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At the beginning of Riddick the eponymous protagonist grabs one of the smaller mud-crawling beasts in order to collect some of its venom. He then constructs his own home-made injector and injects it into the dog he holds caged, only to see it fall asleep and awaken later on. After that he repeatedly injects the venom into himself. But why does he do this?

First I thought he might want to immunize himself against the venom, yet in this case I wonder why this idea wasn't picked up in the further course of the movie, given the heavy attention this whole venom draining and injecting process received at the beginning.

Furthermore, near the end of the movie Vargas gets bitten by one of the smaller beasts and immediately dies from the venom, only to have Riddick say "the smallest are the worst, they're full of venom". So what should I make out of all those elaborations at the beginning?

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Riddick does get bitten in the leg at one point, the creature doesn't let go, so he hacks of it's head. Afterwards, when he removes the head from his leg a close-up shows the creature's teeth penetrated his flesh. –  Oliver_C Oct 2 '13 at 10:06
    
he also used the poison, venom or whatever as an nonlethal weapon when taking possession of the nuclear cells for ships. Remember the black man sitting in chair disoriented after face to face encounter with Riddick?? –  mas2ery Dec 23 '13 at 21:58
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I think you are correct that Riddick was injecting himself with small doses to build up a tolerance to the venom. The creatures in the bog at the base of the cliffs were blocking his way through the pass to the less desolate region on the other side. He knew he was going to have to fight his way through, and was likely to be bitten in the process.

He used the dog as a test subject to make sure the doses were small enough not to kill him.

TV Tropes agrees:

Acquired Poison Immunity: Riddick has to get through a narrow pass to get out of the desert into the fertile grasslands beyond. The pass houses a muddy pool with a poisonous scorpion creature that paralyzes its prey. He captures a younger, smaller creature, and extracts the poison. He tests it on a young desert dog first, then injects himself with small doses until he's built up an immunity.

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Yes, he was trying to build up an immunity. Hit the nail right on the head there. Another reason he was using it on the dog was to see if it was lethal or not. The dog "fell asleep" as you all say, but I think Riddick was really testing whether or not it would wake up. So he would know if the poison was lethal.

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This adds absolutely nothing of value to either this question, or the already accepted answer –  MattD Mar 24 at 3:33
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