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

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

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.