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Spring of Shaw Season Review

The Crippled Avengers - 1978


Directed by Chang Cheh


Chen Kuan Tai,Lo Mang,Lu Feng,Kuo Chui

Chiang Sheng,Sun Chien,Wang Lung Wei

Produced By : Mona Fong

Also released as : Return of the Five Deadly Venoms (USA)

Copyright © 1978 / Shaw Brothers / 2004 Celestial Entertainment

Spring of Shaw Season Review – Film 5

The Crippled Avengers - 1978

The Venoms are here , yes as promised our next review features the great Venoms group. Here we have a classic I saw at a event years ago , The Crippled Avengers (released as ''Return of the Five Deadly Venoms '' in the USA ) is one of the finest Kung Fu films of the 70's .

Combining brotherhood,honour and perseverance amongst adverse circumstances .

The film not only stars the Venoms but also one of the all time greats of Shaw Brothers , Chen Kuan Tai.

Chen Kuan Tai plays Dao Tian-Du a respected and honourable man and the leader of the Black Tigers. But when he returns home to find his wife and son mutilated by thugs he exacts his revenge the only way he can.

Unfortunate for Dao Tian his wife dies,having lost so much blood ,but his son Dao Chang survives even though he has had his arms cut of from the elbow.

Dao Tian promises his son that he will get him new arms. Fast forwarding some years and Dao Chang who now on his umpteenth set of arms receives his latest pair , now a full grown man Dao Chang ( Lu Feng) has arms made of Iron which can unleash a deadly blow .

Also unfortunately Dao Tian over the years has become mean and trusts very few. He uses his son to great effect to run the local region ,often putting fear in peoples minds .

But when outspoken Blacksmith Wei ( Lo Mang) speaks out about the Dao family bullying people it seems he may be biting more of then he can chew.

The same goes for a local wanderer and a local citizen who accidentally bumps into Dao Chang in the street.

Each of our law abiding citizens are punished with no care for concern , even when a stranger who comes to town sees the inflicted trio and tries to help them by confronting Dao Tian ,he to himself comes up against the torture inflicted by the Dao family to so many.

Though at first it may seem like Chang Cheh is having a laugh here , mainly due to the injuries sustained by our hapless group .What it encompasses is how even under tough times ,if people band together they can fight evil.

Though Blinded,decapitated,made mute and sent crazy our four friends head of to take back their crazy friend Yuan Yi back to his master Li Jing Ying , who upon hearing the plight of the four offers to train them in Kung Fu ,so that they may take revenge .

By working to highlight the senses they have left Master Ying hopes to make each a formidable foe. Though of course Master Ying's own student Yuan is a master in Kung Fu anyway ,he's just crazy now and at times can be a hindrance to the others through his childish behaviour.

Of course the fun comes when the four return to take revenge on the Dao family at the birthday of Dao Tian .

But Dao Tian's right hand man Wang hopes to scupper the cripples revenge before his master finds out.

What we have here is some of the finest fight action committed to celluloid ,the Venoms made so many films and each they performed feats of amazement .

Their artistry and acrobatic ability continues to amaze me years after viewing their films. With each viewing you notice another technique or combination that seems impossible ,but you know it's real, no camera tricks here .

This is pure hard core Kung Fu ,with scenes shot for as long as they could be and a wide camera angle showing all of the action from the initiation of a move to the completion of it , which often leaves you in awe of what you have just seen.

Shaw Brothers Legend Chen Kuan Tai lends his mastery and prowess to the scene and busts some shapes that will blow your mind.

The Venoms unleash some crazy moves ,from cartwheels whilst another somersaults over the cart-wheeler while jumping through a steel hoop , scenes like this crop up one after another and just keep you wanting more ,more,more.

There are many great films from the Shaw Studios ,but if you fail to watch the Crippled Avengers your missing one of the all time greats , it's crazy but Crippled Avengers is fun ,lighted heart yet sinister and compelling and all within the space of five minutes.

To sum up

Crippled Avengers should be prescribed on the NHS as it's just what the Doctor ordered.

Score out of Ten = 10

Review Date : April 28th 2014

Reviewed By : Sertes Nake





Directed by Chang Cheh
Produced by Mona Fong
Written by Chang Cheh
Ni Kuang
Starring Kuo Chui
Lu Feng

Lo Mang
Chiang Sheng
Sun Chien
Wang Lung Wei
Music by Chen Yung-Yu
Cinematography Tsao Hui-chi
Distributed by Shaw Brothers Studio
Release dates Hong Kong:
December 21, 1978
United States:
November, 1981
Running time 100 minutes
Country Hong Kong Hong Kong
Language Mandarin





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