Five Deadly Venoms
Director: Chang Cheh Run Time: 97 min. Format: DCP Rating: R Release Year: 1978 Language: Mandarin with English Subtitles
Starring: Sheng Chiang, Chien Sun, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo, Pai Wei, Feng Lu
Approaching the end of his life, the ailing master of the secretive Poison Clan sends off his final pupil to discover which of his five previous students uses the clan’s techniques for evil. The problem is, the real identities of the Poison Clan’s members are a closely guarded secret; and each member can only be identified by the animal style reflected on their masks. The hunt becomes an intricate game of hazy motives and shaky alliances, as each of the six kung-fu masters vie to identify and exploit one-another before their own weaknesses can come to light, all leading to several electric clashes in fighting styles.
From Kill Bill to Kung-Fu Panda to Power Rangers, Five Deadly Venoms is a kung-fu film with wide-reaching influence. Though the palate of many Kung-Fu films lean visually on a more bright, hazy side; Five Deadly Venoms is a colorful, vibrant film with a great mystery at its center to boot.