Neo Film Shop (
Cart 0

Film Review: The Five Venoms 五毒 (1978) - Hong Kong (Shawscope Volume 1) (Arrow Video)

Andrew Chan

Film Review: The Five Venoms 五毒 (1978) - Hong Kong (Shawscope Volume 1) (Arrow Video)


Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)


“The Five Venoms” is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts mystery film that continues to be one of the most enjoyable and guilty pleasure offerings from the renowned Shaw Brothers Studio. Directed by Chang Cheh and produced by Runme Shaw, this film captivates audiences with its thrilling action, engaging storyline, and memorable characters.


The plot follows Yang Tieh (Chiang Shieng), a dedicated martial arts pupil on a mission to fulfill his master's dying wish. He must uncover the new identities of his master's five previous pupils and eliminate them if they have turned towards evil. Yang becomes entangled in a complex web of murders and investigations involving all five pupils, leading to suspenseful and intriguing plot developments.


What sets “The Five Venoms” apart is its portrayal of the titular characters, each possessing a unique animal-themed martial arts style derived from Chinese folklore. The diverse techniques and their brutal application in killing and torture make the film equally engaging, brutal, and exciting.


The film's excellent pacing ensures a consistently captivating experience, with the narrative seamlessly blending action, mystery, and drama. The performances are commendable, and the action choreography is expertly executed, showcasing the skills of the talented cast.


“The Five Venoms” may not be considered high art, but its entertainment value is unquestionable. It remains a classic in the martial arts genre, offering a visually impressive and immersive cinematic experience. With its gripping storyline, thrilling action sequences, and charismatic characters, “The Five Venoms” is a must-watch for martial arts enthusiasts and fans of exciting cinema.


Rating: 9/10


Reviewed as part of Shawscope Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu Ray Set (Digitally restored in 2K format)

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment



Sold Out