The 8 Greatest Makeshift Movie Weapons


The stalwarts of most action heroes' go-to movie weapons-automatic rifles, flamethrowers, lightsabers-might look good onscreen, but they can be unreliable. Guns run out of bullets, flamethrowers can explode suddenly, and lightsabers go through more batteries than a college sorority house.

This means that, in the very likely event that, at one point or another, you're going to engage in a climactic fight to the death with your nemesis, chances are good that you'll have to get creative. Using common household objects as implements of death shows your adversary a level resourcefulness, cunning and sheer ingenuity they'll have to respect, even as they're trying to kill you. You've got to be the sort of person who looks at a weed whacker and has a light bulb pop up over your head, and is able to then grab that light bulb and use it to kill someone.

So to prepare for your inevitable date with an army of rivals who for some reason will stop at nothing to kill you, here are the 8 greatest homemade weapons in movie history.

The oxygen tank from Jaws

In the Peter Benchley novel, Quint stabs the shark with a harpoon and kills him, but his foot gets tangled in one of the barrels, drags him under and drowns him. Since Steven Spielberg was presumably wholly unaware that the original ending was a not-so-subtle nod to Moby Dick, or that a book called Moby Dick was ever written, he decided to end the film adaptation with a big explosion instead:

In the final moments of the movie it's down to just Chief Brody and the shark. He stuffs an oxygen tank in the Great White's massive mouth, crawls up the crow's nest as the Orca sinks, calls the shark a son of a bitch and BOOM! Lucky for Brody, Jaws the killer shark is no more. Unlucky for the audience, Jaws the unstoppable film franchise is followed by three more sequels that made audiences want to blow up their neighborhood Cineplex.

How It Is Useful Against Your Enemies

Thanks to a recent episode of Mythbusters and a behind-the-scenes feature included with the Jaws Special Edition DVD in which Spielberg makes Richard Dreyfuss hold an oxygen tank in his mouth while Spielberg shoots at it, we now know that puncturing an oxygen tank does nothing to turn your enemies into shark chum. The shark will have a pretty wicked little head rush while it eats you though, so there's that.

The frying pan from Kill Bill Vol. 1

After being shot and left for dead, The Bride (Uma Thurman) is more thirsty for revenge than a Kennedy is for beer, and she begins her search by venturing to a quaint Pasadena family home. When Vivica A. Fox (A.K.A. "Copperhead") opens the door, a brutal fight ensues that is equal parts QVC and UFC:

Copperhead lunges with a kitchen knife that you can almost hear Susan Sommers hawking, and the Bride fends it off with a frying pan in a move straight out of the Julia Child Guide to Kicking Ass.

How It Is Useful Against Your Enemies

A frying pan is big and heavy, it's got an ergonomic handle perfect for swinging, and makes a very satisfying "thud" when it connects with your enemy's skull. There's also something about a frying pan that just screams "Clobber someone with me, you know you want to!" It's probably buried deep in our brains from all those Looney Tunes shorts we watched as kids, though we're hoping that isn't true because it'll just give Jack Thompson another excuse to talk.

Lionel's lawnmower from Dead Alive

Towards the end of this very odd zombie movie from director Peter Jackson, our hero dispatches the zombie horde with a lawnmower strapped across his chest:

What ensues is one of the bloodiest scenes involving a lawnmower since 2002's America's Funniest Home Video's $10,000 grand prize winner.

How It Is Useful Against Your Enemies

Lawnmowers are big and clunky and chances are if you're thinking about using one as a weapon, you live in a trailer, consider Steak'ums a Thanksgiving side dish and refer to refined pork treats and warm beer as the breakfast of champions. In other words, carrying and running with a lawnmower on your body is entirely out of the question for someone with your physique. Also, the only time this is an effective weapon is if your enemies are the type who attack slowly in an all-at-once formation, and are incapable of recognizing from the first wave of your chest mower victims that it's a bad idea to just stand there (ruling out pretty much all potential assailants other than non-28 Days Later zombies and the elderly).

The ballpoint pen from Grosse Pointe Blank

Martin Blank, played by John Cusack, decides to put his hit man life on hold in order to attend his high school reunion. While Blank dances and enjoys punch, a rival assassin hired to wipe Blank out for the "Oregon snafu with that dog Boudreaux" makes his move. The two get into a brutal kickboxing match by the lockers. Finally, Blank gets him into submission, whips out the ballpoint pen he got from a schmoozy real estate agent at the reunion and sticks it right in the assassin's jugular:

This accomplishes the duel objectives of giving us a pretty clever little death scene, and distracting us from the fact that we're being asked to believe that John Cusack has just kicked someone's ass in a kickboxing fight.

