For the longest time, Chang Cheh's Five Deadly Venoms was my all-time favorite martial arts flick. Much of the reason being a direct result of the influence hip-hop (especially Wu-Tang Clan) has had on my taste in film as a teenager - which, basically boiled down to those involving mobsters, 80's action stars with more one-liners than they had muscles, and anything coming out of the Shaw Brothers production studio. Five Deadly Venoms was a VHS tape that was played…
"Eveybody gets mad because, I say these jokes. What you gotta understand is this is the best time to say 'em. More now than ever. And I know there's some comedians in the back, motherfuckers you have a resonsibility to speak recklessly...otherwise, my kids may never know what reckless talk sounds like"
Don't let the intimate setup and smaller venue fool you into thinking this is the cool down; uh-uh. This is Dave heating up to some of the realist…
This film wasted no time whatsoever capturing my attention. The score, the frenetic pacing, the emotion, the violence and grime - and oh god yes, set in my old hometown? I was gripped; there was no way I wasn't going to be bowled over. It sometimes felt like a crime-drama relic from the 80's. Stylistically, there's bits of early Michael Mann to be found here, so it's safe to say that the Safdie brothers have got this shit figured out, seriously.
Also, make no mistake, Robert Pattinson still glitters and shines - but at least now, it's for the right reason.
Good Time? Good Time.