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The Five Venoms (Wu du) (1978)

  Directed by: Cheh Chang
Written by: Cheh Chang, Kuang Ni
Starring: Sheng Chiang
Links: The Five Venoms on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

The Five Venoms (Wu du) (1978) is also mentioned in timchuma's review of Crippled Avengers (1978).

"A Kung Fu detective story" - a review by timchuma

As the plot of this movie has no doubt already been described on the websites of millions of Kung Fu movie fan boys everywhere I won't go into that much detail. The main story follows a student of the Five Venoms Master who has been instructed to track them down, then if they are up to no good, to shut them down.

I liked the character of the student as he reminded me a bit of Biao Yuen. In the movie he comes across as a fresh faced country bumpkin and an innocent outsider which puts him on the side of the audience as we know as much as he does at the start of the movie.

The real reason to watch this movie are the Five Venoms themselves. From the excellent training sequences (seen in flashback) to when you finally get so see them get it on they are just strong characters it is easy to see why this movie was so popular when it first came out.

Speaking of coming out, those of you who like to find gay subtext in movies will have a field day here. Normally reserved for gladiator movies and sword & sandal epics, this sort of childish humour would make this a really good film to drink along to with friends. There is one scene in particular where I got sick from laughing - when you see ‘Snake’ lounging in his throne wearing a silver jumpsuit, bare-chested with silver chains and earrings (he could be a centrefold.) ‘Centipede’ is quite a bearish leather man also. ‘Toad’ is the showboating muscleman. ‘Lizard’ and ‘Scorpion’ are in the closet.

Quentin Tarantino seems to be quite fond of this movie as he lifted a lot of music cues and sound effects for use in Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004). Coincidentally, some of the music is the same as was used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).

This film screened with the original release print so some of the scenes were tinted red (the bloodshed scenes strangely.) Judging from the credits, this film is going to be released on DVD later in the year so I recommend you check it out.

timchuma gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 27 Aug 2004

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