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Exciting film! Excellent film!
JThomas-211 May 2000
This is a much maligned film. Given the fine acting and the really Hitchcockian development and story line, this thing delivers in a big way. I don't want to give away the story line, but let's just say that while snakes play a part in it, this is not a shlocky horror film. In fact, the storyline doesn't revolve around snakes; they're more of a plot device. This is a thriller of the best caliber. The British actors are some of the finest ever cranked out and the claustrophobic atmosphere seems to drive you even crazier. If you are afraid of snakes, then you'll be gut wrenchingly terrified (I was). If you aren't, then you'll still be glued to your seat. Watch it and if you dare, do it with the lights off!
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A powerful thriller
Aaron C. Schepler26 February 2004
VENOM (1982) ***½ Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, Nicol Williamson, Sarah Miles, Susan George. Even though this film is called "Venom" and features a snake, this is no "creature feature." Two English domestics (Reed and George), along with an international criminal (Kinski), conspire to kidnap their wealthy employers' ten-year-old son. The plan goes awry after the boy mistakenly receives a highly aggressive, super-poisonous black mamba (originally intended for a research facility), which kills one of the conspirators and transforms the attempted kidnapping into a tense armed standoff. A box-office flop in its day, American audiences were probably turned off by the film's stodgy English production values and – thanks to a misleading advertising campaign – probably felt duped once they realized it wasn't a killer snake movie. Still, a strong script and Kinski and Reed's explosive performances make this a powerful thriller. Highly recommended.
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Better than most reviewers rate it.
Jerry F. Colet9 October 2002
An exciting story with lots of suspenseful moments. Kinsky makes a great villain. Sterling Hayden did seem a bit under the weather, but Nicol Williamson gave an outstanding performance as a very different kind of policeman. I think the reviewers have been far too hard on this thriller. It sure kept me on the edge of my seat.
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Gives new meaning to the phrase: "Trouser Snake."
Gafke9 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, this movie isn't THAT bad. But let's get real here - it ain't that good either. But I'll watch anything with the Late Great Klaus Kinski in it simply because chances are good that, even if the film sucks, he'll make it fun to watch somehow. He doesn't disappoint here.

The plot is pretty straightforward. The Nanny of a young British boy is plotting to kidnap him for ransom. Her partners in crime include the bleary-eyed Oliver Reed and Kinski as the Big Bad Guy In Charge. There's only one problem: on the day that the kidnapping is supposed to take place, the spoiled, asthmatic little brat slips away from his nanny and goes to the pet store with grandpa to pick up his new pet snake. Oops! The pet store accidentally boxes up and hands over a black mamba, one of the most bad-tempered and deadly snakes in the world. Geez, did no one check the label on the crate first? The snake goes home, gets loose and snaps its ugly mouth closed on nanny Susan George first, who dies a horrible, foamy, convulsing death. After that, the snake is loose in the air vents of the house, and the kid, the grandpa and the kidnappers are trapped inside.

There's some good snake POV shots, the best of which comes when Oliver Reed opens the door of a liquor cabinet (ooh, big surprise there) and the nasty serpent lunges out at his face. The most tense and creepy scene comes as the mamba slowly slides up Reeds pant leg, slithering inexorably up towards his crotch...but I won't ruin the rest for you. Kinski hams it up like he always does, smiling smugly and bugging his freaky eyes out at anyone who irritates him. His BIG FINAL SCENE scene is ridiculously overlong and should have earned Kinski an Oscar for Best Scene Chewing Moment.

It moves a little slow sometimes, but the cool looking mamba makes up for that. There are some genuine jump moments and the cast is actually really good: Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, Susan George and Sterling Hayden (as the grandfather) all turn in great big huge performances which seem almost too big for a little film like this...and I mean that in a good way. The plot is almost so ludicrous that it somehow manages to become totally believable. Fans of Kinski will want to catch this one: Kinski is at his most arrogant here, and fans of his smarmy, ego-ridden brilliance will love every minute of it. 7 out of 10 stars.
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this film has bite
movieman_kev9 November 2003
A trio of kidnappers headed by Klaus Kinski plan to snatch a young boy, but things go awry & through a series of unforeseen events they're hold up in the house with a deadly venomous snake. Pretty taunt & lean thriller. Most of the actors do a fine job. One of the better killer snake movies out there.

My Grade: B-

DVD Extras: Director's commentary; Theatrical trailer; 4 TV spots; poster & stills gallery; Bios for Klaus Kinski & Oliver Reed
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Pretty good thriller.
HumanoidOfFlesh26 February 2003
"Venom" is an enjoyable thriller directed by Piers Haggard("Satan's Skin").A deadly black mamba snake threatens the denizens of an elegant townhouse.As long as the slithering creature is on the loose,no one is safe...The film has its share of surprises-some scenes are actually pretty nerve-wracking.The acting is exceptionally good with pretty familiar cast(Klaus Kinski,Susan George,Nicol Williamson,Oliver Reed)to boost.Highly recommended.
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An Extremely Aggressive and Deadly Snake
Uriah4328 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"Ruth Hopkins" (Cornelia Sharpe) is looking forward to a vacation in Rome with her husband and leaves her asthmatic son, "Phillip" (Lance Holcomb) with his grandfather, "Howard Anderson" (Sterling Hayden) to look after him in their London apartment. What she doesn't realize is that the maid, "Louise Andrews" (Susan George), the chauffeur "Dave Averconnelly" (Oliver Reed) and a German criminal named "Jacques Muller" (Klaus Kinski) have made detailed plans to kidnap the boy for a huge ransom. Unfortunately, their plans go awry when a policeman comes to the door and Dave mindlessly shoots and kills him. This results in the police surrounding the house with the kidnappers holding both Phillip and Howard as hostages. Now, while this might sound like a mediocre kidnapping movie, what gives this film some added excitement is that by complete accident Phillip has recently brought an extremely aggressive and deadly snake home with him and it has just gotten loose. To that end, the directors (Piers Haggard and Tobe Hooper) manage to keep the film somewhat suspenseful by utilizing some shock value and music to pretty good effect. In short, while this film certainly won't win any major awards, it still managed to pretty much keep my attention from beginning to end. That said, I figure it deserves at least an average rating.
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A predator even more deadly than Klaus Kinski
Chase_Witherspoon29 April 2011
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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Kinski fans will be intrigued....
merklekranz4 May 2008
Menacing, but not in an over the top psychotic way, Klaus Kinski delivers a very believable performance. He is more calculating than usual, and has no problem outsmarting the British police, who seem more interested in drinking coffee than anything else. What ever happened to tea? Klaus easily steals this movie from the remaining likable cast. The snake has it's own point of view, which works quite effectively. The story plays out with a couple tense moments,and at least one major surprise, that is unfortunately revealed in the trailer, so I recommend skipping watching the extra's until after the feature. Overall, one of Kinski's best, and he has ample screen time, for you to enjoy this wonderful actor. - MERK
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It s a pity that Tobe Hooper stopped working on that film>
andreygrachev3 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It s a pity that Tobe Hooper stopped working on the film. The beginning is perfect. So rare to see two euro horror stars in the same movie as Klaus Kinski and Oliver Reed. Good English characters,very true impulsive, nervous. It looks like Hammer in some places, but it is bit long. We enjoyed the ending where Klaus is attacked by venom and trying to strike back in agony. Klaus played really cool in this movies, and he actually does every time We see him in horrors. The screenplay has some real discoveries , but That should have been Tobe Hooper to work them out. He always makes even cheap films look stylish and suspensive. Good example of euro-horror attempts.
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Don't see this one alone!
STEVEN DANKO5 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a stylish British-made thriller about an attempted kidnapping thwarted by a deadly snake. A young American boy, Philip Hopkins(LANCE HOLCOMB), is left in the care of his grandfather Howard Anderson(STERLING HAYDEN) at the family's London townhouse when his mother goes to Rome on business. The maid Louise(SUSAN GEORGE) and the chauffeur Dave(OLIVER REED) have conspired with one Jacques Muller aka Jacmel(KLAUS KINSKI), an international master criminal, to kidnap young Philip and hold him for ransom. The plan goes awry when Philip breaks away from Louise and hops a cab to a local pet shop to pick up the newest addition to his ever-growing menagerie- a harmless African house snake. What Philip doesn't know is that a mix-up occurred and what he's taking home with him in that wooden box is far from harmless. The London Institute of Toxicology inadvertently winds up with the house snake and Philip gets what the Institute had ordered- and it isn't pretty. It's a Black Mamba, one of the most lethal and dangerous snakes on Earth. It's the snake with the most macabre reputation on the African continent. It strikes hard and fast and carries an extremely toxic venom that can kill an adult within a few minutes. When a doctor at the Toxicology Institute(SARAH MILES) comes to realize the horrific implications of what occurred, she calls the police to try and track down the recipient of the mamba before the box is opened. Alas, it is too late. The maid opens the box, gets struck three times in rapid succession and dies a very ugly death in less than six minutes. An investigating police sergeant arrives at the townhouse and is shotgunned to death by Dave the Chauffeur, whose hair-trigger temper seems to match that of the mamba's. An armed standoff ensues, with the police surrounding the townhouse and the kidnappers(minus one) inside with their hostages. Oh,yes- the snake is now also loose and this plot element serves to ratchet up the tension and suspense considerably. A battle of wits ensues between Jacmel and the police commander in charge(NICOL WILLIAMSON) as each tries to outfox the other. In addition to a $100,000 mechanical mamba used for those scenes where the snake gets up close and personal with the cast, a real Black Mamba was also used in the filming of certain scenes for purposes of authenticity. David Ball, the reptile curator at the London Zoo, was hired by the producers for this purpose. The snake took direction very well- rearing, hissing and adopting threat postures on cue. This film is highly underrated. It has all the classic elements of a good suspense thriller along with an excellent cast of distinguished actors. The photography and editing are superb and convey a sense of claustrophobic terror. The sequence where Louise the maid gets bitten is one of the most nerve-wracking and disturbing things I've ever seen on film. In this, the producers did their homework well. This is how you die when you're bitten by a Black Mamba. Once you see it, you'll never forget it. If you want nail-biting, edge of your seat suspense, check out this minor gem. I give it a 10 out of 10. A word of caution, though- don't see it alone and don't turn out the lights and try to go to sleep afterward- at least not before checking under the bed.
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Za Snake Iz Loooze!
eatfirst28 December 2010
I've just had the pleasure of re-acquainting myself with this forgotten gem of early '80s British horror which scared me half to death as a little kid.

