Blu-ray Review: Flying Guillotine Part II

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The most badass weapon in the history of humanity is the Flying Guillotine. Nothing comes close. Ninja throwing stars, flame throwers, num-chuks and cruise missiles can’t compete with the Flying Guillotine. What is it? It’s like a Frisbee on a chain that you fling at a person. It lands over their head; you yank the chain, and the interior blades sever their neck. The victim’s loose head is capture in a bag that you can yank back with the chain. It likes like a fatal Jiffy Pop except instead of expanding with popcorn, you get a bloody head. When I saw an ad in the newspaper for a Flying Guillotine movie, I wanted to know more. Now you can know it all with Flying Guillotine Part II.

Now before you get too worried that you’ll be missing out having not seen the first Flying Guillotine movie, don’t worry. The sequel has nothing to do with the original outside of featuring the same weapon. The Shaw Brothers were wanting to crank out a full fledge sequel except the director refused. The original stars Chen Kuan Tai and Liu Wu Chi didn’t return. Feng Ku lost his head in the first film, he’s brought back and given the meaty role of the Emperor. In some markets the film was retitled Palace Carnage which makes sense since it is all about attempts by rebels to kill a cruel emperor and not a real sequel.

After being a dominating weapon, the Flying Guillotine has been neutralized. During an attack, a rebel blocks the killing machine by using a metal umbrella-like device. This upsets the emperor who fears he has lost his domination in the ability to pop off heads. But he brings in the smartest guy in the kingdom that invents a second generation of Flying Guillotine. This one has a secret addition that will overcome the umbrellas and snap off a rebel’s head. Unknown to him, the daughter of an emperor’s lord is conspiring against him. She recruits a team of women to be part of a royal guard that train to use the new Flying Guillotine. But will she be able to get the tyrant’s head before she’s exposed as an assassin?

Flying Guillotine Part II is the Godfather Part II of Flying Guillotine movies. This is epic and lofty. The pacing is as fast as the action. There’s no dead space in the 92 minutes. There are heads getting lopped off all over the Shawscope screen. The fights defy gravity as the battles go flying all over the sets. Making this film sound cooler, Shaw Brothers had licensed quite a bit of music from the original Godzilla score. Who would win in a fight between Godzilla and The Flying Guillotine? Why wasn’t Godzilla Vs. The Flying Guillotine a movie? Flying Guillotine Part II is a monstrous hit that will make you believe a guillotine can fly.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. It’s all glorious Shawscope on the screen. The transfers being out the details in the colorful fights. The audio is Mandarin LCPM Mono. The levels are solid so you hear the buzzing as the Flying Guillotine is thrown. There’s also the English dub in LCPM Mono. Always remember that Shaw Brothers had their own voice team for the dubs so neither audio selection is the actual cast. The movie is subtitled in English.

Audio Commentary with Asian cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema gets into the reality of this instrument of death and the early production problems with the film.

Original Trailer (3:33) is all action. They show off the various users and techniques of the Flying Guillotine. This is a “Superior Production” from the Shaw Brothers.

Stills Gallery has 16 press photos and the movie poster. They wanted people to know what this weapon would do to your head.

Booklet features an essay from Barry Forshaw, production photos and lobby cards.

Mini Poster features the original art and a new image created by Kung Fu Bob.

88 Films presents Flying Guillotine Part II. Directed by Cheng Kang & Hua Shen. Screenplay by Kang Cheng, Yung-Chang Li & Kuang Ni. Starring Feng Ku, Hung Wei, Locke Hua Liu, Nancy Yen, Mei Sheng Fan, Lieh Lo and Wang Chung. Running Time: 92 minutes. Rated: Unrated. Release Date: August 9, 2022.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.