Monday, June 3, 2013

Review 167: "Venom (2005)"

Includes wacky blood-filled slapstick!

Sucks the Venom

      Well, this might not be as fun as I thought it would be. Ehh, I should explain the order I'm going in and why it's been such a pain in the ass to get it. Okay, so the back of the DVD case lists the movies, with Venom being third. Then, the main case splits into 2 smaller cases. And each case has their own different list, with Venom being 6th. Then, the DVD itself has a sperate list on it, listing Venom as fifth. But then, the actually DVD menu has it's own list. That one is the one I'm following and that one has Venom first, so there you go. Just had to get that off my chest. What's that? Why aren't I talking about the movie? Uhh, well get to that. The film is directed by Jim Gillespie (I Know What You Did Lat Summer) and written by Flint Dille (An American Tail: Fievel Goes West), John Zuur Platten (Video Games!) and Brandon Boyce (Apt Pupil). The film follows Eden (Agnes Brucker, The Bold and the Beautiful) and her ex Eric (Jonathan Jackson, Nashville) as the two discover that a recently deceased tow truck driver named Sawyer (Rick Cramer, Live Free or Die Hard) has been turn into an undead, possessed snakeman (I'll get to that) and is killing people left and right. The two team up with witch-in-practice Cece (Meagan Good, Deception), cannon fodder Rachel (Laura Ramsey, The Ruins) and son of the monster Sean (D.J. Cotrona, Dear John) in order to stop the monster's rampage. Yeah, it goes about as well as you'd expect.

Yeah, Riiiiight...

      To say that the set up for Venom is a little overly convoluted is a bit of an understatement. The monster is created at the tow truck driver accidentally tries to get a suitcase full of snakes out of a car that's about to fall off a bridge. Yeah. See, the snakes contain the evil of bad men that now have taken over the tow truck driver and are using him to satisfy their killing needs. What? It makes sense is you put you fingers in your ears and close your eyes while watching the movie. Perfect sense. The problem isn't just with the laughably complex plot. The characters are some of the least developed character I have ever seen. During the entire time I was watching this movie, it never really dawned on me that I was... watching a movie. The characters only serve to be cannon fodder and most never even had their names spoken out loud. Sean being the monster's son is never really resolved in the film, just used as one of the film's many plot devices in order to sustain a theatrical runtime. Like how the heroes house has a magic spell that keeps the monster from entering or a strange extended cameo from Method Man. Plus, the film sets up a supernatural angle about voodoo and evil spirits and even "dark lords", but how do they ultimately kill the monster? By ramming a truck into him. Oooooh, spooky.

Home Improvement

      But, it's not all that bad. Sure it's dumb and underdeveloped, but it's watchable. The film biggest offense is really just being lame. This is a perfect example of a film that aims low and hits the target. It's kinda feels like a group of teenagers stayed up late and watched some Nightmare on Elm Street, Anaconda and Friday the 13th and tried to makes a movie that combined those three things. It's almost kinda cute. The throw in some voodoo and a car chase and a fight in a graveyard. Granted without much reason, but they do it. The film ends with almost a "Did we do good?' feeling and I just kinda want to give the filmmakers a reassuring pat on the head. That doesn't make me sound condescending does it? Nah. Some stuff even worse. The acting's not half bad and the makeup on the snakeman is actually pretty good. And the film does have it's fair share of funny moments. Like in one scene, where the monster tries to get into the house by attaching a chain to the house from his tow truck and actually ripping an entire corner of the house off. Seriously. That's kinda awesome. Or how about one of the funniest scenes ever in a film? One where Bijou Phillips (More, surprisingly high-caliber cannon fodder) accidentally slips on a giant puddle of blood on the ground and and then takes a sand blasting to the face. No, not like that, you freaks. 

All the characters should just wear name tags.
The Verdict

      As it stands, Venom probably wasn't one of the best films to start this out on. It's one of only 3 films I actually recognized on the case and I actually remember when this film was in theaters. I mean, sure it made less than a million dollars in gross, but hey, it was in theaters. And honestly, it's not bad. Just lame. The entire film passes by with only a few, albeit great highlights. It's shamelessly rips of other better movies so often that it eventually becomes kinda funny and endearing. If you need a mindless horror film to watch, you could certainly do worse then Venom. So, yeah, that's about it. This whole 20 horror films thing is only going to get worse, isn't it? Venom (2005) gets 3 stars out of 6. 

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