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.
A young martial artist seeks revenge on the Ninja who kills his martial arts brothers and teacher. He finds help in the form of a new teacher (who knows Ninjitsu) and new brothers. Together... See full summary »
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A dying teacher instructs his final student to check on the activities of five former pupils, each of whom he taught a unique and special style of kung-fu: Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, and Toad (hence the title). His final student, who knows a little of each style, must team up with one of the other good students to destroy the evil ones, if there are any. Greed and treachery ensue as the student discovers that some of the students are indeed evil, but which one can he trust enough to team up with?Written by
Ken McCary <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There are five Rinshi Warriors that become The Five Poison Fingers in Power Rangers Jungle Fury tv series and are an homage to The Five Deadly Venoms. The snake, scorpion, lizard, toad and centipede all appear in the show. The role of the snake in Power Ranger Jungle Fury is portrayed as a female. In The Five Deadly Venoms the role of the snake was to be played by a female but the part was given to a male actor instead. See more »
Near the end where Lizard, Scorpion, Snake, Centipede and the last pupil confront one another at Snake's home, Lizard addresses Centipede as "Number 5." The Centipede was actually "Number 1" and was referred to as such throughout the rest of the movie. The Toad was "Number 5" and was referred to as such throughout the rest of the movie. This is undoubtedly an error in the English dubbing, not in the original Chinese dialogue. See more »
Most 70s (and 80s) Kong Kong martial arts films barely function as movies; usually there are a few well-planned fight sequences, but the plot is scraped pretty thin to fill in the gaps between those nodes -- like porno films, really.
But this one does several things well. Most overtly, there is the direction and choreography, which confines each combatant to a 'style' -- it's really based on Chinese circus acrobatics and comedic theater, but the effect works.
Second, there is the language of the camera, which uses some impressive techniques(even by today's measure), changing projection speeds from real time time to slow motion, and from unfiltered to filtered views to depict story direction toward the past or toward the future.
Least overt, but most powerful and unexpected, is the construction. The winner of this contest is determined by who 'unfolds' the story. The master (the writer) sets up a game where the lead character doesn't know who he's seeking, which is the same situation we viewers find ourselves in. One by one, he figures out who is who, at the same rate we find out who is who. It all follows a tragedy/noir arc. The ending tends toward irony, a la "The Sting". Much more clever stuff than what we usually get out of this genre.
The 'five venoms' idea is the template for Tarantino's 'deadly viper assassins' from the "Kill Bill" volumes.
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