Friday, June 24, 2016
Blu-ray Review: VENOM (1981)
Directed by Piers Haggard
Distributed by Blue Underground
Tonight's review is of another film I had always heard about, but somehow had never got around to seeing. The film is called VENOM, and it's a fun mix of creature feature and kidnapping/heist film.
Here is the basic plot courtesy of the Blue Underground website:
It was supposed to be the perfect crime: the sexy maid (Susan George of STRAW DOGS), a psychotic chauffeur (Oliver Reed of THE BROOD) and an international terrorist (the legendary Klaus Kinski) kidnap a wealthy ten-year-old boy from his elegant London townhouse. But they didn't count on a murdered cop, a desperate hostage siege, and one very unexpected houseguest: a furious Black Mamba, the most lethal and aggressive snake known to nature. It can attack from ten feet away. Its bite brings excruciating death. And it is on the loose. Now, terror knows no antidote... and the ultimate in slithering mayhem is VENOM.
Sterling Hayden (THE KILLING), Nicol Williamson (EXCALIBUR) and Sarah Miles (BLOW-UP) co-star in this gripping suspense thriller based on the novel by best-selling author Alan Scholefield and directed by Piers Haggard (THE BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW). VENOM has been newly transferred in 2K High Definition from its negative and features some very real - and extremely deadly - Black Mambas!
I went into this thinking it was just another run of the mill creature feature, this time featuring a snake. It's actually a much smarter film than that, with the snake being just part of the main plot. The main part of the film focuses on the kidnapping of the young boy, and the police stakeout of the house they are holding up in. While it would have been a pretty good heist film on it's own, why not through a killer snake into the mix! I have to admit, it made this kidnapping film a lot more interesting! You never know where the snake is going to be or strike next, which put some extra intensity into the already thrilling film.
Some people might go into this film hoping for more of a gory creature feature, so just realize what you are going into and I think you will enjoy this one. I was definitely a big fan of this movie. It probably would not be taken seriously if made today, but this is classic 80's cinema at it's best. The acting was great and the remastered 2K High Definition transfer looks amazing for a film that is 35 years old!
VENOM is available now on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and features the following special features:
* Audio Commentary with Director Piers Haggard
* Theatrical Trailer
* TV Spots
* Poster & Still Gallery
* BONUS Collectable Booklet featuring new writing by Fangoria Editor Michael Gingold
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack