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 »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
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 »
A couple unite - she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy's father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, his mom ... See full summary »
A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... See full summary »
After his students are killed by the One Armed Boxer, a vengeful and blind Kung Fu expert travels to a village where a martial arts contest is being held and vows to behead every one armed man he comes across.
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 »
The workers of a dye factory have their pay cut by 20% when the factory owner brings in some Manchu thugs to try and increase production. Desperate to reclaim their full wages, the workers ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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.
You've just asked me "When will it end?"
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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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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