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Horror - Silent Venom

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Silent Venom
Luke Perry, Tom Berenger, Krista Allen
Directed by Fred Olen Ray
Fox Home Entertainment 2008
86 minutes

How can I describe the Silent Venom DVD… It’s a submarine movie (a little like Red October, minus the technical accuracy), it’s got snakes (like Snakes on a Plane minus the budget) but you have to wonder how decent actors like Luke Perry and Tom Berenger were convinced to be a part of this “sub”-par horror/suspense DVD

In Silent Venom two US Army scientists are on an island in the East China Sea studying how the nuclear radiation from past Chinese nuclear tests in the area is affecting the local snake population. They are supposedly trying to develop a vaccine that could help soldiers survive nerve/sarin gas attacks. What? OK, snake venom affects the nervous system, but how abnormally large radioactive snakes could help science develop a vaccine already throws the plausible part of this story right out the porthole for me.

So the great looking female researcher and her dumb greedy assistant are judged to be at risk from the Chinese Navy’s recent activity in the area. Therefore the US Navy sends the only possible rescue vessel that is close to the area; an old clunker of a diesel sub that the Americans are delivering to Taiwan.

The dumb greedy assistant has the bright idea to bring more snakes than requested, thinking he could sell some of those to private interests in the US. Since their cargo is apparently Top Secret research, they don’t deem it proper to inform the captain and crew of their cargo’s contents. A sailor gets curious, opens up the can of worms… and there you have it, snakes on a sub.

What ensues is a frantic struggle for survival, which is sometimes good for some suspense during the scenes with real snakes, but it just gets ridiculous when the giant 3D animated snakes escape and try to attack the passengers and crew of the submarine.

Even if this horror DVD had been given more budget for this made for TV movie, it wouldn’t have mattered. It might be believable and scary for an immature not very bright 13 year-old, but anyone else should leave this atrocity alone.

Vincent Lemire

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