Venom (1981)

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Venom is a 1981 British horror thriller film directed by Piers Haggard (The Blood on Satan’s Claw; 1979 Quatermass TV serial). It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Alan Scholefield.

Main cast: 

Klaus Kinski (Nosferatu the VampyreSchizoidCrawlspace), Oliver Reed (Blue BloodThe BroodSpasms), Nicol Williamson, Sterling Hayden, Sarah Miles, Cornelia Sharpe (The Reincarnation of Peter ProudOpen Season), Lance Holcomb and Susan George (The SorcerersDie Screaming MarianneRoyal Jelly).

On May 31, 2016, Blue Underground are releasing Venom as a Blu-ray/DVD combo with the following extras:

* Newly transferred in 2K High Definition from its negative
* Audio Commentary with Director Piers Haggard
* Theatrical Trailer
* Teaser Trailer
* TV Spots
* Poster & Still Gallery
* Booklet featuring new writing by Fangoria Editor Michael Gingold

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Buy: Amazon.com

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Plot:

An international criminal enlists Ruth Hopkins’ maid and chauffeur in a scheme to kidnap her asthmatic ten-year-old son Philip for ransom.

Meanwhile, Philip has just brought home a snake from a local importer, unaware that his new pet has been accidentally switched with a deadly Black Mamba destined for a toxicology lab. The lab reports the mix-up, and a police officer is dispatched to the Hopkins residence, only to be shot by the panicking chauffeur.

The London townhouse is surrounded by police, trapping the criminals, the child, and his grandfather inside with the Mamba, which is now loose in the ventilation system…

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Tobe Hooper was originally attached to direct but quit because of “creative differences”. At a party at Elaine’s Restaurant in Manhattan celebrating the film’s release, Klaus Kinski boasted how he and other members of the cast and crew had ganged up on Hooper a couple of weeks into the shoot to get him replaced. Director Piers Haggard says that none of the original footage Tobe Hooper shot is still in the film.

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Buy Venom on DVD from Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

“A solid nailbiter sold as a nature-on-the-rampage horror film, this crime film with some tense black mamba action sports one of the strangest all-star casts of its era. Though virtually buried upon release (during a year crammed with superior genre fare), this adaptation of a potboiler by Alan Scholefield still stands up fairly well as a solid, low-key genre mix with some enjoyable scenery chewing from the biggest, most psychotic hams in the business.” Mondo Digital

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Venom had the potential to become a classic trash movie but the end result doesn’t quite make it. It’s fun however and that cast makes it an absolute must for fans of overheated acting.” DVD Talk

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“Made in a time where extreme visual style and graphic gore was dominating the horror movement, Venom seems totally out of place. There is virtually no gore effects, and the story is directed with such a 1950’s sensibility that really makes it seem years more outdated than it really is. Rather than gore driven, it is plot driven, but with a crime story as drab as Venom’s, that just doesn’t cut it.” Horror Digital

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Wikipedia | IMDb

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Categories: 1980s, adaptation of a novel, British, snakes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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