believe it.

I've having me dinner.

I don't care if you are in the middle of your supper.

But me takeaway will be ruined!

Fuck the cold country-fried turkey and get on your bike.

I can't. Me pump's broke.

I see. Well, you can take your bicycle pump and shove it up your ass!

[ Charlie burps ]

Aah! Oh!

[ grunts ]

Can I help you?

Oh, your ladyship.

I've been stung by a snake.

Snakes bite. Bees sting.

Yeah, it wouldn't be a bee this time of year.

Hardly a snake either.

It's probably a nettle.

Come inside and I'll take a look at it.


Anyway, I need someone to help me fix my lights.

I can't find my wretched fuse box.

[ eerie sultry music ]


Now, if what we see them do in the adventure films is correct, you should suffer nothing worse than a swollen ankle and a slight headache.

So it was a snakebite then?

Despite the fact the little fellow should have been hibernating, yes.

I just hope we wasn't too late.

Perhaps we should phone the hospital.

Oh, no, no, no.

They'd only amputate.

Oh. [ laughs ]

What you need is another brandy.

No, I shouldn't.

Not on duty.

Purely medicinal.

Anyway, you can't be on duty at this time of night. very well.

Thanks, your ladyship.

Is your colleague going to join us?

Uh, no.

He's having trouble with his bicycle pump.

Doesn't know what he's missed.


Tell me--

Why were you playing Peeping Tom on my property?

Well, I thought you was being burgled, your ladyship.

What with the flashing light and a strange car being sighted in the grove.

My dear man, you should know by now that I change my car as regularly as a snake sheds its skin.

Yes, but we wasn't expecting you back till the spring.

As usual.

It is spring. Look.

Here's to the first swallow [laughs].


Who on earth could be prowling around the grove at this time of night?

Tell me, who reported me?

One of the Trent girls. Mary.

Weren't her parents supposed to have vanished there?

I'm surprised she'd ever dare to set foot in the place again.

She had a Scots lad for company.


They're joining the search party in the morning.

What search party?

Something's been found in Stonerich Cavern.

And what was that?

Joe Trent's watch.

And was he on the end of the chain?

[ eerie sultry music ]

[ sheep bleating ]

[ music sting ]

Hello? Anyone in?

[ music ]

[ door creaks ]

[ music sting ]

[ hisses ]

[ gate squeals ]

[ horn honks ]

[ Eve giggles ]

Eve: I hope the kettle's on!

I love Mr. Flint's hole.

It's rather fascinating.

They've found our dad's watch.


Stonerich Cavern.

Mary and Angus have gone over there with a search party.

But only nutty potholers go down there.

Supposed to be dangerous as hell.

I know that.

Did you want me to drive you over?

There's no point now.

Besides, it's too late.

We'll never catch up with them.

I'll just have a lie down till they get back.


Yeah, I'm a bit tired myself.

How could you keep me up all night...

dancing, for God's sake?

I've got the camera in the car.

I thought I might take a few shots of the excavation before I go.

[ clock striking ]

I'll take a cab. I'll call later.

Not too much later.

[ retreating footsteps ]

[ eerie music ]


[ roaring ]

[ clamoring ]

[ roaring ]

[ screaming ]

[ roaring ]

[ screaming ]

[ grunting ]


[ grunting ]

[ footsteps ] Eve?

Eve! You all right? [ gasps ]

What happened?

I'm all right. Don't fuss.

[ gasping ] Just blacked out, that's all.

[ gasping ]

All right.

And now can you make the stairs?

'Course I can.

What do you think, I'm an invalid?

[ gasping and sobbing ]

That's it. very slowly.


Now what happened up there?

You better tell me.


I saw some stuff... on the wall.

And on the crucifix.

So--So, I went to wipe it off... and... that's all--all I remember.

Yeah, just try harder.

What else did you do?

Nothing. I told you.

I put me watch... in me pocket.

Your watch? You mean your father's watch?

Yes. I...

I put it in me pocket.

And then... I started going up the stairs.

[ hisses ]

And then-- It wasn't like that just now.


I remember now.

[ panting ]

After I passed out, I remember... a serpent!

A horrible thing.

Towering above me, curled around a crucifix!

Was it white? Like the one in the yard?


Just relax.

Was it like the one in the excavation?

There's no snake there. What do you mean?

Okay, come with me. No!

Come on. It's just a mosaic.

It can't harm you. No!

It's very important you see it.

[ music ]

Was it like that?

He must have uncovered it this morning before going off with Mary on the search.

It wasn't there yesterday when he found the skull.

