Venom (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Venom (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Cult Movies
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 29, 2003
Blue Underground - Official Site


Nicol Williamson
as Comd. William Bulloc...
Sarah Miles
as Dr. Marion Stowe
Sterling Hayden
as Howard Anderson
Lance Holcomb
as Philip Hopkins
Cornelia Sharpe
as Ruth Hopkins
Michael Gough
as David Ball
Cyril Conway
as Man in 17
Charles Cork
as Driver's Mate
Arnold Diamond
as Headwaiter
Nicholas Donnelly
as Police Superintenden...
Hugh Lloyd
as Taxi Driver
Eric Richard
as Airline Clerk
Paul Williamson
as Detective Sgt. Glaze...
Alan Ford
as Peters
Tony Meyer
as Martin
Moti Makan
as Murkerjee
Mike Gwilym
as Detective Constable ...
Edward Hardwicke
as Lord Dunning
Rita Webb
as Mrs. Lowenthal
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Venom

Critic Reviews for Venom

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

September 16, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Kinski is his typical insane self, but this killer snake thriller lacks bite.

April 3, 2005

Pretty darn funny, but I don't think that was the idea.

August 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Venom

Interesting idea for a horror thriller, Venom is a fine little gem, one that could have been better, but still manages to be worth seeing. The concept is pretty simple, yet it works. The film has its limitations, but what makes this one stand out is the role of Klaus Kinski. He made the film quite enjoyable, and this is a different type of nature gone wild film because it's set in the city instead of the middle of nowhere or in nature where these films are usually set. Although nothing remarkable, this film is a must for fans of the genre. I thought that this was a well executed film considering the fact that real Black Mambas were used in the filming of this picture. The acting is good, never great, and the plot is very good. Although I felt that the film could have used a rewrite or two, Venom definitely is a good time, and is a film filled with chills, suspense and terror. Although not a great horror film, this is nonetheless a pleasant entry in the genre. The film manages to be entertaining despite its slight script limitations, and you wonder how good this film could have been. As a whole, Venom is fun, chilling, and for those who hate snakes will certainly terrifying. Although nothing too original is ever really displayed on-screen, the story of kidnappers being held hostage by a Black Mambas and surrounded by cops is interesting for the most part, and is what keeps you interested. Add to that a solid performance by its lead actor and you have good flick.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

It feels kind of like Panic Room, except instead of Dwight Yoakam it has a Black Mamba. With a cast like Kinski, Reed and Hayden I can only the onset shenanigans were insane.
Also notable for a couple reasons.
*Kinski decided to do this instead of Raiders (he said Spielberg's script was "moronically shitty")
*it's amazing DP Gilbert Taylor (Star Wars, Hard Days Night and Dr. Strangelove)
*It inspried QT to put a mamba in Kill Bill vol. 2
*It's Sterling Hayden's last film appearance

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

I saw this as young kid on a Friday night and it scared the living daylights out of me for years. Okay it will be as cheezy as hell now but the way the film is directed at the time was legendary. It was creepy, it was full of suspense and the way Reed gets it at the end will give you the willies even today....great film.

Barry Lappin

Super Reviewer

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