Country: Hong Kong
there aren’t many movies that completely change your view on an entire genre, but this one has done it for me and my views of kung-fu films. i’m not saying this is the first “real” kung-fu film i ever saw or that i didn’t respect the genre before seeing this, but when i saw this film for the first time (11/21/03) it was a sort of revolution. never before had i seen a kung-fu film like this. overall i think that i still prefer yuen woo ping’s later kung-fu films to this style of kung-fu film, but this is the best kung-fu film i’ve ever seen. i prefer yuen’s films because the fight choreography is more inventive and exciting and he incorporates humor really well. master of the flying guillotine, though, is a kung-fu film and that’s why it’s special – because it’s the first kung-fu film that i really saw. for me, before this there was some bruce lee stuff which was good a small sampling of yuen’s work and a glut of stereotypical kung-fu films.
one of the more exciting elements of this film is the sound design. the folley work is great (though to some it might seem over-the-top), the music is really ahead of its time and the soundtrack complements the characters quite well.