Venom

Venom

Director: Piers Haggard

Cast: Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, Nicol Williamson

     
 

Blue Underground continues its exceptional coverage of underappreciated genre films with the black mamba thriller Venom. Image quality is presented in a soft grain, but sharply colored 1.85:1 widescreen picture, with a 16 x 9 enhancement for widescreen televisions. Audio tracks range from Dolby Digital Surround EX and 2.0 Surround to even a stellar 6.1 DTS ES…  See more details below

Overview

Blue Underground continues its exceptional coverage of underappreciated genre films with the black mamba thriller Venom. Image quality is presented in a soft grain, but sharply colored 1.85:1 widescreen picture, with a 16 x 9 enhancement for widescreen televisions. Audio tracks range from Dolby Digital Surround EX and 2.0 Surround to even a stellar 6.1 DTS ES track. Extras start with Blue Underground's David Gregory moderating an audio commentary with director Piers Haggard, which includes mention of everything from the original Tobe Hooper footage that was canned to the on-set feuds between the two controversial stars Oliver Reed and Klaus Kinski. Forever the British gentleman, Haggard doesn't spill the beans on each and every squabble, but does point out the time constraints and the improvements he would have like to have seen made at numerous points. The talk never gets dry, as there were more than enough setbacks during filming for the famed stage and television director to discuss. Also included is the theatrical trailer and four TV spots, each of which are classic in their own right. Finishing off the disc is a quite-packed poster and stills gallery, which not only includes some of the amazing one sheets (including the original Hooper pre-production ad), but also a collection of French lobby cards and the film's original publicity stills and press book. Add in two talent bios for Reed and Kinski and you have yet another stellar disc from William Lustig and the fine folk at Blue Underground.A big black mamba snake that has gotten loose in a townhouse slithers through a kidnapping plot in this film. Based on a novel by Alan Scholefield, Venom features a big name British cast that seems to be slumming in a B-movie project. Dr. Marion Stowe (Sarah Miles) is a toxicologist who has brought the snake to London to study the properties of its deadly venom. It escapes and terrorizes the inhabitants of the townhouse, where an attempted kidnapping is in progress. Dave (Oliver Reed), Jacmel (Klaus Kinski) and Louise (Susan George) are the villains trying to hold the son of a wealthy family for ransom. Original director Tobe Hooper was replaced by Piers Haggard. ~ Michael Betzold

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
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 its impressive performances despite its 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 bastard" line.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/29/2003
UPC:
0827058101790
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
R
Source:
Blue Underground
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
47,034

Special Features

Audio commentary with Director Piers Haggard; Theatrical trailer; TV Spots; Poster & Still gallery; Talent bios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Klaus Kinski Jacmel
Oliver Reed Dave
Nicol Williamson Comd. William Bulloch
Sarah Miles Dr. Marion Stowe
Sterling Hayden Howard Anderson
Lance Holcomb Philip Hopkins
Cornelia Sharpe Ruth Hopkins
Susan George Louise
Michael Gough David Ball
Maurice Colbourne Sampson
Cyril Conway Man in 17
Charles Cork Driver's Mate
Arnold Diamond Headwaiter
Nicholas Donnelly Police Superintendent
John Forbes-Robertson Sgt. Nash
Hugh Lloyd Taxi Driver
Peter Porteous Hodges
Eric Richard Airline Clerk
David Sterne Driver
Michael Watkins Rogers
Paul Williamson Detective Sgt. Glazer
Alan Ford Peters
Tony Meyer Martin
Moti Makan Murkerjee
Mike Gwilym Detective Constable Dan Spencer
Edward Hardwicke Lord Dunning
Rita Webb Mrs. Lowenthal

Technical Credits
Piers Haggard Director
Harry Benn Associate Producer
Michael Bradsell Editor
Martin Bregman Producer
Robert Carrington Screenwriter
Denys Coop Cinematographer
Tony Curtis Art Director
Richard Dean Special Effects
Dominic Fulford Asst. Director
Michael Kamen Score Composer
Simon Kaye Sound/Sound Designer
Basil Newall Makeup
Roy Scammell Stunts
Richard St. Johns Producer
Louis A. Stroller Producer
Gilbert Taylor Cinematographer
Alan Whibley Special Effects

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Program Start/Main Titles [3:23]
2. Staff Conspiracy [4:05]
3. Bedtime Story [4:40]
4. Rendezvous [3:34]
5. Philip's New Pet [4:34]
6. The Black Mamba [4:33]
7. "Cheeky Little Bastard" [3:45]
8. Cop Killer [4:34]
9. Hostage Situation [4:40]
10. Blockade [2:52]
11. Snake Hunt [4:25]
12. Snipers [3:41]
13. Negotiations [3:02]
14. Extraordinary Creature [:44]
15. Antivenom [4:55]
16. Secret Entrances [6:10]
17. Bloody Fingers [4:45]
18. Ruthie Returns Home [3:17]
19. Dead in the Cellar [3:30]
20. Unfortunate Mishap [5:13]
21. "The Money's Here" [2:56]
22. "It's All Over" [4:32]
23. End Credits [1:47]

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