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Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

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


Cheh Chang


Kuang Ni (screenplay) (as I Kuang), Cheh Chang (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheng Chiang ... Yang Tieh
Chien Sun ... Ma Chou / Kao Chin, Scorpion
Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok ... Ho Yuan-Hsin / Meng Tien-Hsia, Lizard (as Chui Kuo)
Meng Lo ... Liang Shen, Toad (as Mang Lo)
Pai Wei Pai Wei ... Chi Tung, Snake
Feng Lu ... Chang Hsiao-Tien, Centipede
Lung-Wei Wang ... Judge Wang (as Wang Lung-wei)
Feng Ku ... Old Master Yuan (Guest star)
Dick Wei ... Master (as Lung Tu)
Shu-Pei Sun ... Constable Lin Kuang
Huang-Hsi Liu Huang-Hsi Liu ... Men Hua
Hui-Huang Lin ... Prison Gaoler
Ching-Ho Wang ... Constable
Lao Shen ... Fruit vendor
Han Chen Wang ... Prison Coroner


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 <kmccary@amaroq.ces.ncsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Pick Your Poison! See more »


Action | Drama | Mystery


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The "snake" role was originally intended for a woman. See more »


When the teacher's final student introduces himself to the Lizard, he refers to himself as number four when he is actually number 6. This surely is a goof with the dubbing. See more »


Chi Tung, Snake: I came from a wealthy family. I joined the clan because I wanted to learn a special kung-fu, be a real expert, but in fact I just became a killer. Killing, that's all I know; death - every day another; but when Liang Shen died, for the first time I felt it prick my conscience - then to hide that one, we've killed again, first Men Hua and then Lin Kuang.
Scorpion: You've just asked me "When will it end?"
Scorpion: [laughs] Let me tell you: Once an evil deed is done, then it never ends. it goes on, and it will go on ...
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Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Best Kung Fu Movies of All Time (2020) See more »

User Reviews

Five Deadly Venoms: The best that kung-fu films have to offer!
30 July 2000 | by clurge-2See all my reviews

Be careful with this one. Once you get yer mitts on it, it'll change the way you look at kung-fu flicks. You will be yearning a plot from all of the kung-fu films now, you will be wanting character depth and development, you will be craving mystery and unpredictability, you will demand dynamic camera work and incredible backdrops. Sadly, you won't find all of these aspects together in one kung-fu movie, EXCEPT for Five Deadly Venoms!

Easily the best kung-fu movie of all-time, Venoms blends a rich plot, full of twists and turns, with colourful (and developed) characters, along with some of the best camerawork to come out of the 70s. The success of someone liking the film depends on the viewers ability to decipher which character is which, and who specializes in what venom. One is the Centipede, two is the Snake, three is the Scorpion, four is the Lizard, and five is the Toad. Each character has different traits, characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. Therein lies the hook, we learn along with the student character, finding out who these different men turn out to be. We are in his shoes (so to speak), and we have to pick who we trust, and who we don't, just like he does. We learn along with him.

Not only is the plot, the characters, and the camerawork great, it's also fun to watch, which in my book makes it more valuable than almost any other movie of it's kind. It's worth quite a few watches to pick up on everything that's going on. Venoms is a lesson on what kung-fu can really do...just don't expect many other kung-fu films to live up to it's gauntlet.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Hong Kong



Release Date:

12 August 1978 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Five Deadly Venoms See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shaw Brothers See more »
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Technical Specs


| (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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