After his students are killed by the One Armed Boxer, a vengeful and blind Kung Fu expert travels to a village where a martial arts contest is being held and vows to behead every one armed man he comes across.
An evil gang attacks the Chi school of Golden Sword Kung Fu. One student sacrifices his life to save his teacher and his school, his dying wish is that his son be taken in as a student. ... See full summary »
A dying teacher instructs his final student to check on the activities of five former pupils, each of whom he taught a unique and special style of kung-fu to: The Centipede, Snake, Scorpion... See full summary »
After defeating The Long-Armed Devil and his armies, our nubbed hero has been living in retirement as a farmer, but circumstances causes him to come out of retirement and take on The Eight ... See full summary »
Hwang Jang Lee is a corrupt Ming guard who frames John Liu for murder. A wanted fugitive, John hides out with a teen who is an expert in the infamous Iron Armor technique, a technique that ... See full summary »
A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... See full summary »
An aging martial arts expert is gifted a plaque from the Emperor declaring him the Kung Fu World Champion. Unsure of whether or not be is deserving of this title, he embarks on a journey to defeat the 7 Grandmasters.
The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and... See full summary »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
The golden age of kung-fu film's first superstar Jimmy Wang Yu (even before Bruce Lee) wrote, directed and starred in his classic favorite of a noble young martial arts student who won't ... See full summary »
The one-armed boxer is stalked by a vengeful flying guillotine expert, after his disciples were killed in the first 'One-Armed Boxer' film. But as the flying guillotine master is blind, he starts his quest by becoming a serial killer of one-armed men. Meanwhile, the one-armed boxer is running a martial arts school, where he teaches his pupils to control their breath so they can run up walls and along ceilings. And there's an Indian fakir whose arms can extend until they're ten feet long. As you may have gathered, a rational plot summary is pretty pointless - but rest assured there are epic martial arts battles and ludicrously inspired moments galore. Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a sequel to director Yu Wang's 1971 film One-Armed Boxer (Dop bey kuan wan). Fung Sheng Wu Chi (Kang Kam), as the master of the flying guillotine, is a blind Ching Dynasty assassin, with a directive to quell potential rebels. After his two disciples were killed by Tien Lung (Yu Wang), the one-armed boxer (in the prequel), Fung has sworn revenge.
Although many rightfully consider this film a masterpiece, if you're not much of a fan of martial arts fight sequences in films, you probably shouldn't bother with Master of the Flying Guillotine. That's because there isn't much screen time taken up by anything else. Beside the fights, there is very little action or dialogue. Every fight in Master of the Flying Guillotine is engaging, but the last two are probably the best. These are two of the best fight scenes I've seen in any film.
We know right out of the gate that Master of the Flying Guillotine is going to be something special. The opening cinematography is beautiful, the introduction to Fung captivating, and we're quickly introduced to an ingeniously odd and sinister "growling/grinding" musical leitmotif for Fung, which is achieved by slowing down a musical recording (it's actually a song by the German band Neu!) As a leitmotif, the music reappears whenever Fung reappears, with all the impact and then some of Darth Vader's leitmotif music in the Star Wars films.
There are two factors that make this film so remarkable overall. The first is the fantastic and brutal nature of the martial arts. In a lesser film, the fantasy aspects could easily be unintentionally funny. Here, they're just enthralling. Every fighter has some unique style and/or skill, and the extended "kung fu gladiator" tournament focuses on these, to our benefit. The second, less obvious factor, is the depth of characterization and implied, complex plot and backstory achieved by Yu Wang solely through the fight sequences. Even though 90-something percent of the film is just fight sequences, nothing is lacking.
A 10 out of 10 from me.
26 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?