The Lair Of The White Worm!
by: Dr. Boogie


Back in the woods, a young scout named Kevin happens upon Sylvia parked along the road and watching the farmhouse with a pair of binoculars. It's the closest thing to an actual setback that Sylvia's encountered the whole movie, so it catches her a little off guard. She explains that she's merely "snake watching." Lucky for her, Kevin is dumb as a brick. An exceptionally thick one. He asks for a ride to his "yoof ostel", which I believe is British for "youth hostel," but Sylvia convinces him to come with her to Temple House instead. She even tries to seduce him, but he's too dumb to pick up on lines like, "are you into any sort of 'banging'?"

All right, this is just too much. I understand that Sylvia is probably feeling pretty contemptuous of everyone and everything in town, but playing Snakes and Ladders? Especially one with a giant white serpent in the middle?

It won't surprise you to learn that Kevin doesn't see anything odd in this at all.

Nor does he so much as raise an eyebrow when Sylvia decides to change into black lingerie and thigh high latex boots to better play her board games. That's okay, though, because I raised enough eyebrows for the both of us.

Sylvia offers to put on some music, so Kevin decides to make good on his bragging about being good with a "mouth organ," if you know what I mean.

Just when you thought Kevin couldn't have any less game, out comes the harmonica. Sylvia is horrified, and not because she was reminded of the time she tried to seduce John Popper.

As Kevin plays his harmonica (and I use the word "play" very loosely here), the tune seems to hypnotize Sylvia. She drops what she's doing and starts dancing toward him.

Nope, still nothing unusual about this for dear ol' Kevin.

Once he stops, she snatches the harmonica away and tells him "that kind of music freaks me out." In lieu of further harmonica tunes, she offers him a bath and "the experience of a lifetime." After, of course, confirming that absolutely no one will be looking for Kevin.

Has there ever been anyone as oblivious as Kevin?

Don't answer that yet because Sylvia washes his back before compelling him to stand up for the front portion. "Come on," she coos, "I'm not going to bite you."

Funny thing, that.

Maybe I'm a little disappointed that her latest snake wordplay was just saying she wouldn't bite him before biting him. Maybe I'm a little put off by the odd crunching sound that accompanied the bite. Or maybe I'm just disappointed by how much work Sylvia put into bewitching a boy when she probably could have gotten away with simply telling him she had pizza at her place.

Regardless, Sylvia explains that the bite has paralyzed Kevin's nervous system. And so, with his dumb cockney interjections dealt with, she lays out her evil scheme like a Bond villain:

Kevin "must not be afraid to die" because feeding him to her god is a real improvement for Kevin, in much the same way as him being completely paralyzed is an improvement over him speaking. She continues:

"Human sacrifice is as old as Dionin himself, whose every death is a rebirth into a god ever mightier!"

Then the doorbell rings and the mood is ruined.

Oh well, can't let anyone find out that she's paralyzing teenagers on board game night.

No, a dead kid floating in your bathtub is much less suspicious, Sylvia.

The bell-ringer turns out to be James, decked out in his Royal Air Force uniform for some reason. He explains that he's come by to take care of the snake roaming the ground of Temple House.

First of all, James, you are at DEFCON 3 for a unibrow. Take care of that.

Second, I can't tell what James is doing here. If it were anyone else I'd swear he was conducting some sort of psychological warfare by subtly letting on that he knows about the whole lair thing, but it could just as easily be that James is just a giant ponce who doesn't know what he's doing.

The balanced shifts in favor of the latter when he immediately accepts her offer of brandy. What is in the brandy over there!?

Sylvia isn't doing much better. Back in her parlor, James notices the Snakes and Ladders game taking place and comments on it. Her explanation as to why there's a child's board game in front of her fireplace is that:

"Some people enjoying playing themselves at cards or even chess. My passion is Snakes and Ladders."

Look. I know I have a tendency to call out lines in movies like this as being really dumb, but that truly is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. No one has ever had a "passion" for Snakes and Ladders. No one. Ever.

The longer they talk, the more standoffish Sylvia gets until she starts cracking jokes about Eve and Mary's missing parents. When that line punches through even the thick barriers around James' skull, she suddenly starts crying and talking about how she hates snakes. James, smart and observant fellow that he is, wonders aloud why she torments herself with solo plays of Snakes and Ladders. Sylvia almost collapses under the weight of her inane lies but turns it around by stammering out a story about being in a coma after a snakebite, and James buys into it hard. Probably because of the brandy.

To really sell the lie, she tosses the board game into the fireplace.

Then without any explanation, she utters, "Rosebud." James, having never seen Citizen Kane, nor had the big ending revealed to him by any friends who have, overlooks it. Incredibly, he is not bitten or otherwise subdued by Sylvia, probably because she doesn't view him as any kind of threat. Instead, she sends him away with a kiss.

See? 'Cause she's a snake! Get it!?

Later on, James is enjoying a post-brandy pre-bedtime brandy and watching a silent movie about snakes. And while he's doing this, he's on speakerphone with Mary talking about how they should get a drink tomorrow. Slow down, man!

All that drinking and thinking about future drinking has really taken it out of James. He settles in for a nice sleep.

If you thought the last dream sequence didn't make any sense, hoo boy... prepare yourself for some true lunacy.

There's still plenty more
Lair of the White Worm to see!
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