November 09, 2021
Having seen mostly Shaw Bros martial arts films from the 70s, it's sometimes nice to break out and see what else is out there. Not that Master of the Flying Guillotine is terribly obscure, it did become a somewhat unlikely cult hit in the West. It's certainly not as polished or accomplished as the Shaw Bros stuff, but it's a tad grittier and more aimed at delivering pure genre fun, which ain't a bad thing.
The film pitches the one-armed boxer against the master of the flying guillotine. After the former killed two disciples of the latter, a showdown is inevitable. The master is a very powerful and ruthless man, he sets off on a veritable killing spree, picking up some other martial artists along the way. The one-armed boxer will have to be cunning if he wants to get rid of his opponent.
There's a lot of fighting going on here. The story advances through rather short bursts of dialogue, the rest is just extended fight sequences, tournaments and trap building. The choreography is a bit mixed, but there are some cool weapons and a pleasant level of creativity. You really have to love martial arts flicks, other than that there's really not much here, but if you do, you can't really go wrong with this film.