Venom (1981)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  29 January 1982 (USA)
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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 »


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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


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


Kidnappers terrify... black mambas kill! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 January 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Veneno  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Replacement director Piers Haggard thought the Black Mamba snake was the nicest person on set. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »


Our Song
Music by Roger Webb
Hudson Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

A predator even more deadly than Klaus Kinski
29 April 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Engaging tale of a band of thieves whose plan to take a child and his grandfather hostage in their plush London townhouse, to extort money from the child's wealthy mother, is short-circuited by a rampaging Black Mamba that's been mistakenly brought into the mix. Intriguing to see how the plan unravels as the inimitable Klaus Kinski and his accomplices fall prey one by one to the elusive predator, its venom more deadly than any other species of snake. Cornered by the law on the outside, and the aggressive asp from within, they must adapt and improvise to affect a miraculous escape, no longer concerned with money, but basic survival.

Taut little suspense-thriller enabled by a strong cast, decent dialogue and well-paced direction. Kinski as the main protagonist is chilling, and he's well supported in Oliver Reed as the boozy henchman and Susan George as an unlikely (and unlucky) accomplice. Also noteworthy is Nicol Williamson as the dedicated police inspector who finds himself at the helm of a tense stand-off between the bandits, their captures and the unpredictable rogue reptile. While Sterling Hayden's characterisation of an aging ex game hunter is somewhat vague and incidental to the plot, it does add another dimension to the proceedings that stirs the curiosity and colours the complexity of an otherwise straightforward yarn.

Effective use of sets, lighting, music and tight editing nicely complement the occasional sadistic and surprisingly graphic violence. The snake itself, sometimes portrayed by a replica, is also well staged and looks convincingly hostile. Understated and somewhat obscure considering its impressive credits (Tobe Hooper was also linked with the film early on, but parted ways with the project), "Venom" is a compelling hostage thriller, cleverly bolstered by an unorthodox twist, and is well worth the time.

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