|VENOM (director: Jim Gillespie; screenwriters: based on a story by Flint Dille, John Zuur Platten/Flint Dille, John Zuur Platten, Brandon Boyce; cinematographer: Steve Mason; editor: Paul Martin Smith; music: James L. Venable; cast: Rick Cramer (Ray), Agnes Bruckner (Eden), Jonathan Jackson (Eric), Bijou Phillips (Tammy), D.J. Cotrona (Sean), Deborah Duke (Miss Emmie), Meaghan Good (Cece), Method Man (Deputy Turner) Stacey Travis, (Laura), Laura Ramsey (Rachel), Pawel Szadja (Ricky), Davetta Sherwood (Patty), Marcus Brown (Terry), James Pickens Jr. (Sheriff); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Kevin Williamson/Scott Faye/ Karen Lauder; Dimension Films/Outerbanks Entertainment and Collision Entertainment; 2005)|
standard-issue popcorn horror pic."
by Dennis Schwartz
standard-issue popcorn horror pic about a backwater
small town in the Louisiana bayou threatened by a
cursed soul reanimated from the dead by a snake
ritual gone amiss. Jim Gillespie ("I
Know What You Did Last Summer"/"D-Tox") directs as if
snake bitten from the retro horror pics of the '80s.
It might be a blast for fans of low-rental slasher
flicks who masturbate over blood and gore films.
Others might be advised to stay clear of such garbage.
It's based on a story for a
video game by Flint Dille and John
Zuur Platten. It's also written by them to
appeal to the swamp crowd.
gas station owner and tow-truck driver Ray (Rick
Cramer) has the misfortune of trying to save the life
of an old Creole healer, Miss Emmie (Deborah Duke),
whose car is dangling from a bridge. She just
finished a healing ritual and is traveling with a
suitcase full of venomous serpents containing all the
demons she has exorcised from past evil souls. After
Ray's bitten and drowns, he vanishes at the morgue and
becomes resurrected as an undead killer.
Taunted by the locals, Ray, with a belly
full of snakes, now has the opportunity to get revenge
on the ignorant townies who taunted him and anyone
else in his path. That would include a bunch of blacks
who are polished off first, the slutty blonde Tammy (Bijou
Phillips) when caught robbing his
empty gas station and the illegitimate son he despises
Sean (D.J. Cotrona). There's also many other
minor characters he brutally dispatches with ease
before we even get to know much about them.
Trying to figure out a way to stop him are
the town smarties: the Voodoo knowing Creole's
grand-daughter Cece (Meaghan Good) and the smart high
school bound for Columbia University scholarship girl
Eden (Agnes Bruckner).
The supernatural effects have some scare value, and
the horror story is well-executed. You get what you
expect here, which is the right atmosphere for a
horror pic set in the swamps with a possessed
unstoppable demon crazed to kill. But you also get the
usual crap associated with slasher pics-a trite story,
wooden acting, idiotic screams and gratuitous bloody
REVIEWED ON 3/15/2017 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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