Wednesday, April 26, 2006

VENOM

The Dimension Films release VENOM (2005 – no relation to the 1982 Oliver Reed flick) is a somewhat better-than-average supernatural slasher flick with some effective direction by Jim Gillespie.

In a small Lousiana bayou town, an aged voodoo priestess accidentally unleashes some CGI snakes – I mean evil souls – from an old suitcase and they take up residence in the local tow truck driver. Said driver then proceeds to murder as many of the town's more attractive teenagers as possible in the film's 85-minute running time.

Professionally produced and very nicely shot, VENOM's another slick stalk 'n slash from producer Kevin Williamson (SCREAM, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER). And like his earlier films, it has a good-looking teenage cast, a decent script, and strong production values. Problem is, there's nothing particularly new here except for the admittedly spooky swamp setting. The killer is nothing but another Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers, this time with a tow truck and a machete; physically imposing, but with no personality or character of his own. Which is too bad.

That said, it's definitely a decent time-killer – well made and fairly entertaining.

Dimension's disc presents the film in a crystal clear 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and ringing 5.1 Dolby Surround sound. Being a new movie, the transfer is flawless. The studio's seen fit to include a few bonus features, including a short "Making Of" featurette, videotapes of cast auditions and a Storyboard-to-Film comparison.

For fans of slasher films, VENOM is worth a rental.

BUY: Venom