It is very easy to guess how this film was conceived. Some bloke was sitting and watching Snakes on a Plane and he thought to himself, “I know, why not on a submarine?” When pitching it to the money people they demanded a star, to which this bloke cried, “Luke Perry!” The rest, as they say, is history.
The plot is utterly preposterous as one might expect from a low budget B-horror film. Perry is Lt. Comdr. James O’Neill, and he has two choices: Face a court martial for disobeying orders or deliver a decommissioned submarine to Taiwan. While traveling with a skeleton crew filled with rookies they get a real assignment. A scientist and her assistant on an island just of off China have been studying the effects of radioactivity on snakes. See the Chinese did nuclear tests there in the ’60s. Somehow this radiation made one of the snakes grow big, like Jurassic Park big. It escaped, but they still have its two babies which are also growing at an alarming rate. There are several minutes of very boring exposition that explain all this. It turns out the Chinese navy is going to be launching some naval maneuvers near the island and O’Neill and his men need to get in and get them out safe.
All would be well and good accept the assistant gets dollar signs in his eyes and smuggles all the highly venomous snakes aboard the sub, including the two that have grown unnaturally large. Driven by curiosity one of the men on the sub opens the container unleashing the snakes, which are instantly everywhere in the sub killing men left and right. As if that werent enough the Chinese navy is launching torpedoes and dropping depth charges on them causing more trouble and panic. Its up to O’Neill and his men to get them out of their alive and unbitten.
The film is bad on every level and the plots holes have holes in them. As stated earlier the sub has a skeleton crew, but when being shown to his quarters, the assistant is told that he is being given the last bed. In one scene the scientist is left with the snakes. When Perry returns she is now sitting cross-legged on the ground covered in snakes. There is no explanation as to why and it makes on sense whatsoever. In the opening scene we see the mother snake which is so big that it can eat a man in one bite. Its a hilarious moment and gets you excited to see more of the giant snake, sadly I think the budget could not afford to show it anymore and it does not appear throughout the rest of the film.
The oversized CGI snakes are easily the best and only remotely good aspect of the film and will make you roar with laughter. The acting is bad and you feel sorry for Luke Perry as he trudges through this film. You can see him dreaming of the good old days back on 90210. The greatest moment comes at the end when O’Neill and the last giant snake go one on one. Its laugh out loud hilarious and almost makes the whole film worth sitting through.
If you like cheesy low budget horror films and youre really, really bored, this one might be worth a rental, but I cannot in good conscious recommend this film to anyone.
The film is presented in widescreen and Dolby Digital surround sound. It was shot on video and it looks it. Very flat dull looking film. The sound is fine I guess.
There is some amusement to be found in this movie, but I imagine there are very few people who will actually find it. The bad CGI snakes are humorous, but probably not enough to warrant sitting through all 86 minutes of it. There is a very good reason this was straight to DVD.
20th Century Fox presents Silent Venom. Directed by: Fred Olen Ray. Starring: Luke Perry, Tom Berenger and Krista Allen. Written by: Mark Sanderson. Running time: 86. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: June 2, 2009. Available at Amazon.com