A favorite among martial-arts aficionados (both Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson have gone to bat for it), this 1975 feature by Wang Yu takes place in 17th-century China, where a blind and wizened monk (Kang Kam) sets out to avenge himself against the virtuous and renowned kung fu master (Wang) who killed his best disciples. The plot is creaky and the dialogue silly, but Wang, whose reputation in East Asia rivaled that of Bruce Lee, choreographs the fight sequences with an eye for surprising and idiosyncratic moves. Among the highlights are a lengthy tournament in which contestants trained in various styles fight to the death and a finale in which the monk unleashes his horrific flying guillotine, a hoodlike contraption with rotating blades. In Mandarin with subtitles. R, 95 min.
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