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"Masked Avengers may be my favourite Shaw Brothers film... certainly it rates highly. I've bought, copied and stayed up late to tape it more times than bear mention. Naturally I was thrilled to see it on DVD... in digital format at last!! But the product is mediocre at best. It is mastered from a very old video copy with plenty of artifacts, and very clearly not from film. It's not letterboxed, making much of the dialogue literally one-sided (since you can only see half of the screen), and as with other films released by NS and Ground Zero, there are gaps in the sound. To put it bluntly, there are plenty of better copies out there in private collections. Even the uncompleted synopsis on the box ("...a stunning climax at the Mask Gang's"-- what? The Masked Gang's what?!) indicates the level of carelessness that went into this "Limited Collector's Edition."Still, this is likely to be the one and only digital print of a Chang Cheh milestone, and it's no worse than a 3am broadcast of Black Belt Theatre. Unfortunately, it's no better. Admittedly it's nice to see these old workhorses finally being immortalised and made available for sale. It would be nicer, however, if it could be done professionally, and with a bit of the affection that makes diehard fans buy them"
Great Venoms Movie
M. Watkins | 06/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Masked Avengers What a great movie! Though I really like the Venoms stuff in general, this is one of the best! Most people have at least heard of the 5 Deadly Venoms, but I've never thought it was the best 'Venoms' movie (movies w/ the same five guys), though it is very good (I think Ten Tigers, Kid w/ the Golden Arm are at least as good if not better). This story involves a gang of masked assassins-for-hire, whose bloodlust only increases with each kill. [Heading the gang is Venom Lu Feng, who often plays a 'badie']. Opposing the gang are several martial arts families who have united, since various members of their families and friends have been ambushed and killed by the gang. Chiang Shing plays the (surprisingly!) mature leader of the united families/ schools, and Kwok Choi plays an understated cook (initially)with a mysterious ties to the gang. The only flaw in the movie is that Lo Meng, Venoms strong man, is not featured (neither is Sun Chien, despite the credits erroneously listed on the box. Unfortunately, this sloppy tendency is not that uncommon). Only three of the five venoms actually appear. Nonetheless, this movie is chock full of the 'weird', including subtle hints of ritual black magic, strange machines of torture and tantric buddhism! Quite uncommon, but visually arresting. The gang members dance around in bacchanalian fashion, using tridents (their main weapon) to break huge jugs of wine (when they are not thrusting them through others). There are, at times, very dream-like scenes which add a delightful sense of spooky otherworldliness. I feel that director Chang Cheh is at his best when lending this dark and mysterious quality to his work, making for great late-night viewing. A definitive Venoms flick one should not miss! Needs to get cleaned up and slapped onto DVD, ASAP!"
Good Venom flick- for ardent trident lovers
firstname.lastname@example.org | Verona, NJ USA | 05/29/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most of the popular Venoms appear here in a convoluted story of a masked gang of trident-wielding villians. No Lo Meng (Toad) or Sun Chien (Scorpion) here --- my favorites. With a large cast of Venom and Venom-like characters, most of the movie fits into place. However, very little hand-to-hand fighting is to be seen --- the weapon of choice, obviously, here, is the trident, an infrequently seen kung fu weapon. Boasting undoubtedly some of the best, if not the best, trident fight choreography ever staged, executed by none other than the Venoms, there is little to go wrong here --- if you like the trident. This is truly a trident lovers feast fest. Personally, I'm not that big on the trident, so I didn't appreciate the movie as much as some others might. Add to that, my favorite Venoms are not in the movie. Therefore I just can't give the movie my highest rating. But its still a solid Venom flick."
More Venoms is always better
mcohen210 | Glen Cove, NY United States | 12/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to tell you all, I am just a Venoms Fanatic ! Kuo Chui, now Phil Kwok, is so "Dirty Harry" like in many of his roles. He is a quiet, soft spoken hero with a hidden identity. While I would rank Kid with the Golden Arm above Five Deadly Venoms, this one fits in nicely to my collection. The music to start you off makes me feel like we are in a 1970's theatre in Hawaii about to see a great thriller. This one does not dissapoint ! The pagan trident bad guys are pretty scary, which adds a new dimension to the Venoms, its like they have to solve a mystery thriller. The old temple is akin to a haunted house and its many traps at the end of the film make it great ! Why does Won Far(I forget the characters real name from 5.D.V.) always get killed off ? He lives at the end of 2 champions of Death, but gets a nice kill scene at the end of this one. Sound could be better, but characters are still there. For the True Venoms fans, novices might not be able to follow our boys in their regular roles. If I ever met Phil Kwok in person, I would fall to my knee's and put my left fist in the palm of my right hand and exclaim, "Master, please teach me !""
Super Bloody Venom Mob Moivie
Jerry E. Monroe | USA PA | 07/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of my Favorite Kung Fu movies. Philip Kwok does an awesome Trident Kung Fu Form of which I have won tournaments doing. Because I took parts of his movies and incorporated into my form its great!. But this movie is bloody. Very bloody and not suitable for younger audiences. Its action packed. Good sword play but very little hand to hand combat as written in another post. What I highly suggest is that you get this movie but the REMASTERED Version. Or you will waist you money. The DVD cover is mostly Red. Check it out its one of their Best.