in about 100 words or less
Hong Kong 98m, Colour
Director: Chang Cheh; Cast: Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lu Feng, Lo Mang, Sun Chien, Wei Pei, Wang Lung Wei
Wu Du, otherwise known as “Five Deadly Venoms” is a highly influential Hong Kong martial arts film featuring the colorful talents of five masked kung-fu fighters in the styles of the Centipede, Snake, Scorpion, Lizard and Toad. The story follows the youngest member of the Poison Clan who seeks out the five deadly venoms (all former members of the clan) at the request of his dying teacher, who is concerned that they may be using their kung fu for evil deeds. The relatively complex plot is perhaps the most significant aspect of this film. While the action sequences are pretty commonplace, if not repetitive by today’s standards, the graphic nature of the fighting sequences has been copied, as well as parodied in numerous films and television shows. The most notable and recent of these references is Tarantino’s “Deadly Viper Assassin Squad” in the Kill Bill films (Klaus Ming June 2010).