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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 school. They become embroiled in the war and are betrayed by one's mentor. Written by
"The Rebel Intruders" aka "Killer Army" - Passable Venom Flick
Most of the Venoms, minus Pai Wei (Snake), reunite for this convoluted gang action film. A lesser effort from Chang Cheh and the Venoms who apparently choreographed their own fight scenes if the credits are to be taken seriously.
The movie starts with scenes of refugees pouring into the city as a warlord from the north makes his way into southern China. The southern warlord through his general puts the local kung fu gangs in charge of keeping the city in order and making sure the refugees stay in line. Played by Lu Feng, the top gang leader puts the other three gangs in charge of the different directions in the city. Each gang has a kung fu specialty, one does "Fast Swords, another "Sword and shields", another "Iron Fist" which is a strange small fist shaped club and finally the very odd "rubber spring" Spear. The next ten minutes is devoted to depictions of torture or compassion towards the refugees by the gangs. That out of the way we finally meet the heroes, Phillip Kwok, Lo Meng and Chiang Sheng. All refugees they immediately get into fights with the gangs but are rewarded with jobs for their good kung fu. The movie ambles along with an extended fight scene in a gambling house. Finally the plot kicks in as the gang leader decides to double cross the southern warlord, kill the southern general and blame our heroes for the deed. Our heroes escape but have to pass each gang before they can get to the safety of Mr. Deng, played by Sun Chien, a kindly gang leader.
The plot is no great achievement, it's rather standard for Chang Cheh films for this period. The interesting refugee angle is swept under an unremarkable gang story. The earlier "5 Deadly Venoms" or "The Crippled Avengers" have much better plot lines. The fight scenes are elaborate and contain a lot of the Venom action you want, however the choreography is erratic. Phillip Kwok is very good and is usually fighting with a bench of some sort or a three section staff. Lo Meng is his usual hard fighting style. Chiang Sheng does his usual acrobatics but doesn't really get going until the finale. The action is good but doesn't come close to the inspired fighting in 'Crippled Avengers". Many scenes seemed to be written to showcase some fighting gimmick, like ropes or the mentioned rubber spears. Overall the pacing of the film is stiff with too many scenes waiting for the costumed gang members to walk across the shot and get into another standing position. There is some classic Cheh style gore for those who care.
Good for the Venom action but not much else.
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