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 to The 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?
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This one is a simple story that can get confusing, but has just the right stuff to keep the audience on track. Instead of a revenge theme like we so commonly see in the kung-fu flicks. Not that revenge themes are bad but it gives us a new taste to a different type of film. Basically, a master has taught his pupils 5 deadly arts of Kung-fu all of which fit the the title 5 deadly venoms because the styles mimic animals that are poisonous. The centipede, snake, toad, lizard, scorpion. Hence the name "poison clan". The master teaches all of these to pupils at different times and is only explained by the master as a sort of flashback but more of a background builder. Each pupil mastered a specific style within the clan but do not know anything besides that style. However, they know their own style very well. Each style has it's own weaknesses but if one can know how to do them all they essetially complement each other and then one can have no weaknesses. The master is telling this story to his pupil Yan Tieh who actually has a small role in the film even though his role is rather important because it actually sets things in motion. The reason is the master has taught all of the tecniques to Yan but he doesnt know anyone technique very well and therefore he can be easily beaten by anyone of the 5 previous pupils. His mission is to check up on the 5 pupils to see if they are doing good deeds with their skills. As the story unfolds there are 2 who are obviously bad and are after a treasure and killing people left and right. Only they screw up and use their skills and leave death marks of special kung-fu on the people they killed. PLus to add to all the fun some innocent bystander witness thee murders. 2 others are less noticeable but are good and one later reveals himself who is actually an officer of the law (but you kind of figure this out because he get the lead role in the film). The officer hides himself by using the Toad who is his friend to help caputure the bad guys which are centipede style and later the snake who actually has a feels sorry for his murders and centipde who could careless and wants to keep using his skills to kill people for money and status. They succeed and a chain of events leads to an ultimate battle at the end because the scorpion actually finds the map to the treasure and later reveals himself as the wild card of the stack and plots to kill all of the clan members so he can be the most powerful and have all the gold. Yan teams up with the officer who has the lizard skills and teaches Yan his style. The toad is tortured to death because Snake and Centipede styles are behind the whole thing and have semi-control over the governing body. Toad: strengths are iron skin style (it does exist in real life but well over dramatic in the movie of course). The iron skin does not allow weapons and hand to hand combat strikes to cause damage to the person who trained toad style. His weakness is his temples. Lizard: Strengths are able to do wall kung-fu. Able to strike like a lizard while standing on the wall.Centipede: Speed of attack is best of all the techniques and rest of the styles.Snake: It's awkward floor (fighting while on the ground) and hand speed and cunning is its strengths.Scorpion: Able to smash objects with great efficiency. The powerhouse of the techniques.You can tell putting all these together makes you basically invincible. The wall-to-wall action makes the pace of the film fast and furious. The unique kung-fu is fun to watch and the coreography is brilliant. The best thing is the actors are very talented and very fast with their fighting. Everyhing here looks very well done.Acting: BActor Performance: A+Action: A+Coreography: A+Entertaning value: A+Replay value: A+Storyline: A-Directing: AOverall: A
Out of all the Shaw Brothers movies made (most being truly excellent), this one stands out. The screenplay, while simplistic in presentation is complex in its plot. The rawness of the somewhat off production values only adds to the movie's atmosphere. The martial arts and choreography are simply amazing. Shaw brothers made many of those "corny" 70's kung fu movies. Warriors flying and you can see the fish wire holding them up and such, yet in my opinion the stuff being made today doesn't compare.
This DVD is a huge ripoff. The video transfer obviously comes from a poor quality videotape. It is blurry and the sound is awful. This is worse than video releases than I've seen in the past. A major disappointment! Great movie, but wait for a better release!
When you see this movie you will understand what it is to be a MAN!!! You blood will race with excitement and you will find yourself trying to beat your roomates into the ground. Pick your favorite style and pound away!
Like the title says, Ni kuang and chang cheh create a brilliant kung fu story for this film, and then theres some stunts and action scenes that are preatty cool, but thats it, the rest is a disappointment, the kung fu here is LOUSY & SLOW, it will probably put you to sleep. If youre a chang cheh fan or like a creative kung fu plot and are curiousto watch It, I suggest you rent it or get it for as cheap as possible, but for anyone else heres my opinion: DONT GO ANYWHERE NEAR THIS MOVIE.
NEED I SAY MORE, the movie has a stellar cast, super battle sequence and wicked schemes, villian, plot twist and end.
