The Legend of Spider Forest (1971)

(a.k.a. VENOM)
Article #493 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 7-21-2002
Posting date: 12-14-2002

An artist becomes obsessed with a strange woman whose lovers turn up dead.

By all indications, the story of this movie is fairly straighforward, yet I had the worst time following the plot. The problem was that it was directed in a jagged, busy style that makes it hard to figure out what’s going on at any one point. In fact, it relies so much on extreme close-ups that it starts to get really annoying after a bit; you see so many shots of the artist’s face and the big red scar that runs down his cheek in the second half of the movie that you think the make-up person was on the set complaining how long it took him to do that scar and insisting that it appear in close up once every three minutes. Important plot points get lost in the muddle, you lose sense of place and time, the fight scenes are impenetrable, and you just get tired of trying to keep track of things. The movie wears out its welcome long before its over.

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