Master of the Flying Guillotine Reviews
One of the coolest, purest and craziest kung fu films ever made.
The flying Guillotine is one of the most WTF weapons in the genre. Imagine a bladed bee keepers helmet on a chain and it's being wielded by a blind blood thirst monk on a revenge kick.
The fight scenes in this are highly entertaining, especially the introduction of the Thai kickboxer, and the extended competition scene reminds me a lot of the excellent extended training scenes in 36th Chamber of Shaolin, in the sense that it totally steers away from the films narrative (maybe not so much in 36th Chamber) to deliver awesome kung fu action. And to think all the critics were praising Fargo for it's scenes that don't involve the plot!
You can't go wrong with this film if you are a martial arts fan, and listen to the commentary if you have the DVD. It's entertaining and informative.
Wild stuff, definitely worth a rental at the very least.
Rescue Dawn was a very good film, wouldn't expect any less from Christian Bale and Werner Herzog. Loved this film. And it's not because of the fact that I have a totally heterosexual mancrush on Mr. Bale.
[b]REVIEW: [/b]Jimmy Wang Yu is like box office gold to me. I can watch this guy chop melted cheese and I'd still be captivated. Master of the Flying Guillotine is one the several One-Armed Bandit movies that Wang Yu made, including Zatoichi vs. the One-Armed Bandit, to name one that I liked. There's plenty of action in this flick and the ending is, well, it's okay as long as you're not expecting the Guillotine guy to get his revenge. OK, OK, I killed the ending for you. Sorry.
[/b][/u][b]- STORY: 6
- ACTING: 7
- VISUALS: 5
- DIRECTION: 6
- ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 8
[color=Red]OVERALL AVERAGE RATING: 6.4[/color]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b][i]Casablanca[/i] (Curtiz, 1942)
Entertainment Value: 6/10 :fresh:
Film Quality: 9/10 :fresh: [/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b]The low level of personal entertainment I find in 'classics' like this sometimes gets me ostracized. I'm not denying that the film is impressive but I don't find it as engrossing as many do. It contains several great scenes in it and the ending is probably the best but I didn't feel like there was enough to take me between these moments. Even though it wasn't engaging enough for me I could see how someone could get swept up into its romance and intrigue. Number 37 on AFI's Top 100 Trills doesn't seem appropriate for the film at all, though.[/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b][i]The Crow[/i] (Proyas, 1994)
Entertainment Value: 4/10 :rotten:
Film Quality: 4/10 :rotten: [/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b]Dark, stylish, and action-packed are all far too polite of things to say about this movie. It's superficial story and skin-deep characters make the whole experience empty in spite of having the fore-mentioned attributes. Honestly, I can't even remember much about it, so I guess it isn't very impressionable either.[/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b][i]Carrie[/i] (De Palma, 1976)
Entertainment Value: 7/10 :fresh:
Film Quality: 7/10 :fresh: [/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b]Good. Very good, actually. Having read the book I didn't know quite what to expect since there is no way of adapting the book as it's written. In case you haven't read the book... it regularly switches back and forth between telling the story of the events leading up to prom night and talking to survivors and witnesses afterwards. Because of all the talk of the aftermath it does an incredible job of getting you excited to see what actually happens on that night. Although the film couldn't really imitate this, it still did a great job of keeping me on the edge of me seat for the big moment. It's a solid adaptation and a great thriller.[/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b][i]Master of the Flying Guillotine[/i] (Wang Yu, 1975)
Entertainment Value: 5/10 :rotten:
Film Quality: 5/10 :rotten: [/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b]A generally unimpressive Kung Fu film. There are some things to enjoy about it if you're craving some old school Kung Fu without the compelling stories and artistic touches of some films. I definitely had my moments of joy with some cheesy super abilities with bad effects (like the stretched arms) and crazy weaponry plus I was squirming in my seat during the 'hot feet' battle. But their just isn't enough wackiness or impressive fight scenes to make the movie fresh. [/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b][i]Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan[/i] (Meyer, 1982)