"High concept" years before the term was invented, the plot ostensibly hangs on a series of belief-stretching co-incidences which result in a hostage siege taking place in a posh London home, with the police camped outside and a deadly (as we are repeatedly reminded) black mamba snake loose in the heating ducts.

Made many years before CGI came along and gave us bloated nonsense like Anaconda and Snakes on a Plane the film-makers had to be fairly economical with their beastie's screen time. Going down the Jaws route , Venom makes highly effective use of POV camera shots, shadowy lighting and an unsettling score (an early work from the much missed composer Michael Kamen; and no, I have not forgotten that he was also responsible for that Bryan Adams monstrosity) to suggest the snakes' presence. When the creature is fully revealed it is more often than not the exceedingly dangerous real thing; borrowed from London Zoo, and provoked into getting the hump in the direction of the nearest camera by their, at the time, resident reptile expert Michael Ball (who gets both an un-credited cameo in the film, and himself played by a cranky Michael Gough in to the bargain).

However, all of these slithery shenanigans are a mere aside to the real terror on show here. The casting of the infamously intense and insane Klaus Kinski opposite the famously drunk and antagonistic Oliver Reed. By all reports these two hated each other on sight and spent the whole shoot at war with each other, with Reed referring to Kinski as a Nazi at every possible opportunity. However, what must have a nightmare situation for director Piers Haggard (parachuted in after Tobe Hooper walked with shooting already under way) as they share virtually every scene together, paid off in dividends as the warring actors enthusiastically pour every ounce of their scenery-chewing one-oneupmanship onto the screen. Stir into this mix a few more well-renowned "difficult" actors: Nicol Williamson (The famously OTT Merlin from Excalibur) getting his Sweeney on, Sarah Miles, and Sterling Hayden among them; and what results is a glorious bombast of angry intense thesping, that grabs this would-b-movie by the balls and drags it into "forgotten classic" territory. A daft, wonderful, guilty pleasure. Seek it out.
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A Major Surprise
JasparLamarCrabb17 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A major surprise considering the cast. One would have expected a campy or cheesy European shocker, but VENOM is actually a terrific thriller. With the help of the household staff, Klaus Kinski attempts to kidnap a rich American boy from his London home, unaware that the boy has mistakenly brought home a venomous black mamba to add to his pet collection. Far from perfect, VENOM does offer Klaus Kinski one of his few good non-Herzog roles as the head kidnapper and Sterling Hayden as the boy's grandfather is a hoot. Susan George is the nasty housekeeper and the great Oliver Reed is a very unpleasant chauffeur. With Sarah Miles and Nicol Williamson.
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Caught between a rock and a hard place
mylimbo9 May 2006
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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Superb 'Slithery Serpintine Suspenser!
Kieran Green14 September 2006
Venom, is a great suspense that take's place in a luxurious townhouse in the heart of London, The film's premise is simple, a rich hotel magnate's son become's the target for a kidnap, that goes awry,

Susan George,plays the maid who scheme's with her chauffeur/lover Oliver Reed, And Klaus Kinski, plays a deadly eastern European terrorist, who wants the boy in exchange for a ransom, Thing's unfortunately don't go to plan as the boy who is a reptilian nut of sort's inadvertently brings home a deadly black mamba, as there was a mix up at the pet shop,

Also starring, the legendary Sterling Hayden(In his last major motion picture performance) play's the boy's big game hunting grandfather,

Scottish actor Nichol Willaimson, plays the dour police officer who deals with the crisis, And Sarah Miles plays the pivotal role of a toxicologist, who is called in to deal with the task of providing the pivotal antidote,and is also held hostage when an exchange for the antidote goes wrong,

In the townhouse,their are some great scare's in this flick, where you would NOT expect it them! the snake's point of view is Excellently represented by quashed anamorphic Len's's, which work really well,

All in all a moderately budgeted entertaining suspense that really bite's, People who don't like snake's need not apply!
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chilling thriller
trefme7 July 2006
This movie is a fine old fashioned thriller. It deals with the kidnap of a boy and a box that contains a most deadly snake which escapes in the house. The picture has constant twists in the story to keep you on edge during the whole film, with the police outside and the mamba inside. It goes from bad to worse for the players. The mood of the London's setting reminded me of Hitchcock's Frenzy. Two powerful actors Klaus Kinski and Oliver Reed play the gangsters. Kinski as a cool and mean gangster and Oliver Reed on the other hand seems on the verge of exploding. The kid, his tough grandpa and the all other players give solid performances. So did the mamba.
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It's no classic, but it's a damn sight better than Spasms!
Jonathon Dabell10 January 2003
What is it with Oliver Reed and snakes? First, he shared a telepathic link with a monster snake in Spasms, and this film he finds himself getting even more personal with a deadly black mamba (in one scene, it even crawls up his trouser leg!)

