Five Venoms films

by Mighty_Emperor | created - 30 Oct 2011 | updated - 12 Nov 2011 | Public

Kung-fu films that feature a decent percentage of the Five Venoms (to be a contender it needs 3 or more of the 6, yes I know, confusing but Wei Pai/Snake was one of the 5 Venoms in the film but doesn't usually appear in the Venoms' films. I will note a few examples with only 2 of the core Venoms). All but one are directed by Chang Cheh and they are all from the Shaw Brothers. Anything else is a cheap cash-in and, to be honest, some of the ones on the list might also be but you'll have to judge that for yourself.

List order: We include a few proto-Venom films in which the team started to coalesce before the Five Deadly Venoms films and then, following that films success, the appearance of members of the group in other films often using a similar formula (with the same actors playing similar roles). As the films came thick and fast I've also noted the release dates (at least according to IMDB, some sources vary) - HK ones unless otherwise noted.

Further reading: Venom Filmography.

Key:

Centipede - Lu Feng Snake - Wei Pai Scorpion - Sun Chien Lizard - Kuo Chui/Philip Kwok Toad - Lo Meng Last Student - Chiang Sheng

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1. Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

R | 97 min | Action

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The final student of a dying martial arts master is instructed to locate the previous five students and defeat any evil ones among them.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Chiang, Chien Sun, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo

Votes: 4,729

Just sticking this at the top to get the picture as the list's thumbnail.

The list starts with the next entry:

2. The Four Assassins (1975)

R | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Four friends learn kung fu to avenge the death of their friend against the manchus.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Kuan-Chun Chi, Szu Shih, Richard Harrison

Votes: 231

aka Marco Polo

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6)

The first of the proto-Venom films, with the first three Venoms coming together but often in very minor (and sometimes uncredited) roles.

Release: 25 December 1975

3. Fang Shi Yu yu Hu Hui Qian (1976)

97 min | Action, Drama

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The famous story of the Shaolin Temple's betrayal by the White-Browed Hermit, and the subsequent revenge by Shaolin firebrand Fang Shih-yu, is the stuff of legend. It has been filmed many ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Kuan-Chun Chi, Yen Tsan Tang, Chi Chin Ma

Votes: 149

aka Shaolin Avengers

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6).

Release: 18 June 1976

4. Cai li fa xiao zi (1976)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

International favorite Alexander Fu Sheng cemented his stardom in this, the fourth film in his esteemed director's "Shaolin" series. Fu gives both a great dramatic and kung-fu performance ... See full summary »

Directors: Cheh Chang, Wu Ma | Stars: Sheng Fu, Jenny Tseng, Hsia Hui Wu, Lung Wei Wang

Votes: 118

aka New Shaolin Boxers

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6).

Release: 3 September 1976

5. Shao Lin si (1976)

126 min | Action

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist defeat by the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to wait outside the temple, hoping ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Kuan-Chun Chi, Lung Ti, David Chiang

Votes: 809

aka Shaolin Temple

Centipede, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (4/6) - Toad joins the team.

Release: 22 December 1976

6. Hai jun tu ji dui (1977)

112 min | Action, Drama, War

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of a seemingly suicidal mission to destroy the Japanese Navy's flagship in 1937.

Directors: Cheh Chang, Wei-Bin Liu, Hsueh Li Pao, Wu Ma | Stars: Tony Liu, Kuan-Chun Chi, Lung Ti, Sheng Fu

Votes: 48

Centipede, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (4/6).

Release: 7 April 1977

7. Jiang hu han zi (1977)

94 min | Action, Comedy

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, David Chiang, Kuan-Chun Chi, Yi-Min Li

Votes: 86

aka Magnificent Wanderers

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6).

Release: 27 May 1977

8. The Brave Archer (1977)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young man must complete a series of martial art tests and overcome assassins along the way.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Tien Niu, Danny Lee, Yi-Min Li

Votes: 273

aka Brave Archer

Centipede, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (4/6).

Release: 30 July 1977

9. Tang ren jie xiao zi (1977)

R | 115 min | Action, Drama

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After getting in trouble with local gangs, a young man (Fu Sheng) flees to San Francisco, where the same gangs are still causing problems. He becomes a part of one gang, and eventually ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Shirley Yu, Susan Yam-Yam Shaw, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok

Votes: 191

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (5/6) - enter the Scorpion.

Release: 2 December 1977

10. Life Gamble (1978)

96 min | Action, Drama

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

LIFE GAMBLE is the tale of a simple blacksmith (Kuo Chue) with extraordinary martial arts skills who is entangled in a life and death struggle between swordsmen, thieves, con artists, a ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo, Chen Chi Lin

Votes: 137

aka Life Gamble

Centipede, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (4/6).

