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 (hence the title). 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? —IMDb
Chang Cheh (traditional Chinese: 張徹; simplified Chinese: 张彻; pinyin: Zhāng Chè) (February 10, 1923 – June 22, 2002) was Shaw Brothers Studio’s best known and most prolific film director, with such films as the Five Venoms, the Brave Archer (based on the works of Jin Yong), the One-Armed Swordsman, and other classics of wuxia and Kung Fu film.
Referred to as “The Godfather of Hong Kong cinema”, Chang Cheh directed over 100 films in his illustrious career at Shaw Brothers, which ran the gamut from swordplay films (One-Armed Swordsman, The Assassin, Golden Swallow) to kung fu films (Five Shaolin Masters, Five Venoms, Kid with the Golden Arms) to more modern period dramas (Chinatown Kid, Boxer From Shantung, The Generation Gap) to lavish costume epics (The Water Margin, The Heroic Ones, Boxer Rebellion).
After graduating from National Central University ( (later renamed Nanjing University in Nanjing and reinstated in Taiwan) in Chongqing (Chungking), where he studied politics… read more
Although the FX might not hold-up, I still dig this film. It's not just nostalgia but that intro and the fight sequences are too good to be denied. It's more than just a martial arts movie, it's a mystery with elements of comedy. It suggests that the rich can get away with murder and let the good take the rap when the state sides with the corrupt rich. Align the state with the good and then justice prevails.