How It Is Useful Against Your Enemies

What it causes in pain it lacks in distance. You literally have to get right up in your enemy's face for it to really do some damage, which, given the fact that they are your enemies, probably isn't something you want to do. But if you can get past their anchovy breath, large face goiter and glaring evil stare, it can cause some damage and make a huge mess. Bring some Wet Naps.

The cricket bat from Shaun of the Dead

Thousands of British zombies invade Great Britain. After about a half hour of dicking-around, Shaun and Ed realize they have to defend themselves from the pale horde of the blank-faced masses and, after trying and failing with cutlery and old records, get the job done with an old cricket bat found in the shed:

He soon delivers two zombies with a sticky wicket full of pain and uses it to fight his way through town to save his girlfriend and his mom.

How It Is Useful Against Your Enemies

The cricket bat actually beats out Al Capone's (Robert DeNiro) baseball bat in The Untouchables: While it might be less all-American, it's much thicker, flatter and makes up in weight what it lacks in speed (also, unlike The Untouchables' baseball bat murder, this one is not preceded by one of the most muddled "team player" metaphors this side of a Dunder Mifflon corporate retreat). The cricket bat also packs the added pain of being injured with a sporting good from a wimpy Euro sport-only choking on a shuttlecock is more humiliating.

The chainsaw from Evil Dead II

After the evil takes his friends and his right hand, Ash decides to turn the ultimate negative into the most bitching positive possible. He pieces together various clamps and vices and attaches a chainsaw to his hand, which he also uses to turn his double barrel 12-gauge Remington shotgun into a patented boomstick:

Groovy indeed, sir.

How It Is Useful Against Your Enemies

As Scarface showed us, a chainsaw can be pretty useful in and of itself. It's fairly lightweight, easy to swing and very powerful. But attaching a chainsaw where your hand used to be takes it to a level of commitment that is almost unfathomable, and can be psychologically devastating to your enemies. If your enemies are anything like us, when you step to them with a chainsaw for an arm, they're probably thinking, "Not only is he willing to attack me with a chainsaw, but he's willing to cut off a part of his own body so he can use a weapon in his other hand while attacking me with a chainsaw. Screw this, I'm going home to watch Gilmore Girls." (Trust us, they might pretend like they don't, but your enemies totally watch the double G.)

The forklift from Aliens

It's down to Ripley and the Alien Queen. Ripley, not having acid blood that burns through metal, is at a slight disadvantage here. So she mans a robotic forklifting exoskeleton and proceeds to beat the living shit out of the alien she-devil before sucking it out of an airlock and sending it straight back to the cold darkness of space hell:

It's not only one of the coolest fights in movie history, but it's also, oddly, one of the hottest catfights in movie history. You'll feel unclean every time you see a robo-forklift for the rest of your life.

How It Is Useful Against Your Enemies

Good news if you don't like feeling unclean, but bad if you plan on fighting an evil Alien with acid blood: the robotic forklift hasn't been invented yet. But a regular, good old-fashioned forklift can work too. It's basically a mini-car with a spiked battering ram on the grill. If you can pimp out the engine to make it go above 30 mph and get your enemies to fight you in the warehouse where you work so your boss can't have you arrested for stealing company property, it could be pretty sweet.

The wooden board from Walking Tall

Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Sheriff Buford Pusser's two by four , which he uses exclusively to hit the faces of anyone vaguely evil-looking, makes any stick Teddy Roosevelt carried look minisule and ineffective in comparison. Both the 1973 version with Joe Don Baker and the 2004 remake with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson told the true story of the McNairy County sheriff who fought off an army of corruption in small-town Tennessee with a simple board, which he wielded like a redneck Highlander:

How It Is Useful Against Your Enemies

You have to admire its simplicity. A team of scientists didn't spend thousands of federal tax dollars and man-hours calculating the trajectory of the swing or finding the perfect shape to reduce wind resistance. A guy just picked it up at the lumber yard on his wayto the bad guy's house and thought, "You know, I'll bet this would be great for caving in a skull or two." The simplicity and haphazardness of this tool make it among the greatest makeshift weapons of all time. Unfortunately, its size, and your relative lack thereof in comparison with the Rock, probably make it among the least practical for use by those of us who aren't steroid-fueled behemoths.

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