Forgotten Friday: Five Deadly Venoms

Thanks for checking out our Forgotten Fridays feature. This is a feature to review some older films that maybe you have forgotten about or maybe never got around to seeing that we just want to share. They may not be old, maybe not forgotten, but they are not new. Just fun to share.

Today, we review The Five Deadly Venoms!

This was a staple of my highschool years and my introduction to Kung Fu Cinema. I discovered a copy on DVD in the bargain bin at Walmart and couldn’t resist. The DVD transfer was just as good as the 7th generation bootleg recorded off of late night tv.

Genre: Kung Fu Action
Directed by: Cheh Chang
Staring: Sheng Chiang, Philip Kwok, Feng Lu, Pai Wei, Chein Sun, Meng Lo
Released: August 12, 1978


A dying teacher instructs his final student to check on the activities of five former pupils, each of whom he taught a unique and special style of kung-fu to: The Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard, and Toad. His final student, who knows a little of each style must team up with one of the other good students to destroy the evil ones if there are any. Greed and treachery ensue as the student discovers that some of the students are indeed evil. But which one can he trust enough to team up with?


This is Kung Fu done right. Lots of action, lots of hits and lots of impressive creativity with their moves. There is an element of pseudo supernatural as these rare techniques the students know grants them special powers like invulnerability or the power to walk on walls etc.

And the storyline is pretty good too. We see the eager and dedicated student honouring his master’s last wish to find and confront the former students. The personalities are exaggerated as they often are in KungFu Cinema, but not so much that you can’t get past it. There is a LOT of action in this.


Sadly, the recent DVD release of this film gives evidence that the original print does not exist. I was puzzled when I put in my dvd copy thinking for the first time I will see this in high quality (we recorded it on VHS from TV and shared it around) but the transfer may well have been from one of our over played VHS tapes.


Great KungFu, good storyline, well paced with lots of action. Can’t ask for anything more. Except maybe a reprint of the original masters, but like the dying master in the film we must all move on after the master dies.

I just got all deep and zen, yo!

I read there was a sequel to this out there somewhere, but I havent seen it.

Since all of these Forgotten Friday reviews are going to be what I would already give a high rating to, I had a Tv, Rent or Buy scale going on, but it would seem that an overwhelming majority of my picks get a BUY rating.
So with every Forgotten Friday you see from now on, you get to rate your anticipation for yourself!

TV – If you are at least a little curious, catch it if it comes on TV.
Rent – If it is something you have heard of and forgotten, or just remember enjoying this as much as I did once upon a time, go rent it.
Buy – But if you are like me, and you agree with my review you should go buy it. If its featured here, I already have.

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3 thoughts on “Forgotten Friday: Five Deadly Venoms

  1. I just happened to pick up the new release of this film (along with HEROES OF THE EAST) by Dragon Dynasty…and both of them are spectacular. Having watched the poor quality VHS and DVD versions of these films for years, I was ecstatic watching these newly remastered versions.

    Bey Logan’s commentaries are just as entertaining as the films themselves. (The man is an amazing wealth of Kung Fu cinema knowledge)

    The sequel you mention is RETURN OF THE 5 DEADLY VENOMS (aka THE CRIPPLED AVENGERS). It really isn’t a sequel…but does feature most (if not all…I forget) of the famous “Venom Mob.” It’s actually quite good…and actually shows off some acting skills of these artists.

    I recommend you “forget a Friday” on that one…as well as Heroes of the East (aka Shaolin Vs. Ninja, Challenge of the Ninja).


  2. Rodney, I believe this movie has been remastered, Celestial & Dragon Dynasty have been remastering many in the Shaw Brothers library for years.

    Many of these remastered DVD’s may not be in our region code, that is why you have a poor quality print transfer. I do own some region 5 dvd’s from the Shaw Brothers studio and I cherish them.

    To Movie….. Five Deadly Venoms has a large cult fanbase but is not my favorite Venom Mob film, my favorite is “Kid with Golden Arms”. Regardless, Five deadly Venoms is deserving a spot in your Forgotten Friday’s for its cult status alone!

    Thanks for review.

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