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Venom (1981)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,202 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 26 critic

International terrorists attempt to kidnap a wealthy couples child. Their plan comes unstuck when, a deadly Black Mamba sent by mistake instead of a harmless snake, escapes, and the ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Venom (1981)

Venom (1981) on IMDb 5.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jacques Müller
...
Dave Averconnelly
...
Cmdr. William Bulloch
...
Dr. Marion Stowe
...
Howard Anderson
Cornelia Sharpe ...
Ruth Hopkins
Lance Holcomb ...
Philip Hopkins
...
Louise Andrews
Mike Gwilym ...
Det. Constable Dan Spencer
Paul Williamson ...
Det. Sgt. Glazer
...
David Ball
Hugh Lloyd ...
Taxi Driver
Rita Webb ...
Mrs. Loewenthal
...
Lord Dunning
John Forbes-Robertson ...
Sgt. Nash
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Storyline

International terrorists attempt to kidnap a wealthy couples child. Their plan comes unstuck when, a deadly Black Mamba sent by mistake instead of a harmless snake, escapes, and the terrorists and several hostages are trapped in the boy's London home. A tense evening is had by all as the snake creeps around the house picking off the various characters one by one. Written by R Lindsay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The object of man's most ancient fear. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 January 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Venom  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tobe Hooper quit because of "creative differences". The DOP also quit for the same reason after ten days of shooting. See more »

Goofs

When Dr stowe is told to get up by Kinski, she anticipates the terrorist's action by grabbing the scarf before Kinsi wraps her hand in it. See more »

Crazy Credits

The Producers wish to extend their thanks to David Ball, overseer of reptiles at London Zoo, without whose skill and courage in the handling of the deadly Black Mamba, this film could not have been made. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Time Out
(uncredited)
Music by Stanley Myers
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Caught between a rock and a hard place
9 May 2006 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

While, the lady of the house is heading to Rome to be with her husband, her asthmatic son stays home with his housekeeper and grandfather. We learn that the housekeeper and the family driver have organised a plan along with a Russian criminal to kidnap the boy, but things go awry. The boy's harmless pet snake is accidentally switched at the pet shop with a vicious black mamba. The snake actually escapes during the kidnap attempt and not to soon the police arrive to surround the house after one of their officers was shot dead by the kidnappers. Now the group are trapped inside with the deadly reptile on the loose, while the police force are waiting on the outside.

At best "Venom" is an mediocre siege movie with an ambitiously, venomous twist. Though, what really gave the film the added hoick was that there was an excellent A-cast basically giving their all in a simple minded B-grade feature. With the likes of Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed and Nicol Williamson. I found it hard not to be entertained even if not much wasn't going on. Those three actors equally hold such a great screen presence. But with a title like "Venom" you'll be expecting some glorious snake action and it does deliver, but not as frequently as it should. When it did finally pop up it would rack up the excitement levels with some memorable (if sometimes slightly risible) attacks and a gratuitously, over-exaggerated (but fitting) climax. But it's Klaus Kinski's coldly, stern performance as the international terrorist Jacques that's far more unsettling. Those glazed eyes were just piercing! Oliver Reed on the other hand hams it up as the worrying family driver and Nicol Williamson is cracking as the officer in charge Cmdr. William Bulloch. The support roles by the likes of Sterling Hayden, Susan George and Sarah Miles are just as sensationally good. But it was the rapport clash of egos between Kinski and Reed that kept me glued, well other than the nasty surprises that awaited them. Director Piers Haggard, who took over from Tobe Hooper did a fine job for such a sudden inclusion. He's able to moderately construct some tight suspense from the bleak, claustrophobic confinement even if the story's structure follows a predictable pattern and sometimes the tautness falls away in patches with the constant cutting between the cops, kidnappers and snake. But what was unpredictable was the spontaneously, furious snake attacks that were chucked in for good measure. You just didn't know where the snake would show up next and when it does it's done so in an surprisingly, effective manner. Implemented into the picture are some creative camera shots, such as snake vision and the forceful score basically telegraphs the action and suspense impeccably well with its energy. Maybe the production does have that TV feel about it, but that doesn't hurt the film. The two genres behind this story (siege and creature on loose) might not be nothing new, but I found the uneven mixture of the two an entertaining experiment. Maybe it's not completely successful in combining them, but simply it's a decent time-waster.

A modest plot is brought to life by a well ensemble cast, a deadly snake and some tautly controlled direction. It's nothing totally special, but its better than average compared with most films of its ilk.


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