directed by piers haggard
morison film group/venom productions limited
based on the novel by alan scholefield
You know, sometimes I decide to watch a movie just because the totality of its promotional efforts entices me. That was definitely the case with this offering, as its poster makes promises and presents plaudits that one figures can’t possibly be true, and the cast includes not only our old friend Oliver Reed but Klaus Kinski. “Oh, man,” I enthused, “I can’t wait to watch that one!” Well, somewhat to my disappointment, Venom is but an above-average thriller that isn’t even spoiled by the fact that as far as scary screen monsters go, your average snake – or even the DEADLY MAMBA – isn’t all that threatening. (This is the second Oliver Reed movie I’ve watched that features a snake, though, which has to count for something.) Frankly, the plot is a bit nonsensical; this international fugitive just happens to have connections in the house of a wealthy banker whose asthmatic kid just happened to order a new imported snake, and …
It did fairly well at the box office.
why did i watch this movie?
Venom! A deadly snake! Oliver Reed! Oliver Reed and a deadly snake! Klaus Kinski! Oliver Reed, Klaus Kinski, and a deadly snake! Venom!
I didn’t realize this when I picked it out, but Haggard is the same director responsible for The Blood on Satan’s Claw, a fact which also would’ve weighed heavily in its favor.
should you watch this movie?
Sad to say, Oliver Reed doesn’t have much of a substantial role to play here, so the film lacks for his usual je ne sais quoi. For what seems as though it should be a fairly middle-of-the-road affair, however, it’s actually pretty interesting.
highlight and low point
Susan George has a pretty overwrought death scene as well.