And that was the dinosaur business you were on about last night?

Where is it now, the skull?

It's in his room.

Let's have a look.

Spring cleaning?

Shit! Thank God!

If you're looking for what I think you're looking for, I left it on the desk.

Now, Eve's had a bad trip.

What do you mean?

Well, she'll tell you all about it.

Just don't interrupt her.

I'm going to go now, but I'll come back later.

If you find the missing skull, let me know.

Aren't you going to ask how we got on?

I can tell from your faces.


[ engine starts ]

It all started when we found your note, and I went upstairs for a lie down.

[ thunder ]

[ rock music playing on radio ]

'Scuse me. You couldn't drop me off at Lowdow Youth Hostel could you, if you're going that way?

Or if you're broken down, perhaps I could help.

No, I haven't broken down.

I'm snake watching.

I'm not going to see much if this keeps up, am I?

All right, then. Hop in.

Put your rucksack in the back.

Oh, thanks. Thanks very much.

[ engine starts ]

[ rock music playing loudly ]

That's some system you've got there.

How do you rate the music?

I'm not really into head banging.

Are you into any sort of banging?

I'm not bad on the mouth organ.

[ chuckles ]

You're sweet. What's your name?


Mates call me Kev. Ah.

Look, Kev, you're soaked. We're passing my door.

Why don't you come in and dry off?

It'll be getting dark soon.

Oh! Big boy like you, afraid of the dark?

No, I just don't want to be late for my dinner at the youth hostel, that's all.

Don't worry. You'll leave me well satisfied.

Well, that's very kind.

Kind, nothing.

If you don't get out of those wet things, you're going to catch your death.

I won't hear another word.

[ engine accelerates ]

Down you go.

[ chuckles ]


Yes, I'm home.

[ laughs ]

I'm hungry.

Me, too.

Dinner won't be long.

Meantime, let's have some music, eh?

[ playing folk music ]

That's enough of that, Kevin.

That sort of music freaks me out.

Well, the water should be hot enough now.

So it's a nice bath for you, and then dinner.

And after that?

Ah, the experience of a lifetime.

I can forget the hostel, then?

'course you can.

I wouldn't dream of letting you go now.

They're not expecting you, are they?


Well, then.

[ suspenseful music ]

There. That's just a sample.

Bath time.

Bet your girlfriend doesn't do this for you.

No. Nor me mum neither.

Well, I remind you of your mother, do I?

No. N-Not exactly.

It's just that you're so... considerate.


Thank you.

Oh, I haven't finished yet.

Stand up.

Come on.

I'm not going to bite you.

[ splash ]

My, you are a fine, growing boy.

[ hisses ]

[ crunch ] [ grunts ]

[ gasping ]

My God, Kevin, you do have appalling B.O.

Save your breath. You've halitosis, too.

[ laughs ]

It's no use your even attempting to scream, dear boy.

You see, your vocal cords are paralyzed.

In fact, your entire nervous system is paralyzed.

You're a vegetable.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

The god is not a vegetarian.

Now, if you're sitting comfortably, I shall tell you why you must not be afraid to die.

To die so that the God may live is a privilege, Kevin.

And if you know anything at all about history, you will know that human sacrifice is as old as Dionin himself, whose every death is a rebirth into a god ever mightier!

[ doorbell rings ]


[ sighs ]

How remiss of me.

Should have turned the lights off.

I shall have to take precautions, Kevin.

Actually, I'm doing you a favor.

Good evening. What can I do for you?

Well, forgive me for dropping in like this, but, uh, you're not in the book.

If you mean the phone book, no, I'm not.

Why? Is this a survey or something?

Neh. Not really, no.

I hear you're having trouble with a snake.

You must be from the Council then.

No, I've just seen Ernie's ankle.

You're a doctor?

No, forgive me. I'm your neighbor.

James D'ampton.

Ah! And you're going to uphold family tradition and slay the beastie.

How incredibly romantic.

Well, actually, I was going to suggest that I send my man round to cut the grass and scotch the fellow.


And talking of scotch, may I offer you a drink?

Thank you. I'd like that, uh...


And I'm James.

Come in, James.


Well, it's strange we're unacquainted, all things considered.

Is it?

You spend most of your time abroad, I believe, and I virtually hibernate in the winter.

So perhaps it's not really so strange.

Well, maybe things are due to change.

I expect to be around a great deal more now that I've, um, come into my inheritance, as it were.

Well, I'll drink to that.


Lady Sylvia: Name your poison.

Well, I'll join you in a small glass of brandy, if I may.

[ laughs ]


Do you have children?

Only when there are no men around.

[ laughs ]

Some people enjoy playing themselves at cards, or even chess.

My passion is Snakes and Ladders.

Playing with oneself can't be much fun, surely.

Depends on who's around in the way of a partner.

Fancy a game?

Uh, no, thanks.

I think I've had enough of snakes for one week.


Yes, last night was celebrated the slaying of the D'ampton worm, so this morning, the whole district has a hangover.

I would have invited you if I'd known you were back.

?ow did you know I was back?

Ah, yes, of course.

Ernest must have told you.

Yes, I bumped into him down in the village.

Poor old Ernie.

Somehow I can never bring myself to call him by that name.

Far too matey for a policeman, don't you think?


How is he?

Well, he's fit as fiddle, thanks to you.

You might have been stung yourself.

No, no. There was nothing to worry about.

It's just a little love bite.

He told me that they were resuming the search for the Trent girls' parents.

Yeah, it was, um, total washout, I'm afraid.

Oh, poor darlings.

I was thinking of dropping in to see them.

I got to know them quite well at the time of the disappearance.

It really must have been a terrible loss for them.

"To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune.

To lose both looks like carelessness."

Well, it's hardly a comedy of manners, is it?

I'm sorry. I was thinking of our poor unfortunate policeman, and Wilde's play, The Importance of Being Earnest, popped into my mind and that wonderfully wicked line.


Look, sometimes when life becomes too painful, the only thing to do is laugh at it.

Of course I sympathize with those poor girls.

I could have bitten my tongue immediately.

I'm sorry. You'll have to forgive me.

I've had a rather trying couple of days.

[ sobbing ]

What with the business of the discovery of the watch and Ernest and his snakebite.

I loathe snakes.

I have a morbid fear of them.

The legend of the D'ampton worm terrifies me, and I could never have come to your party in a million years.

Well, then, why do you torture yourself playing Snakes and Ladders?

I really don't know.

It's a compulsion.

As a child, I was in a coma for 1 0 days as the result of a snakebite, and ever since, I've had a revulsion for them.

And also a terrible fascination.

I'm afraid I'm a bit of a schizophrenic.

Well, you'd have to be to play Snakes and Ladders with yourself.

[ chuckles ]

Look, I'd like to help.

That's very sweet of you, but I don't see how you can.

Well, perhaps by making you face your fears.

Come to terms with them.

I thought that's what I was doing with my silly game.

I suppose I was just deceiving myself.

[ music ]


I beg your pardon?

I'm sorry.

I'm a little tired just now.

If you'll excuse me.

Of course. Forgive me.

May I see you again?

Yes, I'd like that very much.

MARY ON TELEPHONE: She was still feeling a bit queasy, so the doctor gave her a sedative and sent her to bed.

She'll be right as rain tomorrow, I'm sure.

Yeah, well, send her my love in the morning.


And I'm going to get an early night meseIf.

I'm fair knackered.

Me, too. I'm up at sparrows.

Maybe, uh, maybe we should meet up for a drink tomorrow?

[clears throat] That would be nice.

Sweet dreams.

You, too. Good night.

[ nickelodeon playing ]

[ switches TV off ]

[ music ]

[ ominous music ]

[ music sting ]

[ music continues ]

[ music sting ]

[ sultry music ]

[ drum beating rapidly ]

[ music fades ]

[ futuristic music ]

[ piano music ]

[ music ]

[ dishes and silverware banging ]

Confound you, Peters.

You've broken my dream.

Uhh. Beg pardon, my lord.

Perhaps it was all for the best. Ahem.


I'm not going to make it to the breakfast table, Peters.

Could you just bring me a cup of coffee? very well, my lord.

My God.

What do you make of that?

One would appear to be a facsimile of the other, my lord.

Well, don't you find that surprising?

Not so, my lord.

Legend has it that Stonerich Cavern was the lair of the D'ampton worm.

That's news to me.

I suppose I haven't been there since childhood.

Draw me a bath, would you, Peters? very well, my lord.

Thanks, Angus.

Here we go again.

Wait and see.

I think you'll find the path goes all the way up through the woods, right up to the cavern.

Angus: How do you know?

You said you hadn't been here since you were a child.

Only in my dreams.

Mary: This place is becoming like a second home.

Eve: Speak for yourself.

Angus: We've been through this place with a fine-tooth comb and found nothing more significant than bat shit.

It's a complete waste of time.

MARY: What on earth do you hope to find?

James: The D'ampton worm.

MARY: You're crazy. EVe: He's potty.

JAMES: Possibly, but your father's watch was found in this cave, which is the very place where my ancestor is reputed to have done battle with a worm.

