Master of the Flying Guillotine

"Excellent"

Master of the Flying Guillotine Review


Attention all die-hard martial arts-movie fanatics. My eyes have seen the glory of the deadly flying guillotine and the fury of the One-Armed Boxer in the grand restoration of the pinnacle of 1970s martial arts films, Master of the Flying Guillotine.

After decades of poorly-dubbed versions of the film circulating the globe, respectability has finally been reached in this "Ultimate Edition" release of one of the most influential and widely mimicked kung fu extravagances captured on celluloid. It is now a fully-restored, uncut, widescreen presentation with English subtitles, complete with an ultra groovy, electronic Kraftwerk-esque soundtrack.

The film plays out like straight kung fu pulp. Set in the time of the Ching Dynasty, when the Chings employ martial arts experts to rid the land of the rebellious Hans. The main bad dude of these martial arts experts, Fung Sheng Wu Chi (Kang Kim, who holds the uncanny look of a Whitesnake roadie), has mastery of the flying guillotine - a bladed device that is hurled over the head and then decapitates its victims. When his two disciples are killed trying to take down one of the Hans' greatest fighters, The One-Armed Boxer, Fung, swears vengeance.

The One-Armed Boxer (played with stern determination by Jimmy Wang Fu - who also directed and wrote the film) runs a martial arts school teaching his students the art of "jumping" and how to walk across walls like Fred Astaire. He refuses to participate in a local martial arts tournament due to his belief in the spiritual nature of the arts. The film then kicks into a series of goofy, and at times downright laughable, series of matches between fighting stances such as crane style and eagle's claws, and colorful characters including "Win Without A Knife" Yakuma from Japan and Yoga Master from India. Additionally, the design and execution of the martial arts tournament is reflective in video games such as Tekken and the Virtua Fighter series.

From the rooftops, Fung and his flying guillotine interrupt the tournament and attack the One-Armed Boxer, who narrowly escapes. Fung then enlists one of the members of the tournament - the Thai Boxer Nai Men (Chi Fu Chiang) - to assist in hunting down the One-Armed Boxer, thus setting off a wild chain of events pitting a blind man with a mean throwing arm against a skilled one-armed man with an even deadlier mind.

Master of the Flying Guillotine holds all the cards in delivering the most intense and entertaining 90 minutes of pure, pure action I've seen all summer. Every arm thrust and bone-crunching kick is delivered with extreme sound design. The fight sequences are crude and excessive - minus the balletic movements seen in the works of master choreographer Yuen Woo Ping (The Matrix). The acting is campy. The dialogue is wooden and quotable but is delivered with such reverence that even I was in fear of the flying guillotine's blind master. It stands as the pinnacle of 1970s martial arts films.

Aka Du bi quan wang da po xue di zi.



Master of the Flying Guillotine

Facts and Figures

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 1st February 1977

Distributed by: Pathfinder Home Entertainment

Production compaines: First Film Organization Ltd.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Yu Wang as Liu Ti Lung, The One-Armed Boxer, Kang Chin as Fung Sheng Wu Chi, Chung-erh Lung as Wu Shao-tieh (as Kun Yee Lung), Chia Yung Liu as Chang Chia Yu (as Kar Wing Lau), as Win-Without-a-Knife Yakuma, Chien-Po Tsen as Nai Men, Fei Lung as Win-Without-a-Knife Yakuma Jiro, Pai Cheng Hau as Master Wu, Han Hsieh as Referee

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.