These are films reviewed on the cult movie podcast Junk Food Dinner ( www.junkfooddinner.com/ ).
Master of the Flying Guillotine
A one-armed martial arts master is being stalked by an Imperial assassin, the master of two fighters (the Tibetan Lamas) who were killed in the previous film. When the One-Armed Boxer is invited to attend a martial arts tournament, his efforts to lay low are unsuccessful, and the assassin soon tracks him down with the help of his three subordinates competing in the tournament: a Thai boxer, a yoga master, and a kobojutsu user.
I got to experience this crazy and insanely entertaining martial arts film for my first time on the big screen in New York, with the star/writer/director Jimmy Wang Yu himself just three theater rows ahead of my father and I in the crowd. A fun Q&A, pictures, handshakes and autographs took place with this ultimate badass as well. It was quite an awesome event/day.
My pet peeve of seeing footage from previous films was probably present here, but I have not seen the previous films--and was unaware there was one--so I was unaffected by it. In retrospect, I should have guessed, but this film is so bananas, I was too busy gawking to think about it. If you want some great fight sequences, clever ones at that, and some interesting, over-the-top characters/martial artists, step right up. My favorite is the Indian assassin (probably played by a Chinese man in some unfortunate racial cross-casting) with the extending arms, a la Dhalsim (probably, in retrospect, the Street Fighter series was completely racist? I'm not going back to find out... wait "yoga flame"? Yeah, probably completely racist.…
Super 16 Autobahn Rubycon
Just last week I heard some joker (actually my boss and pal and founder of the company I work for) crediting William Friedkin with discovering Tangerine Dream for soundtrack music. Everyone should know it was actually Jimmy Wang Yu.
And that tournament scene is not too long, it's everything. Love this trash.
the one & only classic Master of the Flying Guillotine is exactly what i want in a martial arts film. badass right out the gate with a simple revenge story and almost non-stop incredible, off the wall fighting. watch this INCREDIBLE opening credits sequence with totally unlicensed music by NEU here :
RIGHT? RIGHT! the whole movie is like that. non-stop bonkers style awesomeness. this is a film where a blind guy with a long white beard and giant eyebrows walks into a room and declares he's going to kill every one armed man he finds. this is that kind of movie and it rules.
Things I loved about this: The music, which I've been informed is made up of tracks from bands like Neu and Kraftwerk. I need to listen to more of these bands immediately. The guillotine, which carries with it a sound effect that is not unlike that discordant sound that runs throughout Jean-Luc Godard's Masculin Feminin, which makes me think that movie could have used a scene with Jean-Pierre Leaud gets his head pulled off by a flying guillotine. And the guy with the extending arms.
Rating might go down if/when I see it again, not as the after-midnight last half of a kung fu triple bill, then again it might go up.
After a Kung Fu master known as the One-Armed Boxer kills two assassins (events that occurred in the previous film - The One-Armed Boxer), the assassins' old, blind master vows revenge. He descends upon the village with his amazing, brutally deadly weapon, the Flying Guillotine. With his weapon, he snatches the head off of anyone he hears described as being one-armed, which seems to be an unusually large portion of the population.
In the meantime, the Eagle Claw Kung Fu School is putting on a tournament, welcoming fighters from all over China and, reluctantly, elsewhere. Each fighter is an expert in wildly different styles, from Muay Thai Kickboxing, to Monkey Kung Fu, to an incredible limb-stretching style from an Indian…
"I intend to kill every one armed man that I come across."
One man's quest for a genocide against one armed men. Decapitation. 360-degree Exorcist style head turns. Man with extended arms. Eye gauging. (and I haven't even scratched the surface.)
The perfect way to spend a Monday night.
Solid 70s kung fu with a particularly memorable gimmick. Having found a master, how would one go about apprenticing the Flying Guillotine?
As far as really racist films go (Basil had to point out to me the racism, can't believe I was that blind), this movie has a lot of fun moments. In particular, the final battle between the one-armed boxer and the master of the flying guillotine is i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. But the film takes too long to get to the action, and all of the suspense is drained out of the karate tournament as it's clear who is going to win each one, even though they're still pretty good fights.
I wish there wasn't all that racism though because a lot of the action itself is pretty inventive and great.
Often feels like an early Spiderman comic, what with the coterie of garish villains who each have a theme of sorts (one guy looks and fights like a monkey, one guy has tough skin, etc.) The ways the one armed boxer goes about defeating them, and ultimately the titular villain, are often clunky and silly, sometimes in a fun way, sometimes in a tiresome way. There is one villain whose name is "win-without-a-knife yakuma" who in fact often uses a knife to win, that was a good trick. Oh yea, the soundtrack is really cool too, it has Neu! on it!
The best silly/ridiculous kung fu movie I've ever seen!
The two strongest fighters are both handicapped, which is a nice message, I think.
Feels like a primer of Han Chinese prejudices in some respects. The Thai fighter is dirty, uncivilized, and works for coin. The Japanese fighter is deceitful and takes advantage of the grand-master's daughter in her vulnerable state. Even the Indian fighter is presented as being foolishly blinded by his own mysticism.
With that said, it's sort of enjoyable in a Sonny Chiba grind-house sort of way (though not as well made). The villain is really great, and iconic though.
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