Chances are if you weren’t paying close attention to the horror genre in 2005, Jim Gillespie’s Venom might have slipped right under your radar. With stuff like Wolf Creek, Hostel, The Devils Rejects, and a slew of remakes making their way to theaters, it was tough to pick and choose. I happened to buy Venom when it made it’s way to DVD and remember it being a little less than stellar.
Recently, revisiting it made me remember all the flaws and the few good things about it. It’s obvious that this movie really had it in mind to create a franchise villain, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Even the greats fail from time to time. Wes Craven’s Horrace Pinker of Shocker was also meant to be a franchise villain (I love Shocker, personally) but he just didn’t have the sequel potential.
Ray Sawyer and his voodoo hoodoo just wasn’t enough. Some of the kills are mildly entertaining, though splattered with some CGI or even the good ol’ fashioned off-screen death. The dialog is rather elementary, feeling like they sprinkled in swear words just to make the R rating worth it.
Despite the acting talent in this film, it just comes off pretty lame. Bijou Phillips, Jonathan Jackson, and Laura Ramsey are not used to their full potential at all, making Venom a walking cliche with a moderately intimidating villain. This is a Saturday night movie for a house full of buddies to laugh at, which let’s face it, we all need and love to have a bad movie to share with friends.
Get your MST3K on and pick this one apart. This film gets the Rottin’ Roger Demarco seal of approval with 1 CGI snake out of 5.
If you want to check it out for yourself, be sure to purchase the film from the official Echo Bridge Entertainment website.