The Movies-to-Watch List: Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

The only kung fu movies I’ve ever seen are Jackie Chan ones, which I enjoyed. I’d always wanted to see some more, so when people suggested Five Deadly Venoms for the Movies To Watch list, I was all for it. It even helped that pal Eric already owned it on DVD and loaned it to me.

We watched 5DV in just about the perfect setting: sitting on the sofa on a Sunday morning. It’s very much a Sunday matinee movie (though we watched it subtitled; an optimal Sunday matinee movie would be poorly dubbed and interrupted by used car lot commercials.)

Five Deadly Venoms is great fun. The setup is a little complicated: dying master asks student to find previous students who he’s sure are up to no good, but also find master’s friend who has a treasure. The student and the Venoms (Centipede, Gecko, Toad, Snake, and Scorpion) all converge on an unfortunate town to find the treasure and each other (only some of them know who the others are). There’s intrigue, secrets, romance, betrayal, and plenty of kung fu action. There isn’t any actual romance, though; I lied about that. Unless you count…well, that gives too much away.

It was loads of fun and I am all set for more. Eric, just keep throwing DVDs at me until I say stop.

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