Sunday, September 20, 2009
Day 249: Master of the Flying Guillotine (1974) - Rank 3.5/5
It's Mortal Kombat: the Movie before "Mortal Kombat" was ever born! Flying weapons and over-the-top fight sequences galore, this is both a quintessential martial arts flick as well as a nice, little guilty pleasure. To make logical heads or tails of the plot is an exercise in futility, but being a school teacher by second trade, I excel at executing frivolity.
A blind assassin is bound and determined to vanquish his sworn enemy, the one-armed boxer who killed his followers. The assassin hones his skills by killing every one-armed man he happens across, utilizing the weapon that you know is coming...the FLYING GUILLOTINE! In one swift move, an opponent is beheaded, leaving the master of the weapon to revel at your decapitated body...assuming he could see it. The one-armed boxer, who's now running a martial arts school, spearheads a fighting tournament in the hopes of flushing out the assassin. Several eccentric fighters later, including one whose arms possess "Stretch Armstrong" powers, the blind killer shows himself.
It's clear that this was one of the prime pieces of cult fodder that influenced Tarantino's creation of the "Kill Bill" saga - so much so that he even uses excerpts from the theme music during "Volume One." The film possesses none of the grace and complex story lines that modern masterpieces, such as "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," or "Hero," do. But rest assured that there's enough absurdity to satiate your inner ten year-old.
Watch the Trailer