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Statistics :
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Lexic : V

The Venoms is the name of a group of actors/martial artists who gained fame following the success of Chang Cheh's Five Venoms. They appeared as a group in almost two dozens film between 1978 and 1982, including in the kung fu cinema classics Crippled Avengers, Invincible Shaolin and Kid with The Golden Arm. The Venoms are Philip Kwok Chung Fung, Lo Meng, Chiang Sheng, Sun Chien and Lu Feng. A sixth Venom, Wai Pak, only played in four films and cannot totally be considered as a member of the group. Kuo, Chiang and Lu are also action choreographers in most of the Venoms films.

Martial artists and skilled acrobats, the Venoms were involved in breathtaking action spectacles. This along with the extravagant stories, colourful costumes, improbable gadgets and bloody carnages so typical of Chang Cheh's films, created some of the most playful, baroque and kitsch kung fu films ever made. Underappreciated in Hong-Kong, the Venoms films have reached a cult status among the Anglo-Saxon kung-fu fandom. The fans are the one who nicknamed the group 'Venoms' or 'Venoms Mob.'

Although the Venoms play different roles from a film to another, their attributes stay more or less the same.

Philip Kwok Chung Fung, the hero in most intrigues, is a martial acrobat, a show-off who is also valiant and shrewd. He is also one of the three action choreographers.

Chiang Sheng is the mischievous kung-fu kid who often adds a small dose of comedy. He is the best acrobat of the group with Kwok. He is also a choreographer and he worked as assistant director on half of the Venoms films.

Lo Meng is a proud, furious yet sympathetic braggart. Chang Cheh adored to film his muscular body and also loved to make him suffer in very bloody death scenes. Lo only appeared on occasions in the Venoms films post-1980.

Sun Chien is the young, earnest expert in Taekwondo. A skilled kicker, he also a tricky Venom. Chang Cheh didn't seem to be as interested in him as he was in the other Venoms and Sun is a little bit of an outcast in the group. Like Lo Meng, he only appeared occasionally in the Venoms films post-1980.

Lu Feng is the ugly one always ready to stick others with a spear -- a weapon he masters. He only plays the hero in two films. He is the first Venom to be a choreographer.

Wai Pak is an Adonis. His characters are always inherently flawed (ego, conscience), thus vulnerable and destined to a tragic end. He only appeared in four Venoms films.

Filmography :

Five Venoms (78)
Ten Tigers of Kwangtung (78)
Invincible Shaolin (78)
Crippled Avengers (78)
Life Gamble (79)
Shaolin Rescuers (79)
Daredevils (79)
Magnificent Ruffians (79)
Kid With The Golden Arm (79)
Heaven And Hell (80)
Two Champions of Shaolin (80)
Flag of Iron (80)
Rebel Intruders (80)
Legend of the fox (80)
Sword Stained With Royal Blood (81)
Masked Avengers (81)
House of Traps (82)
Ode to Gallantry (82)

Links :


Yves Gendron (January 2010)

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