Let's have some of that tea, Mary.

It's for later.

Angus: We've got scotch for later.

That scarcely seems a logical connection.

Anyway, Sir John D'ampton made halves of the worm.

Ah, but what happens when you slice a worm in two?

Don't be daft.

Anyway, that was hundreds of years back.

That's like saying yesterday in archeological time.

Isn't that so, Angus?

He has a point there.

Here, have your tea.

You'll be saying it's the Loch Ness monster next.

Out for a stroll. [ scoffs ]

Scores of people have seen it, too.

Aye, on their way home from the pub.

Look, it is just feasible that given the right conditions, a species long considered extinct could survive.

In water, that's possible, I grant you, but a land-based creature, no matter how cunning, would be sighted either feeding or stalking its prey.

That's true.

That's how they'll catch the yeti.

What's all this got to do with our dad's watch?

I don't know. Nothing, probably.

Let's have a look at that map.

[ sighing ]

There. That's where they found the watch.


And what's that?

Says "cave drawing."

It's a primitive drawing etched in the wall over there.

Must have been lavatory wall. Disgusting.

Kinky lot, primitive man.

Have you not heard of it?

I'm surprised, you being a local lad and all.

No, well, my parents never really encouraged me to come here.

Maybe that's why.

I'd like to see it.

It's not worth looking at.

Come. I'll show you.

I'll stay here. Me, too.

Fancy a sandwich, Eve?

Lovely place for a picnic.

All right, then.

[ music ]

[ James laughing ]

Good heavens.

So they had women's lib even in those days?

That's one way of looking at it.

My guess it's some sort of fertility symbol.

Or a signpost? [ laughs ]


Well, I've heard of penis envy, but that's ridiculous.

Ha ha.

Scarcely that.

Half male, half female.

Capable of the ultimate self-fulfillment.

Like hermaphrodite.

Or the the common earthworm.

Or even the D'ampton worm.

That would explain how it might survive over hundreds, thousands of years.

This is getting daft.

We could have stayed at home, by the fire, with a good biology book.

I'm freezing. Can we go now?

I just want to take a look at the place where the watch was found.

We've looked there a hundred times!

Well, let's make it 1 01 and call it quits.

We should have called it quits yesterday.

All right, so they found the watch there.

What of it? The chances are it was hidden away here by someone.

Someone who thought it would never be found.

And you're dragging in dragons and worms and serpents and lord knows what.

Next you'll be suggesting these poor folk were gobbled up in here by some sort of Loch Ness monster.

That's horrible!

He swallowed everything but the watch.

I don't believe it.

No, it swallowed the watch, too, and passed it, undigested.

Are you out of your mind?

Was there any trace of excrement nearby?

You've completely flipped, man.

Was there? Of course not!

It was found on a shallow subterranean spring.

Where does it come from?

I don't know. It just bubbles through a narrow fissure in a rock fall.

Too small for anyone or anything to pass through?

Too small for anything much larger than a watch, yes.

Take me there, please.

Well, I don't know.

This is crazy.

Where did you get such an idea?

I don't know. Please, let's just have one more final look while we're here.

I don't want to go.

Then I won't go.

Then none of us should go.

Mary knows this place better than anyone.

Look, you go along, Mary.

One of us should be home getting the visitors' teas ready.

You know how they go on if it's not on the table waiting.

You sure you'll be all right?

Oh, stop your mothering.

Right, then. If I don't go, I suppose I'll never hear the last of it.

We won't be long.

ANGUS: Keep the cozy on the pot.

Thanks, Eve.

I'll bring you back a diamond. Mwah!

Take care now. Watch yourself.

[ music ]


Oh, Eve...

Eve, I feel so silly.

I saw a little kitten up here that couldn't get down.

So I climbed up.

Now it's gone, and I don't seem able to get down myself.

If you could just stretch up your hand.

That's it.

And I'll steady myself.

Thank you.

You look tired, Eve.

You ought to rest.

You're weary.

Come with me.

Come with me and take your ease at Temple House a while.

Come with me.

It's no distance at all.

[ ominous music ]

Your time has come, Eve.


Do you believe in reincarnation, Eve?

I do.

But then, I am immortal, and I have seen the same souls inhabit different beings throughout history.

I've seen you before, Eve.

Many centuries ago.

In the time of my lover, the great Emperor Carausius.

Yes, I can see you now, on your knees, blindly worshipping your false god. [ laughs ]

Fancy praying to a god who was nailed to a wooden cross.

Who locked up his brides in a convent.

