Sometimes, violence is necessary. It isn’t necessarily applauded or welcome, but when the moment calls for it, a bit of violence can be a solution better than most others. Just look at Hollywood. The film industry has profited (substantially) off of gun violence, bomb violence, knife violence, vehicular violence, hand-to-hand violence, foot-to-face violence, nunchuck violence, laser sword violence, laser gun violence, and even carrot violence. The list goes on and on.
However, what the film industry also happens to specialize in is makeshift violence; characters getting creative with whatever sort of improvised weapon they can get their hands on. In some cases, it can either be amusing or aggressive, but rarely is it lacking in creativity. So, as a nod to the weapons that didn’t necessarily start as weapons, let’s take a look at the sort of vicious creativity the film industry is capable of with the 17 Most Creative Improvised Weapons In Movies
17. The Chainsaw Hand – Evil Dead II
Despite all of the references to death that the Evil Dead franchise relies on/adheres to, it’s still hanging on and surviving after all these years. Ash Williams (as played by the indomitable Bruce Campbell) has returned in Ash Vs. Evil Dead, and it’s no wonder why audiences would want to keep diving back into a world that this character has made so revisit-friendly. However, it was in the series’ first sequel, Evil Dead II, that Ash acquired the makeshift weapon that would define his character for years to come: the chainsaw hand.
To fight Deadites, one needs to have their wits about them. If there is a tool shed, then there are tools, and if there are tools, then there is the promise of weapons. Ash goes full tilt on his survivalist-inspired craftsmanship, replacing his severed hand with a chainsaw, ultimately plowing down the possessed creatures coming for his soul.
16. Dildo – Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels
When all else fails, take the road less traveled. Even if it doesn’t seem reliable, it has the potential to conjure some creativity — and creativity can do wonders when you need it to. Take Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, for example. A vicious strain of testosterone is plowing through this flick, with greed and a collective physical prowess clogging the film stock. But that’s what makes it so great. Put Guy Ritchie at the helm, and audiences can at least be guaranteed a broken bone or two.
Despite all the violence ravaging through this movie, Ritchie is always sure to inject his trademark humor. It’s dark humor, but funny all the same. Take, for instance, the “death by dildo” scene. Harry Hatchet (P.H. Moriarty) is your typical, run-of-the-mill crime boss in that he’ll explore the endless depths of creative violence in order to secure his status. In his case, doing so just so happens to include a dildo being smacked against someone’s head. Repeatedly.
15. Toilet – The Boondock Saints
The brothers in The Boondock Saints are to underground crime what Dexter was to serial killers. They may be indulging in crime themselves, but they consider their actions to be necessary. They kill in the name of God, and they truly believe that they are making a considerable difference in the world. Which may very well be the case.
When they find themselves in a serious bind (one that could very well end in both of their deaths), they get creative. Murphy (Norman Reedus) is brought out to an alley to meet his maker, but his brother, Conner (Sean Patrick Flannery), comes to the rescue. With a toilet.
Just moments before the goon with a gun pulls the trigger, Conner throws a toilet off the roof of a building, aiming it directly at the goon’s head. Murphy gets out of the way, Conner jumps from the roof himself, and the toilet smashes cleanly atop the goon’s head. In short, they made the best of a crappy situation (ba-dum tss).
14. Peanut – Daredevil
The 2003 Daredevil movie doesn’t get much love. Between the questionably-choreographed “fight” scene between Ben Affleck’s Matt Murdock and Jennifer Garner’s Elektra, the shoddy pacing, and the sometimes goofy acting, it’s no wonder that audiences are vocal about their disapproval. Especially considering the fact that Netflix’s Daredevil seemed to right almost every wrong created by the original.
That said, there are some saving graces, and the villain Bullseye (Colin Farrell) comes to mind. While trying to mind his own business on a plane, he finds himself stuck sitting next to a passenger who refuses to stop talking. Would it have been rude for him to ask her to stop talking? Probably. But it would have been better than strategically flicking a peanut at the back of a seat to make it bounce off and shoot directly into the woman’s throat, killing her. Which is exactly what he does.
13. Lawnmower – Dead Alive
Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive may as well be a blueprint for gory filmmaking. He didn’t just push the boundaries with how much blood and guts he can fit on screen — he set a new standard. Ears are falling off of people’s heads and pus is squirting out of people’s bodies, but the comedy is still very much at the forefront. Jackson was still in the early days of his career, but he wasn’t the slightest bit afraid of taking chances. Dead Alive is a horror-comedy at its boldest.
Which brings us to one of the film’s most blood-soaked bloodbaths you’ll ever see.
In order to fight off the hordes of undead characters attacking him, Lionel Cosgrove (Tim Balme) gets creative with some tools around the house. One such tool is a lawnmower. He aims it blade-out at the crowd of zombies, and does away with them one by one. It ultimately ends up saving him, but the major downside is the fact that the smell of freshly cut grass was replaced by freshly cut guts, which we imagine is a bit less satisfying.
