The Flying Guillotine (1975)

Xue di zi (1975) 111min | Action, Drama | 18 February 1975 (Hong Kong) Summary: An assassin, trained in the use of a throwing weapon that can behead its victims from a distance, questions the morality of his missions and becomes a fugitive hunted by his former comrades.
Countries: Hong KongLanguages: Mandarin

The Flying Guillotine (1975).

The Emperor has a problem. In fact, he has two problems. Two very important ministers, who he feels need to meet with a, ahem, cough, cough, ACCIDENT. It would be truly unfortunate but VERY CONVENIENT if these two men were no longer in the realm of the living.

But then the Emperor rolls a 1 on the wisdom roll required when one of his advisors comes up with a TOTALLY FLAWLESS PLAN to help these ministers have fatal accidents. Because what the Emperor actually signs off on is the recruitment of 12 (count them) top warriors who will be trained in the use of the new, top secret, highly lethal weapons – THE FLYING GUILLOTINES.

Wait. Woah. Back up a second, the what now? Flying Guillotines. These are generally hat shaped objects which are thrown through the air at the end of a long chain and, due to their marvellous nature and the excellence of the weapon master, then drop a kind of net down over the head of the victim and some blades go snicker-snack and the victim’s head kind of just comes off.

Accidentally, of course.

The real cut and throw of this movie is, however, in the rebellion of one of the weapon masters. Who decides that following orders is not really a good enough excuse when he’s being ordered to kill people who he considers to be extremely beneficial to the smooth running of the state. And frankly, at the rate that the red inked names start to flow from the Emperor, he’s got a damn point.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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