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Just when you thought Snakes and Ladders was just a board game...

We've been attacked by Killer Tomatoes, lost sleep over Night of the Living Dead, and stayed out of the ocean with Jaws, but wait until you see the genetically enhanced, mutated creatures of Venomous!

Movie
In 1990, the US Defense Force at a research and development facility in the Mojave Desert houses genetically enhanced slithering, slimy, creatures that enjoy crawling in the night. Entrance procedures become relaxed which allows for a breach in security. Terrorists use enough C4 to blow up the research lab thinking it would successfully destroy any remains of our rattling friends.

Venomous

The snakes slither on an adventure and find their way to the local, remote town of Santa Mira where they are only more than happy to experience some of the local cuisine, and I don't mean regular food. When one of the locals dies from what looks like a simple snakebite, the doctors continue to investigate. Unfortunately, not long passes before a series of people become infected. Could there be an epidemic starting?

Who else would you want to have as your doctor? Treat Williams as Dr. David Henning, of course. While it is not a brilliant performance from Treat Williams, he still has the “follow me, I can save the world” presence about him on screen. On loan as a civilian to the US Military is Mary Page Keller who plays Dr. Christine Henning. It appears she is more set on saving the world than her marriage. It is only when Santa Mira, Dr. Henning's home town, is quarantined from communicating with the outside world that she senses something might not be right in Santa Mira.

Like while viewing Jaws, we always knew what might be lurking around when the music started, for Venomous, it is earthquake tremors. Seems Santa Mira's new inhabitants get woken from their sleep and come crawling out of the woodwork...ok, their holes. My, what big teeth they have! They also give new meaning to shake, rattle and roll.

If the viewer takes in the movie the way it was meant to be viewed, as a light-hearted attack of the killer snakes, then they'll enjoy what continues to unfold. Sometimes, the dialogue seemed bleedingly obvious with comments like, "We'll have to get out of here". However, if you pursue, you might find yourself feeling like you are one of the locals and that Dr. Henning, and Dr. Henning are trying to save the day with an antidote.

For those of you who enjoy catching bloopers of sorts, there will be a couple of rather obvious scenes.

Conspiracy, deception and cover-ups are all part of the viewing. Could two people actually have that much power and make decisions that could have possibly wipe out an entire town? I guess you will just have to watch and see.

Venomous

Video

Presented in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 16x9 enhanced, overall the video transfer is good. The outdoor scenes of the desert and the clarity of the colours is also good. I especially enjoyed watching our slithering friends come out of their foxholes for the days excitement. I did find myself jumping once or twice not knowing what was coming at me or how quickly. I did find the shots of a Stealth to be quite grainy and almost appeared as if it was an inanimate plastic object that was filmed as a science project. Perhaps it was the speed at which it travelled which caused the scenes to be grainy?

Overall this is a pretty average transfer, on par with the kind of low budget production the movie turned out to be. It is surprisingly detailed but some instances of grain and aliasing and some off-kilter black levels bring the transfer down a little.

Audio
Venomous includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack which contains some interesting sounds that were enhanced if one closed their eyes. How many frogs could you hear in the night? Or the birds which seemed as if you were right there in the scene. The music complemented what was yet to come in the various scenes While there were some quite spectacular scenes in the DVD, I was disappointed to see, not hear the explosions of the building blowing up, or when a bazooka was retrieved from someone's boot and used. Now that would have made the scene feel a lot more realistic. Having said this, sometimes more is not necessarily more and would it really have added to this DVD? I think so. Some nice surround moments but again this soundtrack is pretty average.

Venomous

Extras
I particularly enjoyed the Theatrical Trailer which was in 1.33:1 full frame with Dolby Digital 2.0. I specifically waited until the end of the movie to watch it thinking if I was not pre-introduced to our slithering, slimy, friends, I might have a better chance at making it to the movie. Actually, while some scenes specifically stayed in my mind after the movie, even for the faint of heart or those who are not big fans of snakes should enjoy the movie. If the viewer had nothing else but the Theatrical trailer to go on, you might more than consider seeing this, especially if you are treat Williams fan. Sadly, that’s all from the extras section.

Overall

A special mention goes to Mark Rogerson who was Mr. Williams stand-in. You will need to see the DVD to know why I have specifically mentioned him. No animal was harmed in the making of this film. A lot of excuse me, pardon me must have went on with the mass abundance of real snakes that were used in the making of Venomous. Overall, I would say not a bad DVD, but definitely nothing out of the ordinary in any department. Does Satan's bug really exist? Is there a super snake that could poison the world? More importantly, could this happen in real life? Makes one wonder.


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