Five Deadly Venoms
From The Deuce
Also Known As
- 5 Deadly Venoms (USA)
- Die Unbesiegbaren 5 (Germany)
- Five Venoms
- Ng Duk (China)
- Pick Your Poison
- Wu du (China)
- Pick Your Poison!
- Five Complete Strangers, The Perfect Inheirtence Treasure, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
- Released in 1978
- Aspect Ratio: (2.35:1)
- Runtime: 97 min
- Rated: R
- Production Co: Shaw Brothers Studios
- Distribution Co: World Northal (USA) (theatrical)
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Chang Cheh
- Written by Cheh Chang, Kuang Ni
- Starring: Sheng Chiang, Philip Kwok, Feng Lu, Pai Wei, Chien Sun, Meng Lo, Lung Wei Wang, Feng Ku, Shu Pei Sun, Liu Huang Shih, Lao Shen, Hui Huang Lin, Ching-Ho Wong, Wan Han Cheng, Fai Wong Lam, Dick Wei
- Produced by Mona Fong, Run Run Shaw
- Original Music by Yung-Yu Chen (as Chen Yung Yu)
- Cinematography by Kung Mo To, Hui-chi Tsao
- Film Editing by Chang Hsung Lung
The Five Venoms are: The Toad, The Lizard, The Scorpion, The Snake and The Centipede. They have trained for several years under the teachings of the Poison Clan leader. In that time, they have become some of the most extraordinary kung fu artists ever to walk the Earth. After the Venoms leave, they hear that their old trainer is going to die, and so, the group want to find where his secret treasure is hidden. The master tells his youngest student who isn't quite finished training to go track down all the Venoms, instructing him that several of the Venoms are to be trusted, but to also find the ones who aren't.
Each of the characters in the film (played by Chiang Seng, Lu Feng, Philip Kwok, Sun Chien, Wei Pai and Lo Meng) came from different countries, a few were from Taiwan, one from Korea and two from China. This gives you an idea of their different backgrounds in martial arts and acrobatics.
By watching the movie, you can easily notice that these men have great martial abilities and also good acting skills. No wonder why Chang Cheh used them in many following productions. To this day, some of these actors are still active in the movie industry as film company heads or action directors. Probably the most recognized figure today is Phillip Kwok, who worked on many Kung Fu productions since the 1980's as an action director. FIVE VENOMS is a great introduction to these actors. I suggest to those new to the genre to find films directed by Chang Cheh, as they have been cherished and recognized as masterpieces.
There are just a few major fights in the movie; all of them are extremely well shot with the performers giving everything they can. However, more fighting would have probably fastened the pace of the movie. At the very least, the movie ends with a final battle between the good Venoms and the bad Venoms, all of them displaying their martial art techniques at his best. As for the animal techniques, except for a few key moments that the Venoms actually use their special moves, there's not that much attention put on the different styles, which is a shame as they could have pushed the idea much further. The fighting is very traditional, with the exception of a minority of moves, so you can expect realistic fighting all along.
Reviewed by Popeye Pete - 6/10/07
- Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) - The Five Deadly Venoms inspired The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad; sounds effects used in Vol. 1 (Sword Swings, Axe Throws) are taken from this film.
- Nightmare (1981)