Thursday, October 7, 2010

#62. Venom (1981)

DVD Synopsis: It was supposed to be the perfect crime: The sexy maid (Susan George of Straw Dogs), a psychotic chauffeur (Oliver Reed of Revolver) 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.

Sometimes a film’s cast is just too interesting to pass up, which is exactly what was going through my mind when I saw the trailer for 1981’s Venom. In this film, you have Oliver Reed, Klaus Kinski and the smoking hot Susan George playing a trio of kidnappers, all of whom battle it out with colorful old grandpa Sterling Hayden. Now that’s a cast! 

Of course, no actor, or indeed assembly of actors, can save a bad film. Well, Venom is far from that; in fact, it's a damn good one. When the police show up unexpectedly, thus throwing a monkey wrench into the three kidnapper's well-laid plans, an engaging battle of wits develops between the always-imposing Kinski and Police Commander William Bulloch, played with real gusto by Nicol Williamson (Merlin in Excalibur). And if that's not enough for you, there’s the additional tension brought about by a lethal black mamba snake, which was mistakenly released from it's cage and is now loose in the house.; 

With something going on all the time, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll never lose interest while watching Venom; its 92 minutes seem to fly by.

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