Venom ★★★★½

My mother is more afraid of snakes than of anything else on the planet. I think I get why now.

While this definitely gives off an archetypal 80s creature feature vibe from the promotional materials, don't let them fool you. This isn't so much schlock horror as it is a tense and unpretentious hostage thriller, one freed from the excessive misogyny and sleaze of its time and boosted by high production values (cinematography legend Gilbert Taylor adds some angular, Raimi-esque flair to the visuals) and a magnificent Michael Kamen score. The real centerpiece of this movie, however, is the delightfully vicious pairing of Oliver Reed and Klaus Kinski, a cinematic battle of the colossuses if ever there was one. Watching both actors try to out-act/one-up/barely restrain themselves from murdering each other is more than worth the cost of a copy of this. Easily one of the best killer animal movies ever made.

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