Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Guillotines

Years ago I saw a Hong Kong flick, Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976). The gimmick was this device, a head-sized ring with concealed blades you could throw like a frisbee, and it would land on some guy's head and somehow fall down to his neck. Then you'd pull on the attached chain and -- well, you get the picture. The flying guillotine had a sack attached to it so the head would be conveniently contained.

Years later (last year), Hong Kong filmmaker Andrew Lau Wai Keung thought it would be a good idea to revisit this whole flying guillotine concept. And you know what? He was right. The Guillotines, an effects-heavy action jaunt, rocks the steampunk/action tip, but I had a problem: Not enough flying guillotines! No sooner is the concept offered up than it's largely abandoned for other story elements.

So it's like this: You've got this elite group of assassins called ... wait for it ... The Guillotines. They all employ the flying guillotine one way or another (there are various models). The emperor sends them on a mission and, well, you'll see … everything goes horribly wrong. The guy they're supposed to eliminate, a cult leader, is in fact a righteous dude. Moral dilemma!

You know me, I usually only review films I like, so if I'm talking about The Guillotines, it's a good bet (even if you never heard of it). It's also a tearjerker (at the end) so your girlfriend will like it too. Dude, what are you waiting for?