One Arm Boxer vs. The Flying Guillotine (1975)
Director: Jimmy Wang Yu
Tagline: For a close shave, I don’t recommend the flying guillotine!
The Master of the flying guillotine, Fung Sheng Wu Chi, is one bad looking dude.
Even though he is old and blind, he still cuts and imposing figure with his giant bushy eyebrows and red cape (he is government agent diguised as a Buddhist Llama, hence the reverse swastika on the front of his gown.) What makes him a force to be reckoned with his handy fold-up flying guillotine that can decapitate at great distances. He demonstrates this on some stone heads on pillars, then on a live chicken that happens to by flying about. Also I must mention his introductory music which is very imposing (with low roars and hard beats) which is replayed whenever he appears.
The One Armed Boxer killed two of his disciples so he is out for revenge. It doesn’t matter which man with the one arm goes down, in fact he plans to kill them all.
Cut to the One Armed Boxer demonstrating his skills by walking up the wall and across the ceiling. His students hear about a kung fu tournament and want him to enter.
He realises it is just a ploy to get him out into the open as the government is looking for him so he agrees to go as an observer.
The kung fu tournament is where this movie really takes off. There is such a variety of styles on display and loads of interesting characters including:
Everything is going swimmingly in the tournament until Fung Sheng turns up and kills off a one-armed competitor, leading to chaos and lots of explosions and killing.
The students of the One Arm Boxer quickly make their exit and regroup at their school where their master tells him he is closing down the school while they deal with the threat of the flying guillotine. On cue the Thai Boxer and Fung Sheng turn up they have to leave sharpish. The rest of the movie concerns One Arm’s attempts to deal with the threat.
This is a very cartoon-ish movie, but it is really great fun, especially the kung fu tournament. The flying guillotine is a nasty piece of work, but it has a silly sound effect of a gun ricochet when it is thrown so it is hard to take seriously. If you don’t like kung fu movies with lots of fighting then you’re out of luck.
Watching this movie again I noticed that the Flying Guillotine Master’s music has been lifted for use in the Kill Bill soundtrack, but proving it goes both ways, most of the music on this soundtrack is from Kraftwerk’s album “Autobahn”.
Jimmy Wang Yu – The Charles Bronson of Asia and a German Hardcore Techno fan? I’d like to think so.Rating : 8/10