One of my favorite movies these days is Master of the Flying Guillotine (1975) for two simple reasons:
- First, the characters and fight scenes are awesome. The evil, blind imperial assassin who has a “flying guillotine” in his arsenal of weapons is a tried and true badass. More than that, the fighting tournament towards the middle of the film (which lasts about 15 minutes) features some of the most entertaining fight scenes in cinema. The tournament showcases a host of different martial art styles, weapons, and other assorted moments of fun-filled violence. You can get a good sense of these scenes from the trailer at about a 1:12 in.
- Second, the underlying paranoia of foreigners in this film is fascinating. The characters that ultimately team-up with the “Master of the Flying Guillotine” against the one-armed Boxer are all foreigners, namely the Thai Boxer, the Indian Yoga Master, and the Japanese “Win Without a Knife.”
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the one-armed Boxer is truly a thoughtful teacher and a kung-fu badass in his own right.