Okay all you Hong Kong cinema Fiends, drop your game controllers and give your thumbs a rest for a few hours so you can get out to soak up the real deal on the big screen. For one week only, Landmark cinemas in Berkeley and San Francisco will be showing the ultimate edition of the 1975 kung-fu classic "Master of the Flying Guillotine".
Shown in wide screen with English subtitles, this fully restored edition, edits together rarely seen footage to create a complete cut of the film. Whether you're just enjoying the non stop kung fu action, or engaged with the comic-book plot, "Master of the Flying Guillotine" hits the spot if you're in the mood for hard hitting marital arts fun.
The storyline could be the premise for almost any one on one fighting videogame. The "Master of the Flying Guillotine" is an evil ancient master who wields an amazing deadly weapon that decapitates its targets. The guillotine master seeks to avenge the deaths of his disciples, killed while trying to defeat the notorious one-armed Boxer.
The movie is written and directed by Jimmy Wang Yu also stars as his recurring character, the One Armed Boxer, who deftly defeats his enemies with cunning, skill, and only one arm. The One-armed Boxer runs a training school that's been outlawed by a corrupt government and is invited to a tournament to see who is the ultimate kung-fu fighter in the land.
This brings out an array of strange skilled fighters whose supernatural powers include strangle holding braided hair and a yoga master who can extend his arms. The eerie mysticism that surrounds some of the characters alludes to greater forces of good and evil at work. The contagious soundtrack music cuts in as the enhanced impacts sounds let you hear every blow. I can only hope they release a soundtrack CD.
Watching this you recognize its inspiration to others. Surely the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" never would have existed without films like these to lead the way. Super-powers that appear decades later in "Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon" show up as training exercises at the One Armed Boxers school.
There's some pretty gruesome scenes splattered throughout the action so If you're a bit squeamish, and want a movie with more dialog than fighting, then you better steer clear. But If like red hot kung fu flicks, you'll see why people like Samuel Jackson and Quentin Tarantino list "Master of the Flying Guillotine" as one of their favorite films. Catch it in theatres while you can!
For Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2002 - Purple - Air Date: 7/17/02
Master of the Flying Guillotine
Hong Kong - 1975