Venom (Widescreen) product details page

Venom (Widescreen)

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Animal attack films aren't known to be the most inspired of the bunch, so 1982's Venom is a slight breath of fresh air when compared to the endless post-Jaws knock offs. Essentially a psychological thriller, the snake (a black mamba in this case) is mostly thrown in to catch the audience off guard in the midst of a siege-type hostage situation. Yes, it's clearly a plot device, but one that is used quite well in regards to the overall film. Known mainly for it's impressive performances despite it's B-film roots, Venom includes two of the most famously difficult actors of their time: Klaus Kinski and Oliver Reed. Virtually at each other's throats during the shoot, the tension between the two heavies plays out onscreen just as it did in real life. Reed's seething paranoia is remarkable, as is his infamous death scene (truly, a grisly way to die). Also worth mentioning is Sterling Hayden's effortlessly warm grandfather role and Nicol Williamson as the strong, but sly British cop Bulloch. Combined with the appearance of Sarah Miles and deft direction by last-minute replacement Piers Haggard, the production is ultimately classier than the script it follows. Sadly, with little meat to flesh out the thrills, Venom's bite isn't nearly as deadly as it could have been. Still, it's a classy thriller and worth checking out, if only to hear Reed spout out his amazing "cheeky little ******" line. Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide