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Top 20 Unusual Weapons in Films

Because a Top 10 List Just Won't Do the Topic Justice


Taking someone out with a gun or a knife or even a bazooka is pretty commonplace in action films today. But every now and then you get a filmmaker or writer who comes up with a clever or unusual item to use for either self-defense or lethal purposes. So here’s a list of some of the most unusual weapons you can find in movies. The Saw and Final Destination-style movies, where the whole point is to create bizarre deaths, are off the table. This is a list where a combination of an unusual item and a flair for using it make the moment memorable.

1. 'Shoot 'Em Up' (2007)

Shoot Em Up
© New Line Cinema
Weapon: Carrot

The number one unusual weapon enjoys the top slot for both the originality of the item and the flair with which it is used. Clive Owen plays a man who helps a pregnant woman deliver her baby while hit men are chasing her. He describes himself as, "I'm a British nanny and I'm dangerous."And he certainly is dangerous, and downright lethal with the right vegetable. He relies on a carrot more than once to get him out of a jam, and naturally he can’t resist quipping, "What’s up, doc?"

2. 'Jackie Chan's Project A: Part 2' (1987)

Jackie Chan's Project A Part 2
© Dimension Films
Weapon: Chili peppers

While on the subject of food, might as well put Jackie Chan’s use of chili peppers in the number two slot. In this film he’s chased through a village and up scaffolding and in desperation he stuffs his mouth full of red chili peppers, chews frantically, and spits the fiery juice at his attackers. Supposedly the peppers Chan chewed were real ones, possibly making this one of Chan’s more dangerous stunts. You could probably find 10 unusual weapons in Chan’s films alone, so he deserves an award all on his own for innovative use of practically anything and everything in a scene as a weapon from a ladder to a jacket to a clothes rack.
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3. 'No Country for Old Men' (2007)

No Country for Old Men
© Miramax Films
Weapon: Captive bolt pistol

This film ranks high for the combination of an odd weapon and an even odder killer. Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh, with his incongruous mop-top haircut and laconic demeanor, is one of the creepiest screen villains ever. He’s made all the weirder by his choice of weapons: a captive bolt pistol, something used to stun cows before slaughter. Chigurh lugs this absurd weapon around with its compressed air canister, using it to kill people and bust open doors. He’s like some perverse Ever-Ready Bunny that just keeps going and going.

4. 'A Clockwork Orange' (1971)

A Clockwork Orange
© Warner Home Video
Weapon: Porcelain phallus

Malcolm McDowell’s Alex is a violent young thug in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ novel. He commits a series of brutal crimes and at one point assaults a woman with an art piece adorning her room. The sculpture is a large, white, porcelain phallus that he uses to bash her head in with. There’s a fitting absurdity and grotesque appropriateness to the choice of weapon.
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5. 'The Dark Knight' (2008)

The Dark Knight
© Warner Bros Pictures
Weapon: Pencil

Okay, this one gets major points for style. Heath Ledger’s Joker enters a roomful of thugs and proceeds to impress them with a 'magic' trick. He jams a pencil into the table and then grabs one of the crooks and slams his head into the pencil. Presto! Now you see the pencil, now you don’t. The sheer audacity of his action and the efficient speed with which he executes his trick make this one a top pick. Wicked.

6. 'Machete' (2010)

© 20th Century Fox
Weapon: Meat thermometer

Robert Rodriguez kicks up the action to 11 with this '70s B-movie homage. Danny Trejo’s Machete proves quite inventive when he has to be so. When he’s attacked in a kitchen, he grabs a meat thermometer and jabs it into a henchman’s neck. When a bomb later explodes in the kitchen, the man is thrown out of the house and the meat thermometer pops up to signal he’s done. This is B-movie genius.

7. 'Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer' (1986)

Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer
© MPI Home Video
Weapon: Soldering iron, TV

Michael Rooker plays a serial killer whose M.O. is to have no M.O. Each victim is offed in a different manner and for no particular reason. The unfortunate victim in this instance pisses Henry off and Henry retaliates by first stabbing him repeatedly with a soldering iron and then slamming a TV on the guy’s head. And for a finishing touch, he turns the TV on and fries the guy's head.
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8. 'Goldfinger' (1964)

Weapon: Hat

The James Bond films have often been clever with their gadgets, so it seems only right to include one of the films here. The best Bond villain of course has the most memorable weapon. The hulking Oddjob (played by Japanese American wrestler Harold Sakata) kills people with his hat. It helps that the hat had a lethal steel brim. But Oddjob gets his just desserts: his hat ultimately does him in but not in the way you might expect.
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9. 'Fireworks' (1997)

© New Yorker Video
Weapon: Chopsticks

Now for a little ethnic diversity and something with an Asian flair. Filmmaker Takeshi Kitano plays Detective Nishi, a cop coping with an assortment of tragedies and sinking deeper into desperation and despair. This prompts him to violence. So when a local yakura mouths off to him, he simply and abruptly grabs a pair of chopsticks and shoves them into the gangster’s eye. Michelle Yeoh also used chopsticks - but less brutally - in Jackie Chan’s Super Cop.
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10. 'The Bourne Identity' (2002)

The Bourne Identity
© Universal Studios
Weapon: Ballpoint pen

Okay, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is one bad ass and he can kill people with his bare hands. But common household items can also come in handy, as when he’s ambushed in an apartment by a knife-wielding assassin. Bourne takes the guy out with a common ballpoint pen, prompting thoughts of "the pen is mightier than the sword."
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