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7 user 7 critic

The Legend of Spider Forest (1971)

Venom (original title)
PG | | Horror | February 1975 (USA)
A Nazi scientist and a woman known as a "spider goddess" attempt to develop a nerve gas made from spider venom.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Simon Brent ...
Paul Greville
Neda Arneric ...
Anna
Sheila Allen ...
Ellen
Derek Newark ...
Johann
Terence Soall ...
Lutgermann
Gerard Heinz ...
Huber
Gertan Klauber ...
Kurt
Sean Gerrad ...
Rudi
Bette Vivian ...
Frau Kessler
Ray Barron ...
Young Man
George Fisher ...
Gang member
Nosher Powell ...
Gang member
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Storyline

A Nazi scientist and a woman known as a "spider goddess" attempt to develop a nerve gas made from spider venom.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The only thing Paul Creville wanted was a quiet and peaceful time - instead all he found was...VENOM!

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Horror

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Release Date:

February 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spider's Venom  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
marred by a bad DVD release, but still somewhat interesting
8 September 2005 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

In an opening scene in black and white with a blue tint to it, a young man and woman skinnydip together, and then go into the woods for a little sex. A large shadow of a spider looms, and the man is attacked. The woman has a birthmark or tattoo of a spider on her. There's seemingly some full-frontal nudity in a longshot, and there is toplessness despite the PG rating! Later there's some sadistic beatings and whippings. The Legend of Spider Forest almost makes this sound like it's for kids: nope!

I watched this on a double-sided DVD as Spider's Venom (the other title is Virgin Terror). Unfortunately full-screen, and I had to actually zoom the picture out a bit since it went beyond the edges of the screen. Probably taken from a videotape rather than a film print, given a weird glitch about thirty-five minutes in. Additionally, the sound quality is awful - whoever did the transfer wasn't checking the levels and it's particularly bad when the music swells and some notes just become loud hums and there's pops and crackles. So "Miracle Pictures a Division of PMC Corp. - Delaware," thanks for releasing this, but what a terrible job you did!

After the opening scene, the picture turns to color. Paul, a photographer/artist drives into a small German village and he manages to take a photo of the woman with the spider marking that he calls a scar. However, his pictures are stolen. He's met with a mixture of friendliness and hostility at the local pub. The mill owner shares a bottle of wine with him, and tries to interest him in his daughter. He does in fact wind up in bed with her shortly later, where they have a vigorous session, though it isn't graphic at all.

Paul wants to find out who the young woman is, and the townspeople want him to leave. He knows that there had been some paintings, including a Bosch, that had disappeared during WWII from the church. He finds one by a fresh body in the forest, but they too disappear.

The villagers do speak some German that isn't subtitled (putting us in Paul's shoes, I guess). The girl with the spider mark also sings some song in German as well.

Eventually, the mystery is solved along with a bizarre bit of transvestism that adds nothing. Cue the big fire, so common in Gothic horror movies of the 60s and 70s. Not bad, but a better release is clearly needed for a real idea of the quality of the movie.


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