The plot of this outlandish horror flick mixes together bits of rampaging monster films with a hostage thriller. A young boy and his grandfather are taken prisoner in their own home by a gang of kidnappers, but just as they are about to start issuing their ransom demands, they discover that also in the house is a black mamba snake which has escaped from captivity. One by one, the cast is picked off by the lethan serpent, whilst outside the police battle desperately to find a solution to the stand-off.

The cast is wonderful, with such great names as Sarah Miles, Sterling Hyaden, Oliver Reed, Susan George, Klaus Kinski and Nicol Williamson amongst the characters. There are some exciting, nerve jangling moments, too, especially when snake expert Hayden goes poking around a dark room in search of the deadly critter. The film is no masterpiece, mainly because it is a bit silly in parts, and it also goes through a few dull patches in between snake attacks, but one thing is for sure: it is a thousand times better than the appalling Spasms.
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Worst pet shop ever!
BA_Harrison27 August 2016
Not to be confused with Spasms, another early-'80s Oliver Reed snake-themed horror movie, Venom sees a kidnapping go awry when a deadly black mamba escapes into the house where the villains are holding ten-year-old Philip (Lance Holcomb) and his grandfather Howard (Sterling Hayden) hostage.

Reed is chauffeur Dave, who, along with sexy maid Louise (Susan George) and German terrorist Jacmel (Klaus Kinski), find themselves cornered by police Commander William Bulloch (Nicol Williamson) and his men (after a shotgun toting Dave gets trigger happy with a cop) and menaced by the highly venomous and very aggressive reptile, the result of a mix-up of orders at a pet shop.

Despite a top-notch cast (which includes Sarah Miles as toxicologist Dr. Marion Stowe, and Michael Gough as a snake expert), director Piers Haggard (The Blood on Satan's Claw) is unable to elevate his film from mediocrity thanks to a pedestrian script that is a little light on the snake action and a touch too heavy on police procedure, delivering not nearly enough suspense or horror. Kinski is as slimy and menacing as always, Ollie turns to the booze when the pressure is on (no surprises there), and George strips to her underwear (no surprises there either!).

5.5 out of 6, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.
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Trouser Snake
ferbs5424 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A movie about a kidnapping? Cool. A movie about a kidnapping that degenerates into a hostage crisis? Even better! But howzabout a movie about the kidnapping of a seriously asthmatic kid, that turns into a hostage crisis, while the victims and criminals besieged by the law in a London town house are threatened by an escaped black mamba snake, the world's swiftest and most deadly? What could be better than that? Well, as the 1982 British thriller "Venom" demonstrates, perhaps an all-star group of performers to put this fun-sounding conceit over! Thus, we have an absolutely sterling cast here, consisting, in part, of, uh, Sterling Hayden as the asthmatic boy's supercool grandfather, Klaus Kinski and Oliver Reed as the kidnappers (a terrific pair of bad guys, with Oliver's ultimate fate in the film giving new meaning to the old expression "trouser snake"), Sarah Miles as a toxicologist, Nicol Williamson as the police commander in charge of the crisis, and Michael Gough (wasted in a teensy role) as a snake expert. The picture has been directed for maximum suspense by Piers Haggard, with much of that suspense naturally arising from the fact that the viewer can never predict where or when that deadly mamba will raise its ugly head. Any opened drawer, cabinet or door in the picture can serve as a most lethal jack-in-the-box of sorts, and this knowledge keeps us primed and nervous throughout. With the exception of that final ambiguous shot of a snake in the town house's ductwork (I still can't figure out the meaning of that!), I found this film to be thoroughly satisfying and entertaining. And the further good news is that the picture has been given a great-looking treatment by the always dependable folks at Blue Underground. Thanks again, guys!
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A hostage thriller…with a snake!
wierzbowskisteedman16 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In the same year he managed to haul a steamboat over a mountain ridge, Klaus Kinski also had a bit of bother in a posh area of London with a snake, which gave him infinitely more trouble. His evil plan to kidnap the son of a rich owner of a string of hotels is doomed to failure when his accomplice Susan George utters the fatal words "Nothing will go wrong".

As Kinski and his cohort Oliver Reed become besieged by the police, it becomes apparent something unpleasant is slithering through the ventilation ducts. This calls for much snake-POV camera work, however when the snake is actually seen the footage is rather convincing for such a low key film - only at the end does Kinski appear to be battling a treacherous hosepipe. In fact, the snake is very much a sideline for much of the film - a lot of the time it is just a bog standard hostage thriller, however the surprisingly A-list cast does a terrific job. Sterling Hayden gives a likable "grandpa knows best" performance, in what turned out to be his final film role, and Reed is gritty as always as the paranoid accomplice. Kinski on the other hand is clearly sleepwalking - however his sleepwalking acting is better than most peoples best.

The idea is a reasonably unique one although it is hardly pushed to its limits - if Tobe Hooper hadn't cleared off it would certainly have been much, much better. The snake's appearances may be few and far between but when it does rear its slithery head there are a few jumps to be had - although the majority of the "thrills" come from the hostage set-up and not the snake. The cast is probably the primary reason to watch "Venom", however on the whole it is surprisingly enjoyable given its reputation of "the rubbish horror film Kinski did instead of Raiders."
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Entertaining B-Movie with an A-Cast
Edward_de_Vere5 April 2006
By all accounts this is basically a formulaic kidnapping flick that would be standard B-movie fare. Having a poisonous snake thrown into the mix only adds to the B-movie feel.

However, it is saved by its A-cast. Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, and Nicol Williamson all chew the scenery as only they can (though one has to pity the director, who had to work with the 3 most ornery actors alive at the time). The only disappointment was that Sterling Hayden didn't get more material to work with for what would be his last movie.

The other highlight is the fact that they used a real and professionally handled black mamba in most of the scenes. In most movies of this type, they would just throw in a harmless rat snake or something and hope that nobody would notice the difference.
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Suspenseful and Fun Film
William Holmes29 January 2006
I thought this was a rather fun film with a lot of suspense and a few shocks. It brought back some good memories of seeing some great actors from the past in some good performances; Oliver Reed and Klaus Kinski. John Forbes-Robertson is still acting today. And I found out that the actor, Lance Holcomb, who played the kid in the film, a photo that looks like the child all grown up, comes up in Google as a salesperson for a Ford dealership in Washington! Some gruesome attack scenes in the film too! It brought several shocks. The direction is very good and the DVD that Blue Underground released the color is beautiful. Good Extras on the DVD too.
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Boring but worth a few cheap chuckles
Movie_Man 50027 August 2002
Oliver Reed, looking like he spent too much time sweating to the oldies, heads a whopper cast of bad actors as a killer mamba dully sinks its fangs into the over complicated plot. Too many things going on at once here so by the time the snake attacks are filmed, you won't give much of a hoot who gets bitten. Klaus Kinski is scarier than any snake ever could be.
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Decent idea given dry as dust treatment.
Clint Walker13 May 1999
Bumbling kidnappers have their plan foiled when, thanks to some bizarre mix-ups, a deadly snake gets released in the townhouse where the kidnapee lives. Since the police are outside, the criminals are trapped within.

Snakes don't really scare me that much. I guess it's because they don't have any arms or legs to reach out an grab you with. Still, there IS something about the eyes of a serpent before it strikes that is downright chilling. Part of what makes this film work was that for most of the scenes, a real snake was used instead of a fake one. The British cast also does a rather good job of making this seem more dramatic than the average American horror film.

But that British-ness also works against the film, as the sets and locations are so drab, there isn't a lot to look at. Apparently Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) was the original director for this film. Shame he didn't finish it, because the final product cries out for some visual punch.

Love the scene where the snake goes up the guy's pantleg!
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