MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE

year: 1975
rating: ***1/2

The downside to this movie is there's not enough of that red beenie taking off heads, but in its place we get a whole lotta kung fu in a contest: one-on-one fights to the death, much like "Enter the Dragon", only here we get guys with elongated arms (very cool) and men who can walk on walls. Plot centers on a one-armed karate teacher who's being sought out by an old blind bearded assassin - the Master of the Flying Guillotine - who wants him dead for killing two of his friends, and he twirls his blade-cap at anyone else with one arm. There's an uneven sporatic mix between English subtitles and the classic mismatched dubbing, flickery lighting and other such technical "flaws" happen frequently but only add to the cult appeal. The music is fantastic, the direction incredible, and there's a bevy of kung-fu fights, tons of killing, and a pretty nifty plot making this one of the greatest - if funnest to watch - martial arts fantasies ever produced.

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