12. Ladder – First Strike
It’s no secret that Jackie Chan does his own stunts — and not in the way that some Hollywood actors allege. Every so often, a movie will be released, and during the press tour, its actors may claim that they performed their own stunts. What they fail to expand upon is the fact that “doing their own stunts” is just referring to them not requiring a stunt person to sit behind the wheel of a car in their place. Basically, it sounds more exciting than it actually is.
With Jackie Chan, it’s 100 percent Jackie, 100 percent of the time. Every flip, every fight, and every flinch — it’s all real.
In First Strike, Chan goes next-level with his stunts and fight choreography, implementing a ladder to double as a weapon. It doesn’t seem like it should make sense on paper, but in his hands, it’s weaponized to perfection. How he manages to pull off the stunts he performs is one thing, but there is no denying how much awe the final product ends up inspiring.
11. Chicken – Hot Shots: Part Deux
Before there was tiger blood, there was Hot Shots.
Charlie Sheen has done his fair share of action movies, but he’s also proven himself to rock some solid comedic chops. As Lieutenant Sean Topper Harley in the two Hot Shots movies, his spoof of characters like Maverick from Top Gun and John Rambo from First Blood has him recreating scenes and traits that these characters have already famous. However, there are some scenes that are just loosely inspired, and not exactly directly taken from these movies — like shooting a live chicken with a bow and arrow.
10. Pencil – The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger makes his first impression on audiences in the very first scene of The Dark Knight — and it’s a doozy. However, it’s not until later that he makes his first impression on a team of organized criminals (the men who essentially run Gotham City), and he doesn’t pull any punches. Well, technically speaking, there aren’t any punches at all, but pencils. While the other cronies are busy trying to look the stereotypical part of urban crime lords, The Joker is taking an alternate route. He wants to make an impression, but his way of going about things is hardly aligned with the status quo.
To show off just how creatively violent he is, he offers to show this team of criminals a magic trick, claiming that he can “make this pencil disappear.” The trick ultimately ends up working, but only because it disappears into an eye socket of the unlucky chum who thought it was a good idea to interfere.
9. Vinyl Records – Shaun of the Dead
It takes a while for Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) to figure out how exactly they’ll handle the army of zombies (don’t call them that) coming for their flesh. By the time they even accept the fact that the undead have taken over, shock seems to settle in, and they’re not exactly Robinson Crusoe revisited. It takes them a while to figure out how exactly they’ll survive during this Fight of the Living Dead.
Before Shaun gets his hand on a cricket bat (a great improvised weapon in its own right), he looks to his record collection. Though they hardly do the trick (aside from actually piercing skin at one point), the vinyl records are a sign of what’s to come later on in the film. Shaun and Ed will get as creative as their desperate survivalist minds allow, but it all starts with something as simple as vintage music.
The fact that writer/director Edgar Wright evolved his love of music into an entire plot device in Baby Driver goes to show that he was definitely onto something when he put vinyl records front and center in Shaun of the Dead.
8. Oxygen Tank – Jaws
How do you stop a seemingly unstoppable killing force? Well, when all other attempts fail to do the trick, a simple deus ex machina will do.
In Jaws, Sheriff Brody (Roy Scheider) is left to his own devices once the boat he’s been shark hunting on has just about sunk completely. The giant shark that’s been eating the locals is waiting for him, and all he has is a rifle. But will a rifle take this massive killing machine down for good? A betting man would likely say no. So Brody gets creative with the rifle. Instead of aiming it at the shark, he shoots one of the air tanks that ol’ Brucey has gotten stuck in his teeth, and in no time at all — BOOM.
All of that compressed air (and blatant foreshadowing from earlier on) ends up doing the shark in by the end, and Brody is free to swim back home with Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) by his side. You know, assuming other sea creatures don’t get to them first…
7. Penis Pump – Austin Powers
According to Austin Powers (Mike Myers) himself, that Swedish-made penis enlarger isn’t his! That said, it still manages to save him in a crunch when one of Dr. Evil’s henchmen, Random Task (think Goldfinger’s Oddjob, but with a propensity for shoe-throwing), tries killing him. Since Austin doesn’t stand a physical chance against this brute, he gets creative instead, transforming his (no, it’s not his!) penis pump into a weapon.
It doesn’t actually make any sense why it works, but neither do most things in the Austin Powers universe. It’s best to just accept things as they are. That said, Austin applies the penis pump onto Random Task’s crotch and frantically starts pumping. The pressure just seems as though it was far too much to handle — in a very literal sense.
