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Published on November 27th, 2009 | by Stan


Master of the Flying Guillotine

Jimmy Wang Yu’s outrageous martial arts film from 1975 is something of a cult classic. I re-watched it recently and can happily report that it’s as over the top and crazily entertaining as ever. This fight scene — between the one-armed boxer (Wang Yu) and a yoga master with an unexpected special power — is typical:

The Onion AV Club wrote that Master of the Flying Guillotine “needs to be seen to be believed, and even then defies belief”. They’re right.

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About the Author

Stan is a freelance writer and editor. He blogs about the English language at Sentence first and can also be found on Twitter.

9 Responses to Master of the Flying Guillotine

  1. Peter says:

    @ Stan – nice post – haven’t seen that movie in YEARS!

    Well on the xmas list it goes

  2. Stan says:

    Glad to remind you, Peter! I knew I’d find a fan or two here…

  3. Emlyn says:

    Cool! Like the little owl touch and the crazy-long arms. Really haven’t seen enough of these movies…only ‘Mr Vampire’ and ‘Encounters Of The Spooky Kind’…and some Bruce Lee stuff of course!

  4. Stan says:

    Emlyn: Bruce Lee was amazing but his films were of a very different sort: conventional, moral, and (relatively) realistic. MotFG has lots of throwaway absurdities like the owl-flinging manoeuvre, and you never know what might happen, because it’s peopled by odd characters with random special abilities, and the laws of physics don’t really get a look in.

    P.S. It’s on YouTube.

  5. Niamh says:

    Hahaha oh dear, so ridiculously bad that it’s entertaining! Love the long arm and the levitation up to the ceiling 🙂

  6. Stan says:

    Niamh: Happy to hear you enjoyed it! The film is cheap and daft, for sure, but it’s fun throughout, and the action is directed very skilfully to compensate for the shortcomings in resources.

  7. Emlyn says:

    @ Stan – yeah, Bruce Lee’s films were definately on a more realistic level. But i like the silliness and utter abandonment of these other films (and yes, they are very well choregraphed!)

    And cheers for the link! That’s one to enjoy now 😉

  8. Stan says:

    Emlyn: Definitely — the silliness is such a part of them. And, like you say, the utter abandonment. When these guys fight, all bets are off, because anything could happen! Universal law of gravity? Psh!

    If you watch it, let us know what you think!

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