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Venom

Year: 1982
Director: Piers Haggard
Cast: Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, Sarah Miles
Typical 80's Eurotrash thriller with an almost unrelated hook thrown in.

A rich English family home is taken hostage by terrorists including two insiders, the maid and chauffeur. The asthmatic kid, an amateur herpetologist, brings home his new pet snake, which was mixed up at the pet shop and turns out to be a hihgly venomous and enraged African black mamba. It promptly kills the crooked maid (in a surprisingly good sequence as she visibly deteriorates and dies in nervous spasms from the venom) and gets loose.

Meanwhile, thanks to the hair trigger chauffeur (Reed), a copper has been shot and they're all holed up inside - with the snake making its way through the heating ducts.

The standoff goes into the night, the kid needs his medicine, the snake expert is called in, and the slithering nightmare is making its way here and there. In reality, of course, it would find a quiet corner and stay there from sheer terror. But this is a thriller, so the poor creature has had a new character trait written in; it's constantly pissed off and will not only chase whomever it sees but launch itself repeatedly at them.

Very dodgy from an animal rights point of view when you realise what they must have had to do to provoke it into striking and attacking for the camera.

Despite the promise of the reptilian terror, the snake doesn't enjoy more than about five minute's screen time, and it's cimactic appearance is laughable; the villains' leader Klaus Kinski, after the snake has latched onto him like a jellyfish, writhing around theatrically on the balcony as the police shoot him (and the poor animal) to death.

Silly, and mostly not even good silly.

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