I’ve always said that in genre films the originality isn’t in the concept but the execution of it.
1981’s Venom scores pretty high on the originality scale.
It’s a hostage thriller, where a small group of criminals has taken the son of a wealthy woman hostage and the police have the family’s house surrounded.
Not that original right ?
Unfortunately for everyone involved a recently escaped Black Mamba has taken residence there as well!
You’d think that having a Black Mamba on your movie set would be the most stressful thing about it right?
Nope! Not when you’re working with Klaus Kinski ( who turned down Raiders of the Lost Ark to do this film ) and Oliver Reed.
Director Piers Haggard ( who replaced Tobe Hooper, some say because nervous breakdown ) had to deal with these two terrific actors and their giant egos.
I’ve always thought that the director saw himself in the character of the police detective whose dealing with the hostage situation. Played by the great Nicol Williamson.
Despite the onset turmoil Haggard delivered a well made ,Tightly edited , hard boiled thriller, that deserves to be rediscovered .
You can rent or buy VENOM online, but in my humble option the directors commentary is well worth the price of the DVD or Blu-ray .