Did they really enjoy themselves? Hmm?

Poor little virgins masturbating in the dark.

And then in penance for their sins, indulging in flagellation till their bodies wept tears of blood.

Captive virgins, hmm?

In the hands of an impotent god.

Dionin will have none of that, Eve, as you should have learned when your order attempted to build a convent over my sacred temple.

That's enough.

We don't want you to catch your death... just yet.

Do we now?

Come here.

Dionin has a propensity for virgins, Eve.

Just like your false god.

Problem is, they're so hard to come by these days.

Aren't they, Eve?

And you see only virgins are really eligible for human sacrifice.

Those who have been sullied are merely offal to satisfy his voracious appetite.

I wonder what your fate will be, Eve?

[ gasps ]


You have been a good girl, Eve.

You will have the honor of being sacrificed to Dionin alive.

Now, where did you tell the others you were going?

I told them I was going home to get the tea.

They must be wondering what's happened to you.

You will telephone the farm and tell your sister...

What shall we tell your sister?

Tell her you're at Darby Central about to catch the next train to London.

Tell her the strain of it all has been too much for you, and you're going away for a few days' peace and quiet.

On your own.

Tell her not to worry.

You'll contact her soon.

Right. The telephone's on the bar.

Make the call now.

And make it convincing.

[ music ]

MARY ON TELEPHONE: Hello. Mercy Farm.

Hello, Mary.

This is Eve.

Mary, I'm at Darby Central.

I've got to get away for a while.

Eve, what's wrong?


It's just that I can't take the strain of it all.

I'm going to London... for a few days' peace and quiet o-on my own.

Eve, what's wrong? Tell me. Don't go.

I'll come and-- Dionin!

[ hisses ]

Dionin! Aah!

[ music crescendo ]

And what was all that about?

I don't know.

She said she was at Darby Central on her way to London.

Whatever for?

Wants to get away, she said.

It's just not like her.

And that scream-- "Dionin."

Why did we leave her?

Shall I ring the station?

I don't like to fuss.

No, I think we'd better, Mary.

She may have had another attack.

Do you have the number?

I'll do it.

There's a Ray somebody there at Inquiries.


Where did she pick that up, I wonder.

Well, she was muttering something like that when I found her upstairs yesterday.

Dionin was a pagan snake god.

Why didn't you say so before?

You've only just mentioned it yourself, man.

Well, I've only just remembered it.

Hello, Inquiries?

Is that you, Ray?

Roy. Oh, yes. Yes, I meant Roy.

Um, it's Mary Trent here, Mercy Farm.

Yes. Yes, bed and breakfast.

[ laughs ] You were here last summer.

Master. Master, of course.

Yes, I'd love to, Ray-- Roy.

Um, but listen, I haven't got much time.

It's about Eve.

My sister, yes.

Could you take a look on the platform?

Well, she's just rung me from the station, and, um, we got--

No, no, no. the London side.

Yeah. We got cut off.

Well, I have to speak to her before she catches the London train.

Yes. Yes, it's most important.

Thank you.

And if she's not there?


Uh, Mary's not here just now.

I can give her the message.

Oh, I see.

Well, if you do catch sight of her, perhaps you could give us a ring here at Mercy Farm.

Thanks very much.

No sign of her.

[ running footsteps ]

And the train's just gone.

We could have saved ourselves the trouble.

She's not taken a thing.

And I can't see the clothes she was wearing anywhere.

So she never came back.

Somebody's got her.

I know it.

They're holding her against her will.

You know no such thing. Take it easy.

Look, have you ever known her to behave like this before?

Of course not.

Or ever mention this word "Dionin"?

No, never.

Well, then her disappearance could, conceivably, have something to do with this pagan god.

You're bonkers.

We should phone the police.

Wait, Mary. Let's hear what he has to say.

Well, I don't know exactly what I've got to say.

This is just going to be... off the top of my head.

Come on, man.

If you've something to say, say it!

All right.

You discover a skull.

A prehistoric skull.

Is it conceivable that it could have been the skull of a giant snake?

Ah, it's possible.

Okay, and before it's been properly identified, it disappears.

It was stolen. very possibly.

And on the same site, you uncover a mosaic of a giant snake dating from the Roman occupation?

Well, there could be a connection, if that's what you're driving at.

The Romans often assimilated ethnic religions into their own.

The skull could well have been venerated as a sacred object.

What's all this got to go with Eve?

Quite a lot, when you consider that hallucination.

Aye, she saw a snake then, right enough.

And a cross.

Don't forget that.

She doesn't go to church or any of that stuff, but she's quite religious, is Eve.

It seems to me that there's some kind of conflict going on here.

And if Angus is right, and it's also the site of a convent, then it's a conflict between Christianity and some early pagan cult, possibly even involving human sacrifice.

The cave drawing would indicate that.

You're not suggesting ?--

Which way would Eve have walked home?

Through the grove, of course.

It's the only footpath.

And why is Temple House so called?

Everyone knows that from school.

It was the site of an old temple.

It's obvious from the name.

The same way it's obvious that Stonerich Cavern has something to do with the D'ampton worm.

Maybe there's a connection.

You'll be saying there's a connection between all this and-- and Ernest's snakebite next.

And Snakes and Ladders.

What do you mean, "Snakes and Ladders"?



I have switched on the floodlights, my lord.

The men have carried the loudspeakers up to the tower, my lord, connected the extension cable as instructed.

The equipment has been tested.

And would appear to be in working order.

So if there's nothing further you require tonight then, sir, I'll be--

Peters, I'm completely at a loss.

I could have sworn that somewhere in his North African collection, my father had something that sounded suspiciously like the music of a snake charmer.

All I could find is this solitary disc labeled "Turkish Charmers."

Could it be this, do you suppose?

[ rapid drum beats playing ]

That certainly conjures to mind a Turkish charmer, my lord.

One of the, uh, feminine gender your father encountered in Istanbul.

She was what is euphemistically known as a... belly dancer?

Uh, may we try the "B" side, my lord?

[ Turkish folk music playing ]

Well? What do you think?

I recall his lordship's very words.

"That would charm the D'ampton worm itself from its hole, Peters."

I remember it worked extremely well with a... king cobra, my lord.

Then put your bicycle clips on, Peters.

I'm expecting company.

[ music blaring ]

Angus, what is it? Come on.

This is bizarre. What?


It's only a statue.

Loads of people have them like that.

No one has him.

Marcus Carausius--

The rebel emperor.

He's the one on the coins you found on the dig.



He certainly would have known about this pagan religion.

May even have been involved.

But what's he doing in Lady Sylvia's hall?

[ music continues ]

[ whispering ] What is it?

It's a mongoose.

Traditional enemy of the snake.

[ suspenseful music ]

[ gasping ]

[ Mary gasps ]

Mum? Mum!

[ hisses ] Aah!


Aah! No! No!

No! Aah! Aah!

[ screaming ]

Hello, James, is that you?


Oh, I see.

Could you please give him an urgent message?

Yes, sir. [ Turkish music playing ]

Yes, very good, sir.

Hmm. I'll inform his lordship right away.

Will you, um--

Is that for me? Is that Mr. Flint?

Well, judging from his accent, it might very well be, sir.

But the gentleman hung up before I could ascertain.

And what did he say exactly?

[ Scottish accent ] It's working like a charm.

Take care. She's on her way.

Great. Great, great, great.

I have locked up for the night, my lord.

Will that be all?

You mean, you closed the front door?

And locked it as usual, my lord.

But I deliberately left it open.

Could you kindly go and unlock it, and then tell the chambermaids to lock themselves in their rooms?

Unlock the front door and lock up the chambermaids. very well, my lord.

Hello? Police.

Give me the police.

Well, yes, of course it's an emergency.

D'ampton Hall.

Yes, this is Lord D'ampton speaking, and could you please-- [ music stops ]

[ Peters screaming ]

[ thud ]

[ hissing ]

[ suspenseful music ]

[ screaming ]

[ squishing ]

[ hissing ]


[ telephone rings ]

[ ring ]


Angus, yeah.

Yeah. It did work up to a point.

Yes, I got her, but not before she got Peters.

And it's not who we were expecting either.

How did you guess?


Oh, my God.

What, her own daughter?

Yeah. Yeah, is she all right?

Yes, I extracted the poison before it could do any harm.

She's in bed now, resting.

But it's evident her poor mother was less fortunate, for when the venom attacks the nervous system, the victim appears to be afflicted by a form of vampirism.

Now, if we're going to combat this thing, I'm going to need a little time for research.

You going to be all right up there on your own?

Yes, I'll be perfectly all right, thank you.

You carry on with your research by all means.

I've got a few theories of my own I'd like to put into practice.

Yes, that's correct.

You don't hear music playing in the background.

Well, look, we had a power cut.

I expect the record player turned itself off automatically.

Right. If it makes you happy, I'll check.

Thanks for the warning.

I think we probably have another reptile loose on the premises.

Yeah, look, don't keep asking if I'm going to be all right.

Of course I'm bloody well going to be all right.

