Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

The Venom Mob had been in Shaw Brothers movies before, but this was the film where they showed the world that they were amongst the greatest theatrical martial artists of all time.

As the master of the Poison Clan dies, he sends his last student Yang Tieh (Chiang Sheng) to warn Yun (Ku Feng) that five of his students — Gao “Scorpion” Ji, Meng “Lizard” Tianxia, Liang “Toad” Shen, Qi “Snake” Dong and Zhang “Centipede” Yiaotian — plan on stealing the clan’s gold. Yang must fight them all or join with the ones still loyal to the clan to fulfill his dying teacher’s final request.

What follows is a series of double crosses — and triple crosses even — as the students of the Poison Clan battle to either keep the money for themselves or save it for the good of the clan. Because Yang Tieh knows a small bit of each of their five styles, he may have a chance to live. Yet who, if anyone, will be the ally he needs to win?

Chang Cheh made more than ninety films, among them the One-Armed Swordsman series, Crippled AvengersKid with the Golden Arm and many more. His style of heroic bloodshed films has influenced everyone from John Woo to Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.

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