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The Fatal Flying Guillotine (1977)

Cast: Carter Wong, Carter Wong, Chen Sing, more...
Director: Raymond Lui, Raymond Lui
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Cav Distribution
Genre: Action, Foreign, Hong Kong, Martial Arts
Running Time: 90 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

As the Ching Dynasty continues to oppress the masses, evil prince Yun Ching steals a sacred medicine book and forms an uncertain alliance with former master Wu, the warrior who had perfected "The Flying Guillotines." Wu is reluctant to associate with such a tyrant, and when a young warrior named Sun and the monks of Shaolin Temple come looking for the medicine book, it looks as if Yun Ching's days may be numbered. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Nice Gimmickry; Somewhat Lackluster Action by aardvark December 9, 2003 - 11:29 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
One odd subgenre within the kung fu film is the "flying guillotine" film. The flying guillotine is a mythical weapon which looks somewhat like a metal hatbox with a buzzsaw rotating on its inside. The weapon is connected to a long chain or rope which the wielder uses to decapitate opponents at long ranges.

"The Fatal Flying Guillotine" is a fairly interesting entry into this category. This independent production stars the decidedly uncharismatic Carter Wong, who in addition to being a lousy actor who consistently demonstrates subpar onscreen kung fu skills, seems to have a penchant for appearing in third-rate films. The saving grace in this one is the flying guillotine gimmick, plus some other visually interesting elements (booby-trapped caves, poisonous snakes, some dramatic landscapes) as well as an interesting (though not always terribly logical) plot involving political intrigue, Shaolin monks, and a treasured ancient medical text. The film's almost comically sadistic villain is also appealing.

Unfortunately, the action scenes are rather mediocre. Fight scenes appear to have been undercranked, so that they too often resemble a silent film being screened at the wrong speed. Many of the scenes consist of one guy fighting a dozen or so; however they lack the skilled choreography and other elements which make similar scenes in Shaw Brothers productions so compelling.

Fans of the flying guillotine and of Carter Wong (that is, if Carter Wong fans actually exist) will want to check this film out. However, if you're not particularly a hardcore kung fu film freak, with the high tolerance for shlock that such fandom entails, then proceed with caution.

This title is currently unavailable on disc or is no longer in-print.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.50)
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