The police are on their way, if that's any comfort.

Yeah, and you take care.

Take care of Mary.

[ hisses ]

I'll do my best. Bye.

Mary, can I come in?

[ soft music ]


Your mother's at rest.

[ wind blowing ] [ door creaks ]

[ door shuts ]

[ clock ticking ]

[ horn honks ]

[ engine idling ]

I've been half-expecting you.

Ernie: We need you to identify the body.

Why? You've known her yourself for years.

I know, Mary.

But we have to do it by the book.

It must be next of kin.

I'm--I'm expecting Angus back any moment.

We won't be long.

You can always call him from the station if you're worried.

I'll get my coat.

Must have been around midnight I got the call.

Emergency, D'ampton Hall.

Came in just as I was going off duty.

As usual.

Always catch you just as you're about to get your head down.

I thought it might have been a simple breaking and entering.

A wonder they've never been burgled.

All those valuables up there.

Certainly wasn't expecting to find a couple of corpses, I can tell you.

Peters had a--a broken neck, and your mother--

Well, I suppose you could say she'd been fatally wounded.

But what really happened?

What about James?

He was unharmed, if that's what you mean.

Where is he now?

He's helping us with our inquiries.

You mean he's locked up?

He's being detained at the station till we can get to the bottom of it, yes.

His present story needs a great deal of verification.

Will I be able to see him?

Ah, that depends.

When we get to the station, I--

I want you to put out a missing persons call for Eve.

Eve? Oh, no.

What's happened, lass?

Where are we going?

This isn't the way to the police station.

We're picking up Lady Sylvia Marsh on the way.

Because of allegations brought by Lord James, we're bringing her in for questioning.

I see.

Now... tell me more about Eve.

If you don't mind, I--

I'd rather wait till we get to the station.

Of course.

You rest easy, lass.

Aren't you coming?

[ gasps ] Can I stay here?

She sounded a bit edgy on the phone.

Seeing you will reassure her, like.



[ rattling ]

[ hissing ]

[ bagpipes playing ]

[ bagpipes continue ]

[ hissing ]

[ gasps ]

[ hisses ] Uhh!

[ blares ]

[ squish ]

[ bagpipes playing ]

[ stops playing ]

[ bagpipes blare ]

[ music ]

[ wind blowing ]

[ mongoose screeching ]

[ hisses ]

[ crunch ] [ screams ]

[ laughing ]

[ Mary grunting ]

[ grunting ]

[ clanking ]

James: Watch those cylinders! That gas is toxic!

And be very careful with the pump!

If anything happens to that, we won't be able to force the gas through the fissure.

Lamp, please.

Thank you.


Now follow me and keep close.

It's my belief that there's some form of creature-- probably carnivorous-- that's trapped beneath us in a subterranean chamber.

We'll either gas the bugger, or smoke him out.

From now on, everyone is to maintain absolute silence.

Lady Sylvia: Oh, Dionin... who came forth from the darkness.

Dionin, who dwelt in peace in the Garden of Eden.

Dionin, who gave us the gift of knowledge.

Dionin, who suffered the wrath of the false god.

Dionin, who was driven from Eden by the false god.

Dionin, who was trodden underfoot by the Son of Man.

Dionin, who returned to the darkness.

Dionin, whose kingdom is darkness.

Dionin, who makes safe our darkness.

Dionin, who is darkness.

Dionin the immortal, accept this, our sacrifice.

[ Eve grunting and panting ]

Through darkness eternal...


Dionin, who came forth from the darkness, Dionin, who dwelt in peace in the Garden of Eden, his return... as pain renews bliss, as unsullied flesh is purified, as noble death nourishes divine life.

Great Dionin, accept this... your sacrifice.

[ Dionin roars ]

[ bellowing ]

[ Eve grunting ]

No time for ritual, no time for ceremony.

[ muffled grunting, chains rattling ]

[ Dionin roaring ]

[ muffled yelling ]

[ Dionin roaring ]

[ Angus yells ]


[ all screaming ]

[ Lady Sylvia screaming, flesh ripping ]

[ Lady Sylvia screams ]

[ Dionin roars ]

[ Eve gasps ]

[ Eve whimpers ] [ muffled yell ]

[ Dionin roaring ]

[ Mary grunts ]

[ Eve and Mary gasping ]

You go on. I'm going back.

No! What are you doing?


And run like hell!

[ Dionin roaring ]

Holy shit!

[ Eve and Mary coughing ]

[ wind blowing ]

What are you doing?

Just in case there's a scratch that gets infected by the venom.

I had it analyzed.

