Crippled Avengers (1978)

Opening with the capture and the lopping off of legs and arms for the wife and son of To Tin Tao (Chen Kuan-tai), Crippled Avengers leaves quite the impression.  First, you might feel sympathy for To Tin Tao but, as he is skilled in tiger arts, he quickly disperses the would-be assassins and, turning to his now crippled son, swears to train him and equip him with iron-made arms so that he can always protect himself and take his revenge on the sons of the killers of his mother.

"a stone cold classic"


Whoah.  That’s quite a statement.  Let’s do this, savage fathers! 

Except To Tin Tao is the bad guy here and his son, Chang (Lu Feng), who will one day get new (and exceptionally badass arms), will be raised to follow in his corrupt footsteps.  It’s an interesting start to Crippled Avengers as we are immediately thrust into the nastiness that is To Tin Tao ruthlessness and absolute tyranny. 

So, who are the crippled avengers in this Chang Cheh flick if it’s not the To Tin Tao family?

Turns out, they are the victims of To Tin Tao’s ruthlessness and, when ready, these once-maimed fighters - representing the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the mute, and the crippled - will attempt to remove the tight grip Tian-du and his henchman have on the countryside.  It might take three years of hard training - thanks to the efforts of master Li Jing Ying (Ching Miao) who teaches them hawk-style kung fu in order to overcome their physical and mental limitations - but they are up to the challenge of ridding their community of To Tin Tao’s despot-like stench.Crippled Avengers (1978)

There’s Wei Jia-jie (Lo Mang) and Chen Shuen (Philip Kwok), who both witness and attempt to speak out against To Tin Tao, Chang, and keeper, Wan (Johnny Wang), and, as a reward for their ill-advised actions, are rendered blind, deaf and mute by the men’s nihilistic beatings.  Then there’s Hu Ah-kue (Sun Chien), who accidentally bumps into Chang and gets his legs lopped off.  Even an excellent swordsman, Wang Yi (Chiang Sheng), is reduced to a child-like state after trying to come to these once-skilled fighters' defense!  He was once a skilled communicator and had a way with the sword but, now, he’s babbling nonsense and merely laughs at the people he once fought for.

With excellent and unforgettable fight choreography from Sheng Chiang, Lu Feng, and Robert Tai, the sheer athleticism and acrobatics on display from the Venom Mob throughout this martial arts flick is astounding.  Sure, the film has its goofy moments thanks to the ways in which the Venom Mob are crippled but, when it comes to the action, this flick soars above the competition.   

For Cult film enthusiasts, this one is an easy chop socky flick to appreciate and, thanks to the efforts of Arrow Video, the movie can now be appreciated visually as it is included in the release of SHAW BROTHERS PRESENTS | FOUR FILMS BY CHANG CHEHCrippled Avengers, packaged alongside Five Shaolin Masters, The Five Venoms, and Shaolin Temple, is now on blu-ray.  All the films feature 2K scans from 4K transfers, new sub-titles for better accuracy, and are filled with hours of special features.

Crippled Avengers is a stone-cold classic.

5/5 chops

 Crippled Avengers (1978)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- October 24, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
: English; English SDH
Mandarin: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono; English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; 2-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

By the early-1970s, Chang Cheh was already Shaw Brothers' most prolific and well-known director with a plethora of box office hits (including the One-Armed Swordsman franchise) to his name and renowned for discovering the hottest young talents to star in his films.  Three of those stars - David Chiang, Ti Lung and Alexander Fu Sheng - all feature in Five Shaolin Masters and Shaolin Temple, two selections from his instant-classic 'Shaolin Temple Cycle', based on the real-life tales of fighters training to face off against the ruthless Qing armies taking over China. A few years later, Chang outdid himself with the formation of the all-powerful posse of kung fu experts known to fans as the Venom Mob, whose talents would be showcased most famously in The Five Venoms and Crippled Avengers.


Presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, Crippled Avengers is beautifully presented on 1080p from Arrow Video.  Interiors are strong.  Colors pop throughout, but it is the blood effects - burning bright in the transfer - which seal the deal on this one.  It’s full of great atmosphere thanks to the quick-footed script and looks visually eye-popping due to the 1080- upgrade.  Black levels are strong throughout, bringing out nice details in both the loud and quiet moments of this epic adventure.  The tracking shots are glorious to behold in 1080p. Blacks are solid and shadows maintain their lines.  Even the costumes are noted stitch by stitch.


Fans of the genre get uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono tracks, plus Cantonese mono for the film.


Get ready to duel to the death with these supplemental items!


  • See Special Features for the breakdown.

Special Features:

Disc One - Five Shaolin Masters / Shaolin Temple

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono audio for both films
  • English subtitles for both films, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dub
  • Appreciation of Chang Cheh by film critic and historian Tony Rayns
  • Interview with star Kong Do, filmed in 2003
  • Elegant Trails: David Chiang and Elegant Trails: Ti Lung, two featurettes on the actors produced by Celestial Pictures in 2003
  • Alternate standard-definition version of Shaolin Temple
  • Alternate opening credits from Five Masters of Death, the US version of Five Shaolin Masters
  • Alternate opening credits sequences for Shaolin Temple
  • Trailers
  • Image galleries for both films

Disc Two - The Five Venoms / Crippled Avengers

  • 2K restorations of both films from the original negatives by Arrow Films
  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono audio for both films plus Cantonese mono for The Five Venoms
  • English subtitles for both films, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dubs
  • Commentary on The Five Venoms by critic Simon Abrams
  • Interview with star Lo Meng, filmed in 2003
  • Chang Cheh: The Master, a featurette about the director produced by Celestial Pictures in 2003
  • Trailers for The Five Venoms
  • Hong Kong theatrical trailer for Crippled Avengers
  • Image galleries for both films

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

5/5 stars

 Film Details

Crippled Avengers

MPAA Rating: Not Rated.
126 mins
: Cheh Chang
Kuang Ni; Cheh Chang
Kuan Tai Chen; Feng Lu; Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok
: Action | Drama

Memorable Movie Quote:
Shaw Brothers
Official Site:
Release Date:
November, 1981
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 24, 2023
Synopsis: Three men who have been physically disabled by an evil warlord and his physically-disabled son become friends and learn kung fu so that they can seek revenge with help from an elderly martial-arts teacher and his mentally-disabled pupil.


Crippled Avengers