Master of the Flying Guillotine
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Finally available after 25 years, the restored version of the martial arts classic about a kung fu expert, The One Armed Boxer, who takes on the archvillain, the blind Master of The Flying Guillotine. The Master targets the martial arts expert in order to exact revenge for the death of his two disciples. Master of the Flying Guillotine combines eye-popping visuals, unforgettable characters, incredible fight sequences, a spectacular electronic soundtrack and one of the most notorious weapons in film history.
A classic kung fu movie, Master of the Flying Guillotine stars martial arts legend Jimmy Wang Yu (who also wrote and directed) as the One-Armed Boxer, a warrior who has remained true to the recently overthrown Ming Dynasty. A league of kung fu masters are tracking down rebels with a new, deadly weapon--the flying guillotine; an unbeatable, almost supernatural blind man is the king of these killers. After the One-Armed Boxer defeats two of the blind master's disciples, the blind master goes to a martial arts tournament to kill every one-armed man he meets until he has slain the One-Armed Boxer. The wild mix of fighting styles at the tournament (using ropes, swords, sticks, Eagle's Claw, Thai kickboxing, and Hindu magic) provides a spectacular centerpiece. Hokey and campy, sure--but the culminating battle in a coffin shop will have you on the edge of your seat nonetheless. --Bret Fetzer
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The movie is actually the second movie in the "one arm boxer" series. (There are flashbacks to the previous movie.) The blind monk (the master of the flying guillotine) gets word that his two disciples have been killed by the one arm boxer. He goes on a hunt for the one arm boxer. Being blind, he tends to kill a number of the wrong people along the way, but that does not matter to him in the slightest. (Being the nasty next to unkillable uber-villian he is.)
While the blind monk is out looking for the one arm boxer, there is a kung-fu tournement being held. This is a great excuse to have a bunch of martial artists with various styles. Did I mention that this was a fight to the death or severe maiming? There are some great over the top kung-fu battles up until the tournement is interupted by the blind monk. The one arm boxer is , of course, at the tournement.
Many of the styles are just plain impossible. But that is half the fun!
I won't spoil the rest of the film. It is very enjoyable. The print I saw had some odd defects from the negative used to print the film. There are also some scratches and other misc problems. They do not detract from the experience in the slightest. It was also subtitled and not dubbed. Hopefully the DVD will not suffer the same fate as most Chinese films released in the US. (Cut to ribbons and dubbed with bad translations.)
If you are a kung-fu fan, especially of the old Shaw Brothers films, then you will want this one.
It is a big bloody. People do die in this film. It is not one where people just get beaten-up real bad and then run away. People can and do get hurt in this one. The film is probably better because of that.
One of the best kung-fu movies of all time.
A friend turned me on to this movie years ago, and we watched via a crappy vhs tape copy, so I was real happy to see it come out on DVD. The production value is on the cheap, and the dialogue dubbing certainly veers towards ridiculous (making it all the more fun!), but I bet you any thing that you are gonna wanna watch it over and over again! Highly recomended.