Outlandish mix of intrigue and action provides modest fun
One of the last of Chang Cheh's long line of films for the Shaw studios. This is one of his all- male cast films, no women ever show up! It's also considered the last of the "Venom" films despite the absence of Lo Meng and the fact that the later "Ode to Gallantry" has three Venoms in it.
The plot is convoluted and requires a narrator to set up the film but the parade of characters makes it hard to keep up with. If there is a central character it could be the assistant judge played by Sun Chien who is investigating the rebellious plans of a prince out for revenge over his father's death. Along the way numerous "heros" show up and align themselves with the prince or the judge. Kuo Choi shows up halfway thru the film and steals the film with his comic acting and remarkable acrobatic skills. Chiang Sheng appears even later as a hero posing as an acrobat to infiltrate the prince's palace.
Without the story clarity of classic Venom films, like "5 Deadly Venoms" or "Crippled Avengers" this film is hard to enjoy as much. The promised House of Traps is fun but the final break in to the house is a let down. The final fight is a different story with good 10 minutes of excellent Shaw style action. THe costumes are very odd and seem to have sprung from director Cheh's mind instead of history. One character wears a Scottish style hat and Kuo Choi never takes off a strange fur hat that make it look like he has a toothache. Sun Chien never enters the action.
All in all, a comic book style film. If you know the Venoms already, you'll probably like this.
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