The Flying Guillotine

1975

Action / Drama

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 02, 2019 at 06:33 PM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
645.22 MB
1280*538
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 3 / 1
1.24 GB
1904*800
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 0 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by poe426 8 / 10

Heads do roll...

Xin Kang (Ku Feng) is tasked by The Emperor with coming up with a new method for eliminating scholars and intellectuals (not to mention other government officials) who deviate from the Party Line. Watching jugglers in the town square, he comes up with THE FLYING GUILLOTINE. While the contraption as presented here (and elsewhere, in various other films) may be improbable, it serves its cinematic purpose. The Emperor is so impressed with it that he assigns a special squad of assassins to perfect the killing technique(s) to be employed. Ma Teng (Chen Kuan-Ti) quickly becomes a standout, but when he comes close to accidentally killing fellow assassin Ah Kun, Kun decides to get rid of Ma Teng by accusing him of plotting treason. When Ma Teng expresses qualms about the assassinations of several government officials, it's only icing on the cake for Kun. It turns out that Ma Teng isn't the only assassin having second thoughts. Xin Kang and Ah Kun go after the dissenters. "Our heads don't belong to us any more," Kang says. Will Ma Teng survive, or will The Emperor's assassins take his head? THE FLYING GUILLOTINE, while it doesn't contain a LOT of fight scenes, is good, old-fashioned storytelling and well worth your time.

Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

Worthwhile historical martial arts opus

The evil and corrupt Emperor Yung Cheng (a marvelously ruthless portrayal by Yang Chiang) commissions a new deadly and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as the flying guillotine. After elite squad member Ma Teng (a solid and likable performance by Kuen Tai Chen) objects to the immoral killings done with the guillotines and decides to defect, Cheng sends the other members of the assassination squad to track Teng down and kill him. Director Meng Hua Ho relates the enjoyable and engrossing story at a snappy pace, doesn't skimp on the bloody'n'brutal violence, stages the action scenes with flair and skill, offers a meticulous and convincing evocation of the period setting, and even sprinkles in a little tasty female nudity for good measure. Kuang Ni's surprisingly meaty script nicely explores the significant themes of guilt, honor, loyalty, morality, and betrayal. The lavish sets and costumes provide an impressive sense of scope. The titular contraption rates as one seriously nasty and fearsome piece of lethal work. The lovely Wu Chi Liu brings a winning blend of charm and substance to her role as the sweet and sympathetic Yu Ping. Hui-chi Tsao's crisp widescreen cinematography gives this film a handsome and expansive look. Fu-ling Wang's dynamic and dramatic score hits the stirring spot. A really sound and satisfying Shaw Brothers outing.

Reviewed by Eli-11 9 / 10

Great story, no really.

I found this on DVD -- some sort of low-budget or bootleg pan-and-scan transfer -- and since it wasn't marked very well hoped it might be the Yu Wang film. Alas it wasn't but this, I suppose the first of the three films involving the flying beekeeping hat of death, stands out on its own terms.

We meet the inventor of the flying guillotine, complete with an origin scene involving a lot of chin scratching. The basic premise is that an evil emperor has a few grudges and trains a crack team of assassins who use the deadly decapitator to carry out his will (complete with a decent training sequence). A few guys on the team get hit in the conscience (with shades of Macbeth) and the story gets moving. A hero emerges, the villains reveal themselves, it's a whole lot more shaded than I expected.

Be forewarned that this isn't a film of great fight scenes. Yu Wang brought those to the flying guillotine genre later. This is an HK action flick with a plot -- more like a grainy, overdubbed Die Hard. Perhaps a shot at emulating Kurasawa or Leone without the budget and great equipment, plus an awesome metalworker with a blade fetish. There are great fights but the first kill without a clean separation of mind and body happens around the 40 minute mark.

You'll also see some nice early wire work -- the assassins bound silently atop buildings in ways that would evolve to Crouching Tiger. The fight scenes are there, they just aren't the whole point of the movie and the guys fight more like real grunts than Bruce or Jackie. The guillotines might here have been like seeing light sabers for the first time.

It may not have the reputation or sense of humour of its successor, aside from the weapon itself you'll barely need to suspend disbelief, but it's heads and shoulders above most other HK films being produced at the time. In fact it's probably the reality-factor that I liked so much and I swear it reminded me of a Shakespearean plot way more than it should have. Add that up with great early effects, terrific editing, and the coolest gadget to behead a censor or two at 100 yards and you've got yourself a winner.

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