For the last in my series on murder weapons, I come to the fantastically fictional, brought to life for us all on celluloid.
Now, before I begin, a friend of mine had a word in my ear this week and suggested that I may wish to tone down some of my blogs, as they may be scaring many of my readers. I pondered this for all of five seconds (if that) and thought about putting some cotton wool around the edges and decided………no. Scary Ramblings is just that……scary…….I hope!
So, back to our weapons. We’ve had the real; we’ve had the fictional; and now comes time for the fictional reality. Are these the weapons we all wish were real? Are these the weapons we all dream of using on someone who has wronged us? Are these weapons even capable of existing or doing what they are portrayed as doing?
Some of them will be; some of them won’t. Some will make you chuckle; some will make you roll your eyes and mutter ‘as if’; and some will make you say ‘fantastic idea!’
Regardless of all of this, these weapons were real in the imaginations of the writers and film-makers that were kind enough to bring them to us. And so, without further ado, here are some of the wackiest; some of the most bizarre; some of the most mundane, maybe; some of the most imaginative; and some of the most real murder weapons you will ever see.
I say ‘real’, dear reader, because, for many of you, this will very much be the only place you ever see a murder weapon……you may hope.
Now, I’m not going to put these in any particular order, because order is a matter of personal judgement, but I have grouped them under headings; the most bizarre of headings, in some cases. Enjoy.
I think we need to start with food, as the makers of movies seem to come up with the most bizarre and, arguably, ingenious ideas. Whether these would actually work is up for debate, but see what you think.
In ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’ (2007), Clive Owen uses a carrot to amazing effect; not once, but twice. One victim ends up realising that carrots don’t actually improve your eyesight, whereas another finds his carrot sticks in his throat a little.
A leg of lamb is used in ‘Serial Mom’ (1994), by Kathleen Turner, to beat a neighbour to death, whereas, in ‘Law Abiding Citizen’ (2009), Gerard Butler chooses the bone from a T-bone steak to stab his cellmate to death.
Keeping the foodie theme, I thought we’d move on to kitchen utensils, implements and appliances, as there are many. A few of my favourites are gathered for you here.
In both ‘A Perfect Murder’ (1998) and ‘Machete’ (2010), a meat thermometer is used to great effect as the murder weapon, when it is plunged into the neck of the perpetrator.
In the remake of ‘The Last House on the Left’ (2009), parents seeking vengeance for their daughter, choose to microwave the head of the man who attacked her.
A rather neat and perfectly formed utensil for the job of murder has to be the chopstick and two of these were used, successfully, by Takeshi Kitano in ‘Fireworks’ (1997), to dispose of an annoyance, by stabbing him straight in the eyeball.
Ornaments, or should I say sculptures, were brought into the ranks of murder weapons, in a rather comical fashion, thanks to ‘A Clockwork Orange’ (1971). The film sees Malcolm McDowell use a white porcelain phallus to bludgeon a woman to death.
Clothing seems to have a darker side to it too, for the film-makers anyway. Oddjob, in ‘Goldfinger’ (1964), liked to use his hat as a Frisbee, its disguised metal rim proving fatal to those in its path. In ‘Single White Female’ (1992), the stiletto, the object of many a male fantasy, proves to be a nightmare for Steven Weber, as he gets a rather more up close and personal look at the heel of one.
Moving out into our sheds and garages, to have a rummage around, what do we find? Well, the first item probably isn’t in the arsenal of most people, but some may have access to this rather deadly weapon. Javier Bardem, in ‘No Country for Old Men’ (2007), decides that a captive bolt pistol has more use in it than just as a cattle stunner.
Peter Jackson, in ‘Deadheads’ aka ‘Dead Alive’ (1992), decides to arm his hero with a lawnmower. Said hero holds said lawnmower at chest height, blades facing outwards, and ploughs into a house full of zombies, scattering blood and body parts everywhere. Efficient? It seems to be.
My favourite here, though, has to be Michael Rooker, in ‘Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer’ (1986). Not content with stabbing his victim repeatedly with a soldering iron, Henry slams a TV on his victim’s head and then proceeds to switch it on. A meal Hannibal Lector would be proud of……maybe?
Now, we come to my favourite category – stationery. As a writer, I have a thing for stationery so, to find my favourite things can double as a murder weapon, well, I was in seventh heaven.
Before we come to what I feel HAS to be THE best murder EVER on film, I digress slightly and give the trusty ballpoint pen its five minutes of fame. Matt Damon gives the ballpoint pen its well-deserved spot in the limelight in ‘The Bourne Identity’ (2002), when he uses it to take out a knife wielding intruder in his apartment.
Fanfare please, dear reader, for we have come to the pinnacle; to the climax; to the most memorable; to the most shocking; yet to the most simple of murder weapons – the pencil.
The late Heath Ledger portrayed, in my opinion, his best role ever, when he became the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008), and showed us one hell of a magic trick with ‘hide the pencil’. I remember the gasps of shock from the audience in the cinema and my voice shouting at full volume ‘brilliant idea!’ I was in the minority, sad to say.
And so, dear reader, my foray into murder weapons draws to a close. I do hope you have enjoyed the weird and the wacky and have, perhaps, picked up a few ideas along the way.
I couldn’t, however, finish without mentioning my favourite tool of all time. I was very disappointed to find that it didn’t really rank anywhere on the murder weapon hierarchies, but I don’t suppose it would. For, my dear and trusty wood chipper isn’t often used to kill, but more to dispose of the evidence (Fargo, 1996).
May fear protect you when the darkness comes.
Til next time.