The Film: Master
of the Flying Guillotine
, 1975

The Principals:
Jimmy Wang Yu, Kam Kang, Dhalsim.

The
Premise:

A blind assassin’s two disciples are murdered by a one-armed man (as
seen in the previous film, One-Armed Boxer), so he sets off around China to
find the killer. And by find, I mean BRUTALLY DECAPITATE WITH HIS FLYING
GUILLOTINE. He doesn’t much care if you’re the right one-armed man
either, every single one is a mark. That’s a problem because all of the
martial arts fights going on 24/7 have apparently left quite a few men
with only one arm, and soon end up sans head as well.
 
The
master of the flying guillotine tracks down the correct one-armed boxer fighting at a
martial arts tournament, and enters to exact his revenge.

Is it
Good:
It’s a classic.

Unlike
other martial arts films that foolishly tried to introduce
foreign matter into the film (like well-developed characters, love
interests, and semblance of a plot) this one’s smart enough to know that you’re simply there to
see the fights. So the film is crammed to the brim with nothing but
fight after fight after fight, with barely a few minutes to rest in
between each one. It all culminates with a massive martial arts
tournament which shows all kinds of martial arts forms facing one
another. The choreography and direction by the legendary Jimmy Wang Yu
(whose Chinese Boxer
is generally credited as the first to kick off the martial arts craze
in the first place) is top notch, adding a bit of fantasy to liven
things up.

The
Flying Guillotine itself is a weapon that was supposedly
used

in real life by
Emperor Yeung Jung’s assassins, although no actual weapons were
only
found, just stories and drawings. It’s real here, though. It’s
basically
a bladed hat attached to a chain that’s large enough to
fit over a
man’s head. You throw it out and over someone’s head and
give it a nice
gentle tug, and back it comes with the guy’s head in
tow. It’s easily one of cinema’s greatest weapons.


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Is it
Worth

a Look: Of course. Grab some beers and some friends to reenact the fight scenes with and you’ll have one helluva night.

Random
Anecdotes: 
You’ve likely already heard the
theme music in this film, as Tarantino used it in the House of Leaves scene in Kill Bill.
You know what piece I’m talking about- that awesome,
threatening, pulsing drone
.

Street
Fighter
fans will be surprised to see how much of the game was taken
directly from this film. Not only the idea of a big one on one martial arts
tournament, but whole characters are lifted from fighters in the film.
Chun-Li, Sagat, Oro and most blatantly Dhalsim are all taken from here.
Dhalsim, for example, is an Indian fighter who has the power to stretch
out his arms… and while he doesn’t breathe fire he does throw it at
one point.

src="http://www.youtube.com/v/FGkn8TFaySg&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"/>


Cinematic Soulmates: One-Armed
Boxer, One-Armed Swordsman, The Crippled Masters.


The
Tally

So Far

 Positive  Negative
 Pontypool Deadgirl
 State of Play The Children
 Orphan  It’s Alive
 Grace  Friday the 13th, Part 3
 Inside  Hounddog
 3000 Miles to Graceland Columbus

Day

The Last Supper  Angel

Eyes

 Things To Do In Denver
When

You’re

Dead

Highlander:

The

Source

 World’s Greatest Dad  
The Killing Hour (aka The
Clairvoyant)

 Lady Beware  
The

Neverending
Story

 Pitch Black  
Battlefield Earth
 For All Mankind  
 Splinter  
 Blessed

by

Fire

 
 Outland  
The Kindred  
 

Top

Secret

 
 

Beer Wars

 
  The Brood  
The

Incredible

Hulk 

 
Undertaking

Betty

 
 Cache  
 
Taxi
Blues

 
 
Across the Universe
 
Lord of War
 
 
Dead Heat

 
 
The

Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Across the

8th Dimension

 
 
Every

Which Way But Loose

 
 
The

Entity

 
 
The

Slammin’ Salmon

 
 
Gremlins 2: The New Batch