Release: 26 April 1978 (Taiwan) / 22 February 1979 (Hong Kong)

11. She diao ying xiong chuan xu ji (1978)

110 min | Action, Drama

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Kuo Tsing wins the hand of fair maiden Huang Yung. Almost immediately, however, clan rivalries leads to Kuo being wounded by Ouyang Feng and Huang being named new leader of the Beggar Clan.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Niu Niu, Feng Ku, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok

Votes: 108

Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (6/6) - the full team.

Release: 13 May 1978

12. Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

R | 97 min | Action

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The final student of a dying martial arts master is instructed to locate the previous five students and defeat any evil ones among them.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Chiang, Chien Sun, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo

Votes: 4,729

Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (6/6), obviously.

Release: 12 August 1978

13. Nan Shao Lin yu bei Shao Lin (1978)

R | 98 min | Action, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three North Shaolin teachers (Lu Feng, Chang Sheng, and Sun Chien) are called on by the Manchus to teach their soldiers and are urged to challenge the current South Shaolin teachers. They ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Feng Lu, Sheng Chiang, Chien Sun, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok

Votes: 774

Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (6/6).

Release: 19 November 1978

14. Can que (1978)

R | 107 min | Action, Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three men, crippled by an evil warlord, become friends and learn kung fu with the help of an old teacher and his idiot pupil.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Kuan-Tai Chan, Feng Lu, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo

Votes: 1,751

aka Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (5/6).

Release: 21 December 1978

15. Avenging Warriors of Shaolin (1979)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Comedy

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two friends who long to be heroes join the fight against a Ching warlord and his students. They get help from a Kung Fu student and a rebel. They also save Hung Si Quan's life.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Jason Pai Piao, Feng Lu, Meng Lo, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok

Votes: 185

aka Shaolin Rescuers

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (5/6).

Release: 24 March 1979

16. Za ji wang ming dui (1979)

100 min | Action, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The heroes pose as gun dealers and acrobats in order to get close to the bad guys so they can avenge the death of one of their brothers. In the end they lock the bad guys in a warehouse for a final battle to the death.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Feng Lu, Sheng Chiang, Chien Sun

Votes: 154

aka Shaolin Daredevils

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (5/6).

Release: 29 June 1979

17. The Magnificent Ruffians (1979)

82 min | Action, Drama

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Yuan Ying Fei is the descendant of the one known as Golden Sword and himself is a master of the technique as well as being boss of the town. He is so a cruel man and has killed his sparring... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Feng Lu, Meng Lo, Chien Sun, Li Wang

Votes: 212

aka Magnificent Ruffians

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (5/6).

Release: 20 September 1979

18. The Kid with the Golden Arm (1979)

R | 75 min | Action, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Director Chang Cheh reunites the Five Venoms in his second biggest cult hit in the West. It's Lo Meng's most memorable performances whose showdown with fellow Venom Kuo Chue is artistically violent while being graphically artsy.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Chien Sun, Meng Lo, Feng Lu, Sheng Chiang

Votes: 972

aka Kid With the Golden Arm

Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (6/6).

Release: 2 November 1979

19. Shaolin Hellgate (1980)

88 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Jenny Tseng, David Chiang, Lin Lin Li

Votes: 104

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (5/6).

Release: 19 January 1980

20. Two Champions of Death (1980)

R | 101 min | Action, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The Wu Tang chief sends out his men, each of whom is given a symbol so they can recognize each other. The largest is given to Lee, whom the others are to obey.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Meng Lo, Sheng Chiang, Li Wang, Feng Lu

Votes: 329

Centipede, Scorpion, Toad and Last Student (4/6) - the only one of the Venom films without Lizard.

Release: no date (elsewhere: 12 April 1980)

21. The Flag of Iron (1980)

R | 113 min | Action, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When director Chang Chen found new talent and blood with "The Five Venoms" actors, most of which were trained in the highly acrobatic Chinese opera and well versed with exotic martial arts ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Sheng Chiang, Li Wang, Feng Lu

Votes: 273

aka Flag of Iron

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6).

Release: 14 August 1980

22. The Rebel Intruders (1980)

99 min | Action

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three refugees become sworn brothers during a war. One (Kuo Chui/Philip Kwok) works in a whore house, one (Chiang Sheng) in a gambling house, and the other (Lo Mang) in a martial arts ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo, Sheng Chiang, Li Wang

Votes: 160

aka Killer Army

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (5/6).

Release: 10 September 1980

23. Legend of the Fox (1980)

129 min | Action, Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Siu-Ho Chin, Sheng Chiang, Linda Chu, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok

Votes: 89

aka Legend of a Fox

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6).

Release: no date (elsewhere: 15 November 1980)

24. Guangdong shi hu xing yi wu xi (1980)

R | 91 min | Action, Drama

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The movie involves two stories concerning the original Ten Tigers and their future disciples.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Lung Ti, Sheng Fu, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Sheng Chiang

Votes: 320

aka 10 Tigers of Kwangtung

Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (6/6) - the last film with the full team.

Release: 20 December 1980 (Taiwan)

25. The Sword Stained with Royal Blood (1981)

104 min | Action, Drama

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

"Godfather of the kung-fu film", Chang Cheh, made this treasured and beloved adventure featuring a sword, training manual, treasure map and a secret message. The kung-fu which ensues is as impressive as it is glorious.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Hsueh-Erh Wen, Tien Hsiang Lung, Sheng Chiang

Votes: 147

aka Sword Stained With Royal Blood

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6).

Release: 6 March 1981

26. Cha shou (1981)

R | 92 min | Action, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Philip Kwok (Lizard venom) plays a repentant killer who vows to destroy the masked gang of which he was a member. A young fighter and his martial arts brothers (incl Chiang Sheng, venom ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Siu-Ho Chin, Sheng Chiang, Ke Chu

Votes: 434

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6).

Release: no date (elsewhere: 15 May 1981)

27. The Brave Archer III (1981)

92 min | Action, Drama

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

This is "The brave archer 3"

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Niu Niu, Lung Ti, Tien-Chi Cheng

Votes: 120

aka Brave Archer 3

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, Toad and Last Student (5/6) - exit the Toad.

Release: 12 November 1981

28. Shu shi shen chuan (1981)

92 min | Action, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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Director: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok | Stars: Chung-Kuei Chang, Peng Chang, Shen-Lin Chen, Sheng Chiang

Votes: 111

aka Ninja in the Deadly Trap

Centipede, Lizard (who also directs) and Last Student (3/6).

Release: no date

A crossover with ninjas films.

29. House of Traps (1982)

95 min | Action, Adventure

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A team of skilled fighters navigate a house rigged with an array of ingenious and deadly traps.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Feng Lu, Li Wang, Tien Hsiang Lung, Chien Sun

Votes: 252

aka House of Traps

Centipede, Scorpion, Lizard, and Last Student (4/6).

Release: 9 January 1982

30. Shen diao xia lu (1982)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Romance

5.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Brave Archer and His Mate is the fourth in a series originally starring international favorite Alexander Fu Sheng as master martial artist Kuo Tsing. Kuo Chui is the new hero who is out to ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Tien Hsiang Lung, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Gigi Suk Yee Wong

Votes: 112

aka Brave Archer and His Mate

Centipede, Lizard and Last Student (3/6).

Release: 25 February 1982

31. Ode to Gallantry (1982)

83 min | Action, Comedy

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A lone wanderer is repeatedly mistaken for someone else and drawn into a number of violent battles.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Ching Tang, Hui-Ling Liu, Li Wang

Votes: 55

aka Ode to Gallantry

Scorpion, Lizard, and Last Student (3/6) - the only one without Centipede and the last appearance of Scorpion. So, technically, this is the last film that could qualify as a Venom film under our criteria.

Release: 16 December 1982

32. Xi shen bao chou (1983)

92 min | Drama

5.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A troupe of traveling performers stop in a small town. However, the general who controls the town has designs on the group's leading actress. They must figure a way to get out of town before the general has his way with her.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Bi-Fung Chen, Tien-Chi Cheng, Sheng Chiang, Lung Chin

Votes: 33

Centipede and Last Student (2/6).

Having only 2 Venoms puts it outside of the remit of this list, but is worth a mention as it was also directed by Chang Cheh. However, we are now at the asymptote so you can stop here if you like, but we are close to the end.

Also, like the next one, a crossover with kung-fu horror films.

33. Jiu zi tian mo (1984)

95 min | Action, Horror

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After selling his soul to the devil, Joey is given the power to control 9 demons. With their help, Joey must save his childhood friend Gary from a bloody massacre.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Tien-Chi Cheng, Li Wang, Fu-Chien Chang, Peng Chang

Votes: 59

Centipede and Last Student (2/6).

I've included it here as it sometimes gets labelled as a Venoms film, but tends to fall out of the remit of this list.

34. Shang Hai tan: Shi san tai bao (1984)

90 min | Action

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A patriot finds evidence that the government is collaborating with a foreign power. He gets assistance from a local rebel leader who is in charge of a motley group of fighters called the Shanghai 13.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Yu Wang, Kuan Tai Chen, Danny Lee, Sheng Chiang

Votes: 107

Centipede and Last Student (2/6).

And we are done. These two did appear in one more film, Fight Among the Supers, but it wasn't directed by Chang Cheh, so this really is it.