Venomous Writing

21 02 2008

New inspiration is leading to a new song for Glows that will be a mini tribute to the 6 stars of the Shaw Brothers classic Five Deadly Venoms. The song will in some form consist of 5 interlocking short patterns, one for each Venom, and then something extra for the student. I plan to delve into more Shaw goodness in the very near future, but this song will mark my first foray into the world of the Shawscope. Since starting Kung Fu Night, it’s been really hard not to get inspired by these films. Our trombone player Reggie Pace has already written a song inspired by the Shaws called Iron Palm that he wrote for his amazing brass band No B.S. We watch a wide variety of films in the genre, but we always find our way back to the Venoms. For those who are like “Why is this post?” I’ll list each of the stars and try to explain:

The Lizard: Kuo Chui
The Toad: Lo Mang

The Centipede: Lu Feng

The Snake: Wei Pei

The Scorpion: Sun Chien

The Student: Chiang Sheng

After this film (directed by the amazing Chang Cheh), this group of actors became known as the Venoms, and starred in many many films in different combinations and in many different wigs, mustaches, open-chested costumes, and leopard print boots. The Lizard was almost always the main hero, while the Centipede was usually the double-crossing villain with the wavy hair. What makes Five Deadly Venoms so great is that it was the first of these films, and because it was so successful, its double-crossing backstabbing plot became the basis for many films to follow. These movies vary greatly in quality, but always feature amazing martial arts and acrobatics courtesy of the Venoms. Some of these films can be really tedious but the good ones (as in the film Crippled Avengers) are mind-blowingly brilliant.

What makes these films so great is the amount of pure workhorse energy that went into each and every one. Even though the sets and costumes were often recycled, the Venoms always challenged themselves to make the fights and stunts increasingly better. It didn’t matter who was the good guy and who the bad guy, what mattered was that these guys were working their asses off, and all their work was up there on the screen (well, on my TV screen on Kung Fu Night).

I think the lesson learned from their films is that the most important thing you can do is to keep working and refining. Most of my favorite artists work or worked this way, and it’s the approach I take as well. As soon as I get this song done and rehearsed a version will appear here—either that or I’ll can the idea and “Unpublish” this post.

Just kidding.




One response

27 03 2008
Commercial Taphouse on Sunday(3.30) « Glowing Realm

[…] right, Glows is returning and premiering new work! The song Five Deadly Venoms was talked about here, and has turned into something slightly different, but way cooler than I first imagined.  Also, in […]

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