Anyone who grew up in the late seventies and early eighties probably had the pleasure of seeing this great Kung Fu classic on late night television. That was back in the good old days before the greedy television networks and local cable companys sold very last bit of late night air-time to infomercials.Five Deadly venoms stands out as one of the most action-packed, laugh-inducing, brain-blasting, high-kickin' and hard-hittin' Kung Fu Films ever made! I got over a depression caused by watching too many " art films " at university by locking myself in a room with 10 Shaw brothers films, a case of king cans and all the early Ramones albums. Way better than anti-depressants!I feel good now and so will you if you sit through Five Deadly Venoms at least 10 times in a row! The Shaw brothers can't be beat. Five Deadly Venoms is top-notch Kung Fu. Right? RIGHT!
If you are looking to start a Kung-Fu collection you better start with The Shaw Brothers movies, and the first of the great venoms films. #1Centipede,#2Snake,#3Scorpion,#4Lizard,#5Toad...Five Students from the Poison Clan and their teacher believes that a few of them are causing harm to people with the skills they have learned. He trained the first #1-#2together, #3 trained alone and #4 and #5 trained together. The teacher also taught a Hybrid Venom that knows a little of each style. Long Story short...They all meet up and put on a spectacular show of Kung-Fu mayhem.These six actors star in many more films together and although they put on better Martial Arts Performances in some of them a lot of the story-lines fail in comparison!Highly Recomended
Chang Cheh's Five Deadly Venom's stands out as one of the very bestmartialarts movies ever. Great choreography of each fighting scene makes thismovietop notch. The acting is great by a cast of (at that time) unknowns whowenton to become major chop socky stars. The plot and writing are perfectlystructured and well paced. Not since Enter The Dragon has the art offighting been so beautifully recorded on film. Special kudos to Meng Lo asthe Toad Venom. This movie is a Shaw Brothers masterpiece and ranks as oneof my favorite movies of all time. I recommend watching it with ChineseSuper Ninjas. 10 stars out of ten stars!!!!!!!
I rarely write reviews for IMDb.com, but I feel compelled to warnpotential viewers that this movie is terrible. Just terrible. I likeShaw Bros. movies (I'm not a hater.), and I had high expectations forthis one since I found it listed on many "10 Best Kung Fu/Martial ArtsMovies" websites. (I'm now convinced that those 10 Best lists are allcut-and-paste jobs.) First of all, there's barely any action in thefilm. Most of the movie consists of talking about the plot, which is anamazing feat because it's thin at best. And the action itself may havebeen impressive back in 1978, but it's routine by today's standards. Aspecial warning to Netflix users: the DVD they ship is terrible; thepicture is horrendous and it's not even 16:9 enhanced.
This review is from: The 5 Deadly Venoms (DVD) Great movie, after years of collecting movies finally my kung fu collection is coming together thanks to amazon i now know where to shop.
five deadly venoms is the best kung-fu flick in the world!! need i say more? if you haven't seen this yet...what in the world are waiting for? go out and see it right now!! i said now!!
This review is from: Five Deadly Venoms (DVD) I remember watching this movie with my entire family when I was young. The moves that these guy's had in this movie was something to behold. Everyone that I know no matter what race that they are just loves this movie. When you put on this movie people are sure to want to sit down to watch it.I watched this movie with my father as a kid. Then I watched this movie with my own daughter when she was a kid. Now that she has an eight month old son I'm sure she'll watch it with him.If you are looking for action, great story line, moves like you can never believe, A-rate actors, then do not look any further. STOP and buy this movie NOW!
This review is from: The Five Deadly Venoms [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) So i watched this movie originally as a kid... i fell in love with it... now as an adult I saw it on bluray and I had to tally get it... it was clearer than i had ever seen it before and with awesome color.I showed it to some friends on a weekend... and after the weekend it disappeared... it other words this movie is sooo good it's worth stealing...If you know the movie i would totally get this bluray version...If you don't know it... but love old kongfu movies... you have to get this one.thanks
Remake this movie, with special effects and better direction and acting this would do well. The plot is fantastic and I loved this film growing up, it is action packed potential. If you havent seen it, watch it now, then imagine it being made today.
Most 70s (and 80s) Kong Kong martial arts films barely function asmovies; usually there are a few well-planned fight sequences, but theplot 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 thedirection 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 impressivetechniques(even by today's measure), changing projection speeds fromreal time time to slow motion, and from unfiltered to filtered views todepict story direction toward the past or toward the future.Least overt, but most powerful and unexpected, is the construction. Thewinner of this contest is determined by who 'unfolds' the story. Themaster (the writer) sets up a game where the lead character doesn'tknow who he's seeking, which is the same situation we viewers findourselves in. One by one, he figures out who is who, at the same ratewe find out who is who. It all follows a tragedy/noir arc. The endingtends toward irony, a la "The Sting". Much more clever stuff than whatwe usually get out of this genre.The 'five venoms' idea is the template for Tarantino's 'deadly viperassassins' from the "Kill Bill" volumes.
