All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
The Five Venoms
Pick Your Poison!
A kung-fu student is instructed by his dying teacher to track down five of the teacher's ex-students. Each of the five is equipped with a lethal martial arts skill, and the teacher fears this might be used for evil purposes. However, not only does the teacher not know the identity of the students (who all wore masks under his training), but some of the students also don't know each other!
I was hoping some time and kung fu training (ie binge watching) would give me a greater appreciation for this since last I saw it about a decade ago, but if anything it was even more disappointing given the talent involved. It's a bit mystifying to me how much of a pillar this is for some considering that about 75-85% of it is really dry, kind of dull Edgar Wallace/Agatha Christie style whodunnit surrounding a bunch of murders and an inheritance. In theory I should be into that, but it's shot pretty flat and contains scene after scene of characters vomiting exposition and making shifty eyes at each other as they try and suss out who the venoms even are…
The packed screening with an enthusiastic audience, a perfect 35mm print and a Q&A with RZA afterward was probably the most ideal way to see my first Shaw Brothers movie, so perhaps I'm overrating it a little. But I was sufficiently drawn in by the characters and the fighting to forgive some of the slower or drier bits. It helps that all the characters delightful cartoons with fighting styles to match (Toad acts like he's invincible because, well, he is literally invincible) and the fights, while taking up less of the running time than I expected, are meaty and extremely fun. The most surprising element was the running theme of political corruption, but mostly I just enjoyed the colorful fights and fun, often shirtless characters.
"That's a cool-ass vest." - RZA
You're no match for my Toad Style Mofo.
"Poison Clan Rocks the world!"
Directed by The Godfather of Hong Kong Cinema, this isn't just his biggest cult hit but it also launched the careers of the Venom Mob. When you think classic 70s Shaw Brothers Kung Fu films, THIS is the movie you're thinking of.
Note: The Blu-ray (aka: The Five Deadly Venoms) looks incredible. Never thought a 70s Shaw Brothers film would look this good.
Most of the takeaways I had of this were not related to the movie at all, namely that RZA does an impression of Quentin Tarantino, and that he's seen YENTL three times in 3 months.
It certainly flaunts its merits if at its own leisure, the pacing and banal procedural aspects detracting from the outstanding action centerpieces. A well-rounded supposed staple of kung fu cinema to be certain - I'll just have to wait and explore the rest of the Shaw Brothers canon for varying points of reference.
To protect a treasure (?), a kung fu student must track down the five top graduates from his school - the "venoms" - despite none of them knowing who each other is. No one knows who to trust in this stylized martial arts marvel.
I love the kung fu styles on display here. The fighting moves really evoke their animal themes in a fun, over-the-top way. I like movies where people are so good at kung fu that they can defy the laws of physics, and that's what you get in The Five Deadly Venoms.
Plot is usually a total afterthought in these movies, but this one was surprisingly well crafted. The identities of some of the group remain a…
Bon...je voudrais pas sonner raciste mais...je mélangeais les acteurs le 3/4 du film...
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The fighting styles in thismovie are so intricate and well developed. My favorite is the snake, the centipede is a dick. Ironic how the invincible one, Toad dies first. This movie is visually stunning in Blu Ray. Great storyline, generally keeps my attention which is hard to do!
My first Shaw Brothers movie. Different than I'd expected, and I think that's a good thing. While the action sequences were done well, I was also enjoying the way the movie was structured. While not the deepest mystery ever, it was nice to have something supporting the action. Still undecided if it's better to go with Chinese audio and subtitles, or dubbed English audio.
The set up is good, and the final battle is pretty amazing, but there is a whole lot of filler to get through to get to it.
Cool and stylish Kung Fu styles/powers on display with a mysterious unraveling story.
Way too much time dedicated to plotting and not nearly enough time dedicated to slow motion plate breaking. The opening montage and final fight are decent, but the other hour and fifteen minutes is pretty dull. I really don't know why this film has such a great reputation considering it is so middling. There are dozens of Shaw productions that are better than this.
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