7.5/10
3,974
57 user 69 critic

Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976)

Du bi quan wang da po xue di zi (original title)
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.

Director:

Jimmy Wang Yu

Writer:

Jimmy Wang Yu

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jimmy Wang Yu ... Liu Ti Lung, The One-Armed Boxer (as Yu Wang)
Kang Chin ... Fung Sheng Wu Chi
Chun-Erh Lung Chun-Erh Lung ... Wu Shao-tieh (as Kun Yee Lung)
Chia Yung Liu ... Chang Chia Yu (as Kar Wing Lau)
Lung Wei Wang ... Win-Without-a-Knife Yakuma (as Lung Wang)
Chien-Po Tsen Chien-Po Tsen ... Nai Men
Fei Lung ... Win-Without-a-Knife Yakuma Jiro
Hou-Chiang Chi Hou-Chiang Chi
Ming Fei Wang Ming Fei Wang
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chi-Ping Chang
Chung-Kuei Chang Chung-Kuei Chang
Yi Kuei Chang
Chin Hai Chen Chin Hai Chen
Shen-Lin Chen
Tak Chi Chen Tak Chi Chen
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Storyline

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 <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Armed with the Most Gruesome Weapon ever Conceived... He Challenged the Warriors from Beyond Time! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Taiwan | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

February 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Master of the Flying Guillotine See more »

Filming Locations:

Taiwan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,836, 27 May 2002

Gross USA:

$21,779

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,779
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The droning theme music that plays whenever the main villain is on screen is the track "Super 16" by German band Neu!. It is a slowed-down version of the song "Super", which is also the music of the opening credits. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 25 mins) While struggling with the One-Armed Boxer in the chicken coop, Fu Sing Wu Chi's guillotine falls off its chain. However, in the next shot it appears in, it seems to have been repaired. See more »

Quotes

One Armed Bum: [smashes flies on table with his hand] One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... I killed seven with one blow! A new record! Hahahahahahahaaa! Hey waiter, bring me some more wine and food, would ya? Hahahaha!
Waiter: [after eating, Bum realizes he has no money to pay, gets up and tries to leave] What's this? You leaving? Without paying your bill?
One Armed Bum: And, and what if I haven't paid? Do you know who I am, huh?
Waiter: [laughs incredulously] Who are ya?
One Armed Bum: [slaps waiter's hand] Godammit! You don't know who I am? You never...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The owners of the music in the film demanded large amounts of money for its use on the DVD and cinematic releases. As a result, First Films refused to pay and created a copyright-safe soundtrack (which features on the Japanese DVD). However, Pathfinder bought the rights for their DVD and cinematic releases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Super
(Opening theme)
Performed by Neu!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kung Fu Gladiator Masterpiece
16 January 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

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.


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