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.
Gordon Liu Chia-hui reprises his famous Monk San Te role as he tries to support and protect Shaolin her Fang Shih-yu who purposely attacks corrupt Ching officials. Fights by legendary action director Liu Chia-liang are to die for.
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 »
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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
That damn judge ought to pay as well!
He Yuan-xin, Gecko:
All judges are the same. If we kill him, the next one may be worse, and we can't kill them all. We'd better carry out Teacher's orders: find the money and use it well - try to atone for the clan's crimes.
Pay its debts?
He Yuan-xin, Gecko:
Yes, you're right!
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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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