Amazing. Thrilling. Complex. Action-packed. Beautiful. Muddled. Confusing. Wait...rewind that! What just happened?*puts in 5 deadly venoms dvd*okay...a secret hideout. cool. young guy trying to keep his master from dying of some strange disease by boiling him. okay. whatever. master is worried about the former pupils going off to steal the fortune they stole from one of their old masters. what fortune? why didn't they split the money? wait a minute! why would he be worried about that all of a sudden? he was never worried before? i don't get it. okay, poison clan. i like the sound of that. hope no hack director makes a movie starring uma thurman and steals the idea. they all wore masks when they were pupils so none know another's identity. good idea. young apprentice has to go out and kill the former pupils so that none of them steal the treasure. thirsty...*eating chips and washing them down with soda*two cops walking down the marketplace. one cop gets slipped a note. hmmm. a strong guy on the steps. they're looking at each other suspiciously. why? do they know? is one a former poison clan member? are they both? if so, how did the strong one know the other guy if they wore masks as pupils? what's happening here?things like that happen all through this wonderful, but haphazardly thought-out gem. this was the first movie i ever saw on kung fu theatre back in the 80's and it blew my mind.I love the little intracacies about the film. How dirty and sloppy the baby-faced pupil is. The girly sliminess of SNAKE with his girly face and how I'd never say that to his face. how laughable was that snake-move of his? i also loved how evil and thugged out CENTIPEDE was with his dark beard and sinister smile. Jeez that guy had some fast hands! TOAD cracked me up with his arrogant laugh and built swagger like he was the king of muscles. he was the best! it's also funny how he's the first one to die in all their movies. LIZARD was cool and trustworthy and was a real friend, the only really good one in the bunch. and the one with the most unbelievable power. SCORPION was an okay guy but I'll be damned if i understood one word he said when he had the mask on. that was not an audio problem with the DVD or VHS either. that was just a bad idea when they were dubbing the voice in. the venoms have made a bunch of different films together, including "flag of iron," "chinatown kid," and the unbeatable "kid with the golden arms." GET THEM ALL!!!
With all due respect to different tastes, I found Five Deadly Venoms lethally boring. I thought the dialog was trite and incoherent, the humor lame and predictable, the martial arts stunts and display average to bad. The plot lack subtlety, imagination or surprise and although some of the sets and costumes looked authentic, I could not finish this loser. Perhaps it was better than bad when it first came out, but hard to watch after more recent kung fu fare.
Watching this again brings me back to when I first saw it as a child. The new commentary with cinema expert Bey Logan makes it even more enjoyable to watch. Some people may comment on the fact that it is not non-stop fighting from start to finish... I think the plot of this movie is strong enough to not require an over abundance of fighting, CGI or wire work that many films rely on these days.I heard rumors of a remake of this movie.... please, leave this one alone, I don't think you can remake this classic without getting extremely harsh criticism.
As a fan of the martial arts films, i recognize that 5 Deadly Venoms is considered by many to be a classic Shaw Brothers staple of the genre. I've watched this DVD several times both recently, and a few years ago. And, try as i might, i just don't like the film. The shortcomings of the DVD have been enumerated already... ie: poor audio, only one English audio track, and poor video transfer to DVD. But there's much more that bothers me about this film. The costumes and makeup are super crappy looking - which may be par for the genre at this period - but it seems like all the characters have the same hairstyle. Frankly it gets hard to tell who's who. Much mention is made of the fight scenes in this flick. But actually, there is relatively little action. Instead there is a LOT of talking by cheesily costumed players who basically look the same. There are also a number of very gruesomely violent torture/death scenes - which, in my view make this the darkest film of its kind. Some parts are literally hard to watch. Did i mention that there is a LOT of freaking dialogue?All these drawbacks could be redeemed if the fight scenes were spectacular and plenty - but, unfortunately, they are neither. We all know that these fights are choreographed - but the moves in this film all just LOOK so darned choreographed. It's hard to even suspend your disbelief and imagine that these are real fights. Admittedly, there is a certain late 70's kitchy charm about some of the action, editing and sound effects. But, having said that, there just isn't enough of of it to justify sitting through the interminable dialogue and plot scenes.I'd love to see a DVD reissue with commentary and special features, that would help me understand why people like this film so much. Until then, i have to be honest and say that it's not enjoyable for me - and i have tried.