The Five Venoms | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 97 minutes · 2012

Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers studio produced this 1978 kung fu classic, which is distinguished by its labyrinthine plot. A dying martial-arts master instructs his final student to locate a quintet of graduates who might be using their skills for evil purposes. Each of them is unrivaled in his specific discipline, which accounts for his respective handle (Snake, Lizard, Centipede, Toad, Scorpion) and forces the young student to employ stealth over strength. Zhang Cheh, a master of the genre, directed; with Sheng Chiang and Philip Kwok. In Mandarin with subtitles.

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