BLOG Sci-Fi & Fantasy’s Most Impractical Weaponry
I’ll stick with a knife, reckons SFX blogger PigMonkey
I was speaking with my friend Chris about the more impractical weaponry sci-fi, fantasy and horror have given us. Seemed like a good thing to look into. I’ve singled out a few favourites. I am not saying that these weapons are not cool, I think they are all awesome. However, I also think they are wildly impractical. That is what makes them so entertaining.
Origin: Goldfinger (1964)
A bowler hat with a steel brim that is capable of cutting through marble when thrown. I question the wisdom of having something so dangerous at head level. One strong knock and it’ll peel off your lid, like popping the cap off a bottle.
Vulcan Monks’ Spade
Origin: Star Trek “Amok Time” (1967)
This thing looks like a garden edger with the handle covered with a silver-painted traffic cone. For a species based on logic they really did create an illogical weapon with which to ritually kill each other. You know what would work better than a pendulum blade? A knife. There is just nothing efficient about this weapon.
Origin: Master Of The Flying Guillotine (1976)
National Geographic did a documentary on the Flying Guillotine; it is possible that this is a real weapon. It’s a big hat on a chain that cuts you off at the neck. They have drawings for this weapon but no real evidence that it ever existed.
Origin: Star Wars (1977)
Yes, lightsabers are cool no denying that. However you get one “oops” with a lightsaber. It’s a miracle that there aren’t a tonne of one-armed Jedi. I have taken martial arts, and have practiced with a sword – trust me when I say it never always goes where you want it to. Especially when starting out. At the very least just about every Jedi alive should be missing an ear. You can’t tell me that in 900 years Yoda didn’t have a fumble or two.
Origin: Phantasm (1979)
Weight issues and ammo-carrying capacity aside, this is pretty cool in concept. When is duct-taping guns to more guns not a good idea? This one came first, though. However, I have to give props to Aliens, Undead and The Green Hornet movie for taking the concept to the next generation.
Origin: Mad Max 2 (1981)
Whoever came up with the idea for this weapon has poor planning skills. Granted, the feral boy (who had one of the best-maintained weapons in the movie) does catch it with a chain mail glove, but one momentary lapse of concentration and blammo! Your new nick name is stumpy.
Origin: The Sword And The Sorcerer (1982)
Most people have not actually lifted a sword before. Just trust me on this one. Those of us who have hefted a sword would know how heavy hauling around two extra blades on the same handle would be. Sure, it looks cool, but while you are struggling to pull it from its sheath without slicing open your crotch, you are not looking at the guy with the cross bow.
Origin: Krull (1983)
The ’80s were a simpler time, a time when movies like Krull could get made. A fantasy story that takes place on another world with aliens from the future. It sounds like a GWAR song. The mystical weapon from this story was called the Glave. It was a big starfish that you could throw and blades would shoot out the end. Don’t get me wrong, this is classic sci-fi, or fantasy, (I’m not really sure with this one), but the cutty-starfish looks like a terrifying weapon to have to wield. You throw it and then you have to catch it right in the middle. With the blades on the end, seems like a pretty sure-fire way to gut your self.
Origin: David Lynch’s Dune (1984)
This was not a cool weapon, – a box that changes sounds into a beam weapon. It’s pretty convoluted. I am pretty sure that this whole thing was cooked up to make sense of the phrase “my name is a killing word” and remove all sense of moral reflection from it. Metaphors are complicated after all. If the weirding modules weren’t enough, this movie earns a time out for gratuitous use of Sting.
Origin: Ghostbusters (1984)
Proton packs are awesome, as long as you only have one of them. With two of them you run the risk of crossing the streams and then blammo! You explode. Unless you’re firing into another dimension and that seems to be the Deus Ex Machina that keeps you alive. In any event, carrying around a nuclear accelerator strikes me a as a bad plan in general.
Origin: Evil Dead 2 (1987)
The woodshed is a great place to find weapons, and the thought of having a chainsaw hand is pretty amazing. However, if you have ever had chainsaw kick back on you, you can probably conceive just how bad this idea is. Besides, with the price of gasoline nowadays a chainsaw hand is just another expense.
Lawn Mower Vest
Origin: Dead Alive (1992)
Shotgun, crowbar, sword… no one ever expects the lawn mower. The interesting bit is it does function like a whirling blade of death, and at the same time like a shield. I do wonder as to the ability to wield it for a long period of time. This again. this is another gasoline-powered item. It can get expensive killing zombies.
Origin: Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
This is a bad idea – a piece of wire one atom thick with a weight on the end. Everything I said about lightsabers applies to this as well, only more so. Now, instead of a straight line off the end of your hand, you have a completely flexible wire that can travel backwards towards you. Monofilament required no force to slice through your body.
Sex Machine’s Crotch Cannon
Origin: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
This one makes me ask a series of questions, the first and most obvious of which is, ‘How does he aim it?’ The second is where is the firing mechanism located? Also, what does he use to fire the weapon? I have a few ideas, but the biology of it isn’t making sense for me. Finally: recoil. I believe that is a modified .357 Magnum, which packs a huge kick. That is not a place where I would want to be dealing with recoil of any kind.
Origin: Shoot ’Em Up (2007)
Under most circumstances carrots are good for you. The only possible exception would be if Clive Owen’s is stabbing you in the head with one. While creative, I do not recommend you brandish a carrot in a threatening way unless you know how to use it.
Tags: Dead Alive, Dune, Evil Dead 2, From Dusk Till Dawn, Ghostbusters, Goldfinger, Green Hornet, James Bond, Johnny Mnemonic, Krull, Mad Max, Mad Max 2, Master Of The Flying Guillotine, Phantasm, Shoot ’Em Up, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Sword And The Sorcerer