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"This film is amazing. If you like kung fu/samurai flicks, this is the one to see. I thought "Swordsman II" was great, this I think, is better. This movie reminds me so much of the anime "Ninja Scroll". The cinematography is awesome. The fighting is superb, and the violence is incredible. It captures the essence of Shaolin kung fu and the Japanese samurai. Great sword play and an intriguing story. This is a gem. Now one of my favorite martial arts movies. Two thumbs up, way up."
Finally! A Movie with EXPLODING NINJAS!!!!
DHX | Temecula, CA United States | 08/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just picked this title up at Circuit City for $6.99. Now, I've been wanting to get an older HK Kung Fu movie (for what it is) for a while now. I used to watch Kung Fu Theater every Saturday at 3:00pm on channel 5 (hehe) when I was really little. The only three I remember are Drunken Master, Jade Claw, and The Flying Guillotine. But they all had certain qualities that, while hokey, I had come to love about them: Bad audio Looping and dialog, The "Snap" sound effect during fights, bad Disco Music, confusing and overly-elaborate storylines, but best of all, over-the-top, reality-suspending action sequences.
Since those days, I have grown to love anime, Japanese fighting games, and modern kung fu flicks, (and Kill Bill, heh) and I had since forgotten about the old classics. My standards for Kung Fu action movies had even become elevated, requiring elements from the aforementioned modern media! Then I came across "The Flying Guillotine" at Best Buy a few months ago. The price was a bit too much so I didn't get it, but I was reminded of the classics and I wanted to get a proper cheapie Saturday Afternoon Cheesy Kung Fu Popcorn flick. What I got instead... was "DUEL TO THE DEATH"!!! It is SOOO much more!!!
This movie's got it all: Over-the-Top Action sequences... Check! Awesome, slightly muted, 70's style music... Check! Japan Vs. China... Check! Dual Evil Plots... Check! Bad Dialogue Looping... Check! The "Snap" sound during fist fights, as well as a host over other overdone Foley Sound Effects... Check! Big Haired, Big Eyebrowed, Big Sideburned Asian dudes as well as Old long bearded Masters, as well as Shaolin Monks... Check Check Check! Extremely Well done Wire Fu... Check! Samurai and Kabuki Warriors... Check! Ninjas?? Hmmm... Well let's see... Let's go down the list here... We've got Stealth Ninjas, Shuriken Ninjas, Kite Ninjas, Sand Ninjas, Tree Ninjas, Leaf Ninjas, Flying Freight Transport Ninjas, Giant Ninjas made up of several standard size Ninjas, NAKED Female Boobie Ninjas, EXPLODING Ninjas (Nothing, absolutely NOTHING under the Sun says Action like EXPLODING NINJAS!!), Vanishing Ninjas, Smoke shooting Ninjas, Samurai Ninjas, Yes, there's even a Jack-in-the-Box Ninja, Ninjas that get sliced in two, Ninjas that get sliced in half, revealing another ninja jumping out from inside the old Ninja, and last but not least, the Naked Female Boobie Ninja!!! Nope you can never go wrong with that! (Im not making any of this up either!)
The movie reeks of outstanding production values, which is unsusual for a Kung Fu movie from that era. Excellent visuals ABOUND, and not just in the scenery either, but just in the styles of the characters movements and the camera angles. For instance, our Japanese Samurai hero is the Lord of the Stance! He uses very handsome looking stances and has a couple of beautiful finishing move poses! It's like the movie is thanking you for watching it by constantly providing small bits of on-screen eye candy! This movie also has awesome special effects (for what they are, at least)!
This movie is flat out FUN! It even has a few humor sequences (the scene with the little samurai kids is pretty funny). There are also moments where you're going WHAAAAT???!!, hehehe. It rarely slows down, and when it does, you can count on some action sequences right around the corner. And the action sequences have a tendency to LITERALLY go way out of control. There is tremendous amount of buildup in some of the fights and things quickly become accelerated to the point that it actually loses control and crazy stuff starts to happen!! You feel as though you're at the mercy of an uncontrolled car or rollercoaster that's about to hit something... and then it does and then all hell breaks loose! It's at these points that the sequences are at their most over the top or their most violent! It really is something to experience! For Example:
[WARNING: MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS!!! The following sentence is only for those who have seen the movie.] Probably the most memorable scene of the movie was when the hero is fighting a foe, and things escalate, then all of a sudden the hero slices the foe's head off, it goes flying and gets impaled onto a tree branch right through the ears, and we zoom in on it long enough for this disembodied head-kabob thingie to actually SPEAK, saying: "Mark my words... You will DIE!", and then, of course, ultimately EXPLODING!! Now THAT's Cool!!! [END SPOILERS]
This is now my second favorite Kung Fu movie, second only to Fist of Legend. I would also reccomend watching it if you've watched (and liked) Kill Bill. For this is pretty much the movie Kill Bill was trying to be! Get it, pop up some popcorn on a lazy Saturday afternoon, open your mind and suspend all reality, and Enjoy this GEM!! IT'S GOT NAKED FEMALE NINJAS IN IT FOR GOODNESS SAKES!!!!
Sorry for the Long Review!"
One of the Great Chinese Period Pictures
ferreteer | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film has everything: intrigue, suspense, swordplay, and flying Ninjas. Lots of flying ninjas. The film is actually very entertaining, and brings up some interesting philosophical issues about honor and dedication to country vs. family. By the way, did I mention the flying Ninjas?"
Great dated Kung Fu action that compares favorably to today'
C. Doan | North Carolina | 03/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As other reviewers have said here this film is riveting because considering it was done well before CGI was developed its special effects (though mostly wired) are very believable. The action is well choreographed and performed admirably by the main actors who are well known within the martial arts world. Definitely no pretending here! You will like this movie if you are a kung-fu buff who enjoys a little wire work. Jet Li beware!"
Why duel to the death is the greatest movie ever. period.
firstname.lastname@example.org | dallas, TX USA | 07/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"duel to the death is the greatest movie ever. why? because it is totally historically and politically incorrect. now, some of you might frown on that. oh well, this movie has ninjas flying on kites and people jumping off swords. but the most important thing about this movie is what it'll make you ask yourself. when you're through watching this movie you'll dig down into the depths of your soul to find the answer to this question: why did that guy stab himself in the foot?"