This is the antidote.

[ Eve coughs ]

What if it doesn't work?

Well, it worked on me all right.

But by Jesus, it took its time.

Oh! Uhh! Thought I was a goner.

[ Eve weeping ]

You stay here.

I'm going to phone for an ambulance.

[ Eve coughing ]

[ music ]


Where would you say that was?

Looks like it's over the grove somewhere.

You think it could be over Temple House?

Could be. What are we up to now?

Now it's a pint at the local on me.

Tell the chaps. I'll catch you up.

[ brakes squeal ]

[ engine stops ]

Just back from the Highland Games?

You picked a fine time to go potholing.

I've developed rather a taste for it.

Might even go back tomorrow.

With more smoke?

Dynamite, I thought.

I've saved you the trouble.


I wanted to do a good deed like bold Sir John.

You smoked out the worm and saved our skins.

That should do you.

The girls are both okay. Don't worry.

But how did you know it was there?

Well, it was the watch.

Since it disappeared in the vicinity of Temple House and reappeared in the cavern, there had to be a connection.



The rockfall that trapped the creature centuries ago turned out to be a refuge, as well as a prison.

It survived.

Thanks to the likes of Lady Sylvia, whose final human sacrifice was herself.

Umm. Well, that's real devotion for you.

Aye. She's gone for good now, and her final acolyte along with her.

Poor Ernie.

What, she got him, too?

He told me that you were locked up in the police station.

That was a lie.

I split before he arrived.

The whole place was becoming like a reptile house.

Anyway, I'd never have got my act together in a prison cell.

I suppose it's all going to take a little bit of explaining.

Seems we've both a little explaining to do.

Perhaps we should give ourselves up together?

Well, yeah, but after we've had a drink with the girls, don't you think?

Where are they, by the way?

I guess in the local hospital by now.

In the hospital?

Just a precaution in case of delayed shock.

Don't be alarmed.

By Christ, have I a tale to tell you.

[ telephone rings ] I can hardly wait.

Hang on a minute. [ ring ]

Might be the girls.

Send them my love if it is. [ ring ]

[ ring ]

Hello? Mercy Farm. Angus Flint speaking.

Oh, hello, Mr. Flint.

It's Darby Hospital research lab here.

I'd almost given up hope.

Yes, we've been ringing you on and off for over an hour.

No. My name is Nurse Gladwell.

I'm Dr. Blake's assistant.

No, he's gone home.

Well, it's just to say there's been a silly mistake.

It's my fault really.

Yes, you were given the wrong serum.

It's for the relief of arthritis.

No, it's no good for snakebites at all, but we won't be getting many of them this time of year, will we?

Uh, I have your antidote here.

You can collect it tomorrow.

Oh, and if the same time, if you'd kindly--

[ music sting ]

[ horn honks ]

[ engine idling ]

[ gate squeals ]

There we are. Slither in.

So was that the hospital?


Yeah, you thought it might be the girls.

No, it wasn't the girls.


Look, I don't know about you, but I'm famished.

Can we stop on the way for a bite?

Why not?


Man: 1 , 2, 3, 4!

[ Irish punk playing ]

♪ John D'ampton went a-fishing once ♪

♪ A-fishing in the weir ♪

♪ He caught a fish upon his hook ♪

♪ He thought looked mighty queer ♪

♪ Now what a kind of fish it was ♪

♪ John D'ampton couldn't tell ♪

♪ But he didn't like the look of it ♪

♪ So he threw it down a well ♪ Ha!

♪ Now the worm got fat and growed ♪

♪ And growed an awful size ♪

♪ With great big teeth and a great big mouth ♪

♪ And great big goggle eyes ♪

♪ And when at night it crawled about ♪

♪ A-lookin' for some booze ♪

♪ If it fell dry upon the road ♪

♪ It milked a dozen cows ♪ Ha ha!

♪ This fearful worm would often feed ♪

♪ On cows and lamb and sheep ♪

♪ And swallow little babes alive ♪

♪ When they lay down to sleep ♪

♪ So John set out and caught the beast ♪

♪ And cut it into halves ♪

♪ And that's what stopped it eatin' babes ♪

♪ And sheep and lambs and calves ♪ Ta!

♪ So now you know how all the folks ♪

♪ On both sides of the weir ♪

♪ Lost lots of sheep and lots of sleep ♪

♪ And lived in mortal fear ♪

♪ So drink the health of brave Sir John ♪

♪ Who kept the babes from harm ♪

♪ Saved cows and calves by makin' halves ♪

♪ Of that famous D'ampton worm ♪ Yee-hah!