Rarely has a title been more accurate, but considering the action which fills this film, it also could have been called "The Brutal Five" or "The Cruel Five" or The Vicious Five" … if the title referred to the villains, that is. In any case, the heroes are certainly outnumbered as gang after gang of robbing rapists invade this poor town. At first the fiends just want a village locksmith to help them open a stolen safe, but soon the entire community is being held hostage, threatened, and tortured. Although reminiscent of The Seven Samurai, the director and his revered action choreographers, Liu Chia-liang and Tang Chia, design each of the many struggles with gritty depravity and desperate power. The result is an especially realistic, even grueling, exercise in suspense.
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