Entertainment Value: 3/10 :rotten:
Film Quality: 4/10 :rotten: [/b][/size][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3][b]I do not in any way see what people like so much about this movie. I'm not a fan of the show either, so maybe that's my problem, but it felt to me like an extended version of a bad episode that thinks it?s more dramatic, touching, humorous, and clever then it really is... which made me despise it even more. There were some good things about it... thinking back now I can't remember them (it was a long time ago), but I know I didn't completely hate everything about it. I won't be running out to rent all the other Star Trek films anytime soon, though.[/b][/size][/font]
As with most Hong Kong martial arts films, the plot [i]Master of the Flying Guillotine[/i] is thin, a frame to mark time between the elaborate set pieces. Enter the blind monk, a government assassin, as the film opens, discovers that two of his disciples have been killed by the aforementioned one-armed boxer (Jimmy Yu Wang, hiding one arm under his clothes; he also wrote and directed). Angered by their loss, and fueled (what else) by a desire for revenge, the blind monk (Kang Kam), decides to seek out the one-armed boxer. Presumably, the one-armed boxer will be easy to find. Unfortunately, two other one-armed men cross the blind monk?s path, to disastrous results. We get to see the flying guillotine in action. Apparently, not only does the flying guillotine decapitate its victims, it also cauterizes the rather large neck wounds (the headless bodies don?t exhibit signs of blood loss).
Enter the real one-armed boxer, a [i]sifu[/i] or teacher who operates a martial arts academy. Here, we get to see his teaching methods in action, where he walks on walls (a sign of high proficiency in the arts), and practically floats above a wicker basket (to demonstrate the benefits of deep breathing). He also emphasizes the importance of jumping and jumping high (aided by off screen trampolines). Hearing of a nearby martial arts tournament, the one-armed boxer decides to attend, but not participate in the competition. The tournament itself gives Wang the opportunity to stretch the plot with a series of over-the-top fight scenes featuring a variety of fighting styles, including a Thai boxer (Tsim Po Sham) who begins each fight with an awkward dance steps, a Japanese fighter (the one-armed boxer mentions his jumping skills with approval), the yoga master with the extended arms, and several other, less imaginative fighters, most of whom, in American wrestling fashion, are simply fodder for the more colorful fighters. This long interlude is finally punctuated by the appearance of [i]another[/i] one-armed boxer, whose presence signals the reentry of the blind monk. After dispatching the ?wrong? one-armed boxer, the blind monk lays waste to the competition.
Discovering the identity of the ?real? one-armed boxer, he tracks him down to the martial arts academy. Wang wisely follows martial arts conventions here, turning the first confrontation between the adversaries into a defeat for the one-armed boxer (he flees, slightly injured). The one-armed boxer, along with his students and a female fighter, retreats to a mountain hideaway where he heals first, then plans a way to defeat his formidable adversary. First, he must defeat the Thai fighter, whose alliance with the blind monk remains unexplained. Asking for character motivation (or logic) in a martial arts film, of course, is to expect too much. The one-armed boxer is clever enough to realize he must defeat the Thai boxer and the blind monk separately, in both cases luring them into an ambush. [i]Master of the Flying Guillotine[/i] culminates with the blind monk and the one-armed boxer fighting across three different locations, inside a self-made forest of bamboo poles, an aviary (which helps to distract the blind monk?s reliance on sound), and ultimately, inside a coffin shop. Without this last action set piece, the colorful characters, and the flying weapon of death (better imagined than seen), there?d be little reason to recommend [i]Master of the Flying Guillotine[/i]. Luckily, for connoisseurs of 1970s Hong Kong martial arts cinema, [i]Master of the Flying Guillotine[/i] is an enjoyable, occasionally cheese-heavy, afternoon diversion.