Monday, April 18, 2011

3 Masters, 1 Guillotine

MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE is one of my favorite martial arts movies. It's an ancestor of those fighting games that would take off in later years, but with an actual honest-to-goodness plot, too. It's not absolutely perfect, but it's just good enough to approach the top of my kung-fu list.

There isn't a lot I can add to the subject of the movie itself that hasn't already been written elsewhere. However, I do want to take a look at three separate movie trailers for it, and the different approaches they take to selling the movie.

Example 1 is the original Hong Kong trailer in its English version. It is pretty straightforward, as those previews usually were. The English lettering is a just a little off-center, and can be subject to both odd phrasing and misspellings. Those blurbs, of course, are translations of Chinese, so they sometimes read weirdly to us. Bonus points to this trailer for incorporating strange sound effects for no good reason and including the character name/fighting style "Win Without A Knife". I'd like that to be my name, I think.

Example 2 is the U.S. trailer from the mid-1970s. It is narrated by Adolph Caesar, which automatically elevates it to my favorite of this trio right there. It doesn't hurt that Caesar's script makes several references intended to make the film sound like science-fiction and claims that some malarkey process dubbed "Super-Cine Vision" was utilized. The editing is faster-paced, the music is livelier, and the whole package just makes me want to see the movie. "And he's ready to blow your mind!"

Example 3 is from the Pathfinder Pictures re-release. Again, no narration, but much stronger use of the Neu! music that is so identified with the film. It's a bit more modern and less concerned with going over the top in its pimping. If I had seen this in a theater, you're darn tootin' I would have paid money to see the flick. Alas, I had to content myself with the DVD instead.

Which is your favorite?

1 comment:

Danny Coffin said...

I was torn between Examples 2&3,but Adolph Caesar's narration gave #2 the edge for me(it reminded me of his narration in the TV ad for KISS' 2nd album ''HOTTER THAN HELL''...)