6. Jackhammer Stake – From Dusk Till Dawn
George Clooney’s Seth Gecko is a vampire-skewering criminal in From Dusk Till Dawn. Ask him at the beginning of the movie if he believes in creatures of the night, and he’ll likely tell you to F off. But ask him at the end, and the two of you would be more or less talking shop.
By the end, he’s a vamp-eviscerating madman.
In fact, it’s aggressive creativity that keeps him chugging along for as long as he does. The Titty Twister is packed to the brim with monsters, so Gecko goes next-level innovative, crafting a jackhammer/stake hybrid to rapidly fend off any unlucky beast trying to cross paths with him. With vampire-slaying already feeling old hat (even back in 1996), Quentin Tarantino gave director Robert Rodriguez and his cast some fun toys to play with when he wrote this script, fashioning a weapon that Buffy Summers herself would fawn over.
5. Carrot – Shoot ‘Em Up
If nothing else, Shoot ‘Em Up was just trying to have a good time. It’s easy to rip apart a movie for not taking itself seriously enough, but this one deserves a pass. With Clive Owen clearly having a fun time fighting off bad guys and Paul Giamatti chewing through scenes as the big boss, Shoot ‘Em Up is a film for your senses to just get lost in. Especially when it starts integrating carrots into its arsenal of weapons…
Mr. Smith (Owen) is just trying to mind his own business when he inadvertently gets himself entangled in some nasty business. Nameless Thug #1 is about to kill a pregnant woman in an alley, prompting Mr. Smith to interfere. Without a weapon, however, he is forced to improvise. So that’s exactly what he does — wasting a perfectly good carrot in the process. The carrot goes right through the thug’s neck, killing him, and from there on, the carrot becomes Mr. Smith’s new best friend.
4. Icicle – Die Hard 2
Mr. Freeze made more than enough ice puns in Batman & Robin, so even though ice is front and center in this particular entry, some solid self-control is being attempted to keep this an entirely pun-free zone. That said, let’s indulge in some John McClane badassery from Die Hard 2.
McClane (Bruce Willis) has already proven himself against ultra-serious terrorists, but in the sequel, he ups his game. The environment is larger, the stakes are higher, and the weapons are everywhere — assuming he has the creative wherewithal to know where to find them. Thankfully, he does, and during one of the many fight scenes, McClane becomes one with nature by grabbing an icicle and feeding it through a villain’s eye socket.
If a movie doesn’t take advantage of its environment, then why bother specifying the environment in the first place? Die Hard 2 makes sure not to make that mistake, while also looking cool in the process.
3. Whip – Indiana Jones
In the Indiana Jones series, Indy (Harrison Ford) likes to keep things simple. Whether he’s extracting ancient artifacts from their original settings or infiltrating a Nazi lair, he sports a simple leather jacket, a fedora, a pistol, and his trusty whip. The whip is meant to get him out of tricky situations, what with the environments he finds himself in not always remaining as sturdy as he’d like, but it also doubles as a weapon. When the going gets tough — and when his pistol is either out of reach or empty — his whip always at his side to help.
Most adventurers would use a whip for its traditional usage, but Indiana Jones is no traditional adventurer. He’s more or less a superhero, so when he whips out his whip, enemies are screwed, what with it basically being an extension of his own hand.
2. Machine Gun Leg – Planet Terror
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life cuts your leg off, you replace it with a gun. At least, that’s what Rose McGowan’s Cherry Darling does during the zombie apocalypse in Planet Terror. All hope seems lost until her old flame, El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), shows up at her side with a machine gun/rocket launcher and fastens it onto her thigh stump.
From that moment on, she’s pretty much unstoppable (even if very little of her gun-firing mechanics seem remotely possible). While the creatures are taking turns transforming some Texans into flesh-eating beasts, Cherry Darling is blasting them to hell. It may not seem logical, but seeing as this is a throwback to the grindhouse flicks of old, it’s perfectly acceptable behavior.
1. The Forklift – Aliens
When kids are caught up in peril, most adults will do whatever it takes to protect them. It’s just human nature. So, when Newt (Carrie Henn) is being attacked by the Xenomorph Queen, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) isn’t having any of it. Knowing that she can’t take the monster on herself, she steps inside one of the crew’s forklifts (specifically a Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader), which she already proved herself to be proficient with earlier on in the film. Once inside, the whole “pick on someone your own size” saying has never been taken to heart quite as much as it was here.
A fairly even match, Ripley is able to beat the hell out of the Queen — and probably in ways that the Queen never experienced before. It’s as satisfying a fight as anyone could hope for, fueling the fire for what is considerably one of the most epic one-on-one finales ever to be put on film. That may be high praise, but once you experience Sigourney Weaver kicking ass and taking names against the mother of all Xenomorphs, the praise makes sense.
Do you know of any improvised weapons that should have made the cut? Get aggressive with that keyboard and let us know your picks in the comments!
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