October 7, 2015

'I'll Kill You with My Teacup.': A Look at the Weirdest Weapons Used in Film

Guns, knives, bombs can get pretty boring.

Sometimes in order to wow an audience you need to up the ante by getting creative with the way you wipe out hoards of zombies and armies of nameless henchmen. Andy Schneider and Jonathan Britnell of Burger Fiction have put together a fantastic supercut, a Vimeo Staff Pick, that compiles 29 "improbable" weapons used in film -- everything from the Gopher-Chuks in Kung Pow to Blue Raja's forks in Mystery Men.

Even though this supercut is entertaining all on its own, it provides a lot of insight about filmmaking. (What? Did you think you were going to get away with not learning something?) 

Keep your audience guessing

Imagine this scene: Guy #1 is sitting at a bar sipping on a pint of beer. A waiter serves him a juicy hamburger and a pen to sign his check as a very menacing Guy #2 approaches him. They eye each other for a moment before Guy #2 pulls a gun on Guy #1. Guy #1 calmly assesses his options.

Does he attempt to reach for the gun on his hip or the knife strapped to his ankle? There's no time for that -- he'd be a dead man for sure. Is he doomed? Hell no! He's got his pint glass, a barstool, his fists -- ah, but those things don't have much of a wow factor. If you're thinking, "Come on, Guy #1! Smash that hamburger in the dude's face and then stab him in the neck with the pen," then you understand how using unusual weapons can keep an audience interested in your film. The only thing missing is a nice one-liner, like, "Last call," or "I think you've had enough," or maybe "Put it on my tab," as Guy #1 slaps his check on Guy #2's bloody face.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

Everything's a weapon

If MacGyver taught us anything it's that anything can be useful when you're in a pinch. A carrot, a pair of hair picks, even a couple of melons can be turned into deadly armaments. As a filmmaker, this means you don't have to limit yourself to the usual suspects -- guns, knives, bombs, missiles, cars, etc. In the same way that MacGyver entertained viewers by putting ordinary, seemingly innocuous objects to work, you too can utilize random items to get creative with the way you kill people! I know -- it gives me the warm fuzzies, too.

Weapons can be iconic

Some films are known solely by certain iconic weapons. For instance, if I asked, "What's that movie called where the martial arts guy seeks revenge for his parents' death," you wouldn't really have a definitive answer. However, if I asked, "What's that movie with the gopher-chucks," you'd know right away that it was Kung Pow. You can draw attention to your film by making it unique, and one way to do that is to get creative with the weapons used in it. The supercut shows us how other filmmakers did it, so hopefully it sparks your imagination.      

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2 Comments

October 8, 2015 at 5:21AM

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Max
6

You didn't mention Kingsman - and there were all sorts of improbable weapons there.

Also, I think the best quote is from the old film ''Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves''

Sheriff of Nottingham: ''I'll cut out Robin's heart with a spoon''
Guy of Gisborne: ''Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?''
Sheriff of Nottingham: ''Because it's DULL, you twit. It'll hurt more.''

October 10, 2015 at 3:05PM

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Tony Be
74

Oops, sorry, I missed the Kingsman bit in the video. I only noticed it the second time I watched it.

But there were a lot more improbable weapons in Kingsman than the one that you showed

October 10, 2015 at 3:08PM

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Tony Be
74

I wrote and directed an independent film in 1989 called Elvis' Grave in which, an evil Elvis impersonator killed someone with an Elvis head decanter full of liquor. Then, four years later, an identical decanter was used by Patricia Arquette in True Romance to kill someone. Coincidence?

October 12, 2015 at 9:54AM

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