Director: Fred Olen Ray
Mary Page Keller/Christine
Hannes Jaenicke/Dr. Santos
Some rattle snakes carrying a military made deadly virus start biting all kinds of hick mooks in some small town who consequently wind up mucho dead. It's up to baffled doctor David (Williams) to get to the bottom of things. Treat…what are you doing...?
This is the kind of movie that you never get fully invested in while watching and that you forget the moment you shut off your TV. It’s not particularly bad; it’s just too painfully “by the numbers” to be memorable.
On the upside, the flick does showcase some somewhat tense rattlesnake attacks. If you have a snake phobia, this one might get to you. Since I actually own a snake (his name is Mickey), I just kept on saying: “Aren’t they cute!”, “Look at them kill!” and “That’s so sweet”. So for me, the fear factor was nixed. Acting-wise, Treat “I should fire my agent because I’m a great actor but I keep doing sub-par movies” Williams is likeable enough to keep us watching. I have to hand it to Mr. Williams, whatever crappy projects he appears in, his performances are always bang-on. Mary Page Keller (Christine) also ups the sympathy factor with her charm and good looks. Watching her and Treat flirt like high school kids was kinda cute. The flick moves at a fast pace and surprisingly never gets boring. It was actually three in the morning when I watched this puppy and not once, did I doze off. My mind did wander though, thinking about more original scenarios than the one emblazoned before my eyes, but I never knocked out. That’s worth something, I guess.
What killed this beeyatch for me is that it unravels in a wave of utter predictability with every plot turn either being overly obvious or damn ridiculous. That doesn’t make for an involving viewing. I have to mention this: what was up with that town dude whipping out a rocket launcher out of the trunk of his car? I nearly pissed myself laughing at how silly that scene was. Are all average Americans citizens armed to the teeth? Is there something I should know before I take another trip to the US of A? That was just too much for me to swallow (ironically, that’s what my last date said too). The flick’s humor, much like its plot twists, also falls on its lazy face. I highly doubt that a man walking around a multitude of deadly snakes, trying not to get bitten would be talking to them or cracking jokes. The scene in question is pathetically embarrassing. I know that producers always feel better when there’s comic relief in a flick that deals with a severe situation, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the right creative choice. Actually, it's dead wrong, in my opinion…it's called "selling out".
Tag to that some very low-grade visual effects, and some dumbarse action sequences (I didn’t know that shooting a helicopter’s dashboard would blow it up?) and you get a movie that you can easily pass on. "Venomous" is deadly all right, it makes your brain go numb because you’ve seen it all before, but way better executed. Who finances this recycled shit? Bite my ass!
Some snake bites and some very sick looking one-dimensional town folks. Nothing to unzip your pants over.
Treat Williams (David) does what he has to do and does it well. But dude...if you’re reading this…YOU DESERVE BETTER! Will Hollywood wake up and give this guy something with meat already (and no, I don’t mean a gay sailor)! Mary Page Keller (Christine) has great chemistry with Treat and has strong acting chops. Hannes Jaenicke (Dr. Santos) is a very intense actor; I’d love to see him in something better. The lead actors here are all talented. GET NEW AGENTS! NOTE: B-Movie regular Andrew Stevens shows up to remind us that he forgot how to act. His delivery is laughably bad.
T & A
Do Treat Williams’ ample eyebrows count?
Fred Olen Ray directs this one with zero pizzazz. It’s very apparent that this project is just another paycheck for the dude. Talk about standard! It’s basically point and shoot all the way; very TV movie-like.
The score is competently put together but there’s nothing standout about it. It’s generic.
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
IMAGE: The movie is presented in Widescreen Letterbox (1.85:1). The image is very sharp and is devoid of grain. Nice job in that department.
SOUND: We can listen to the flick in English 5.1 Surround or English Dolby Surround. The dialogue and the score resonate clearly and are set at the right levels. We also get a French Dolby Surround option and the usual subtitle options.
EXTRAS: Audio Commentary with Ed Raymond aka Fred Olen Ray: The director talks about how it was working with the “pissed off” snakes, talks about specific scenes, locations, the score and gives us background info on the production. The commentary doesn’t have much dead time and is generally, fairly interesting.
We also get the requisite Director and Cast Filmographies, Trailer and a Photo Gallery.
I was going to give this flick a 2 on 4. It never bored me and kept me watching. But looking back, "Venomous" is just too predictable and cheap. Snakes attack good people, good people get sick, good people die. The military is corrupt and eventually get their just desserts in a way that you will probably guess by frame two. It’s too freaking obvious for me to recommend!!! If you’re a Treat Williams fan and want to see him battle some creatures, just rent "Deep Rising". If you’re in the mood for some serious Treat stuff, check out "Skeletons In The Closet". If it's virus movies that gets your nipples hard, just rent "Outbreak" (which this movie rips off constantly). You’ve seen Outbreak? Rent it again, anything tops this mechanical reptile on autopilot.
Treat Williams was born December 1st, 1951 in Rowayton, Connecticut, USA.