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"This DVD is a poor quality bootleg. A company called Celestial owns the worldwide copyright on ALL Shaw Brothers movies. Their digitally remastered DVD has been available for a couple of years, and puts this bootleg to shame. That catch is that you must purchase it from a Hong Kong based web site. Amazon is not allowed to sell it, so they have listed this bootleg. Find a Hong Kong based web site and purchase the official DVD!"
4 Stars for the Movie 2 for the DVD!
Rafael Amado | USA | 01/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First of all let me tell you how good is this Kung Fu classic. The story is good, about 5 Venoms who live a secret life and are trying to be found by the Poison Clan's master. I think we should all have this fun kung fu flick in our collection but! They have to come out with a better DVD. This DVD has no special features, no original language track, and the image quality has not been restored at all, they didn't even try! So unless you must have it, wait for a better print."
5 Deadly Venoms - The film which knocked Kung-Fu fans out!!!
Rafael Amado | 07/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shaw Brothers Movie Studios director, Chang Cheh's 1978 tour-de-force Kung Fu extravaganza. This film set the stage for nearly 20+ more movies starring the 'Venoms' to follow in an attempt to quench the world-wide thirst of fans of this, the first 'Venoms' movie. Long out of print and only found in the possession of private Kung-Fu film collectors, the current commercially available VHS of 'The 5 Deadly Venoms' by EPI, is struck from a good quality master print, and is uncut and formatted in LBX (letterbox), which is a real treat to Kung Fu movie fans. The story centers around the last student of the dying master of 'The Poison Clan', who is sent out to find the last 5 secret members of the clan, all of whom have trained in a special 'Poison' technique. Some of the clan members have gone bad, and the student must locate and destroy them with the help of good members, if he can find them! The script, acting, choreography, costumes, and sets are fantastic. This film combines bare-chested Kung-Fu supermen back-flipping through the air while weilding exotic Chinese weapons and performing unbelievable feats of physical strength, skill, and speed, with a twisting plot of deceit, revenge, and corruption; all against a fantastic & deadly 14th century backround. The 5 Deadly Venoms stars Kuo Chui (Lizard), Sun Chien (Scorpion), Lo Meng (Toad), Wei Pai (Snake), Lu Feng (Centipede), and Chiang Sheng as 'Yan Tieh', the last disciple of the Poison Clan master. A 'Must Have' for any Kung Fu movie fan as The 5 Deadly Venoms is truely an all time classic."
I Had Five Pupils
J. Hardy IV | Snohomish, WA United States | 03/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You can add me to the nostalgia group, having seen this movie as an 11 year old in 1981 on a Saturday afternoon matinee. I was quite thrilled to find the DVD a few days ago, having eschewed the then difficult to find VHS version. DVD quality is pretty poor, but they were of course hampered going from a disintegrating master. Ghosting and screen artifacts abound, but hey, that's really secondary to anyone who's been searching for this title for some time. While formulaic in the genre sense, [dying master tells pupil to avenge him / right a wrong using every ounce of technique] the story is carried out in a much more sublime whodunit, as a teasing mystery with spurts of action. The last of the Poison Clan practitioners [dying of course] commands young pupil to find the hidden money cache of an earlier teacher before his boundlessly corrupt former students do. Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, and Toad already have a head start on our last pupil who hasn't mastered any one of the techniques mentioned, but is versed enough in all of them to be effective when combined w/ another. The story progresses as the rich teacher is found in turn by the various factions. Centipede and Snake have teamed up as have Toad and Lizard. The mysterious Scorpion does not make his true intentions known, skulking around in the darkness to pick up the pieces and sow dissent. Slowly through the film, the members become clear and eventually fight one another which are the highlights. Who will prevail, who will our young student pair with during the end game, and what of the Scorpion? All answered in due time, well, actually in long drawn out periods of slack but when it does start cooking it certainly does. My favorite: the fight between my preferred poison The Snake, and the Toad. Watching and listening to the sound effects as the Snake struck, probing for weak points while the Toad would flex and bounce him off 10 feet was fun then and now.. and surprisingly mirrors the battles based on this scenario I would have with my 8 year old sister. Hah hah. This is a definite cult classic, campy enough in later viewing that it doesn't take itself too seriously, but with enough action to satisfy new viewers too. Recommended."
The strange, indefinable quality of the five deadly venoms
emceehamster | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like so many others on Amazon.com, I used to watch weekend Kung Fu theatre programs on TV. Many movies I remember fondly (Kid With The Golden Arm and Shaolin Master Killer [aka 36th Chamber of Shaolin] come to mind) but one in particular stands out: Five Deadly Venoms. I caught it one rainy Saturday afternoon as a teenager and it has stayed with me ever since.Set in "old" China and featuring a suspenseful plot (a mystery, no less), garish (yet not overly lavish) costumes/set design, and some great old school combat/camera work, this may not even be the best film from either the legendary Shaw Brothers or famed director Chang Cheh himself but there's just something about the pacing of the story which is in no hurry to go anywhere too soon. AND THAT'S A GOOD THING. It is creepy and the tension builds...perhaps not remarkable qualities for a vintage Kung Fu flick but this picture makes the most of it. Another thing about the movie deserves praise: the absolutely fantastic score! It is austere AND comical, spare, seductive, and sinister without being cheesy. Extraordinary music! - even if it IS "borrowed" from other movies as some say....so be it. To me, the score is what really puts you in the world of 5DV. PLEASE READ: I own both the DVD and the VHS video (the Steeplechase/Martial Arts Video versions) and they are flippin' LOUSY, with the DVD having a marginally better picture/bad sound and the video having much clearer sound/a horrible picture tracking problem. I could be wrong, but in their mastering of the DVD, it seems that Steeplechase/ M.A.V. simply took a bad widescreen edition VHS tape of the movie and did a poor transfer (although I HAVE seen worse) via the ol' mirror in a shoebox technology. Ha! Typical! The soundtrack is muffled like when you play a non-Dolby encoded cassette tape back with the Dolby switch on. I can't speak for the Front Row Video, Inc. version they're selling on Amazon.com but don't hold your breath. Here's hoping that Celestial Pictures (who now owns the rights to many 1970s Hong Kong classics like this one) get their act together and release a spiffy new version of 5DV. Two essential things for a new release: Original film negatives for a better picture and, for Pete's sake, the original recorded elements for clear, non-muffled sound. Some subtitles would be nice, too. Note to Celestial Pix: Please do it justice, fellers!The 5 stars given are for the film itself which is remains uniquely satisfying: classic, yet refreshing and timeless. The Five Deadly Venoms is still cool and I've tried to turn friends on to it, usually by forcing them to watch it with me so that I can "re-experience it" thru their eyes! It's hard to define how much unconsciously bigger this movie is than its own genre. But it is. In a way, it stands alone. :-]Rent it if possible. If not, approach with caution or wait for the eventual "special edition". Good luck."