A Bloody Good Time 05.17.12: Top 10 Coolest Horror Movie Weapons
Posted by Joseph Lee on 05.17.2012
From Freddy Krueger's knife glove and Ash's chainsaw hand from Evil Dead II to Jason Voorhees' machete, Cherry's gun leg in Grindhouse and more, 411's Joseph Lee counts down the top 10 horror weapons of all-time!
Opening Logo courtesy of Benjamin J. Colón (Soul Exodus)
Welcome to A Bloody Good Time.
Last week we looked at the worst vampire movies. There were actually quite a lot of comments, so let's try to wade through some of them.
Guest#3615 said: Ah BloodRayne. Where having sex was just ripping a top off and going at it with poth pants and underwear still on.
You didn't know that's how sex worked? I thought everyone knew that.
Guest#6160 added: I think you could plug any of the Twilight movies in at number 1 through whatever they're at now and your list would be correct. I honestly can't say I liked any of the movies on this list, with the best I can say was I watched Blade:Trinity in the theater and didn't walk out on it. Good list man.
The problem is I stopped at New Moon. I couldn't even watch for their cheese factor anymore, becuase of how bad that movie is.
Guest#1007 argued: Of course Heath Ledgers death helped Dark Knights box office. I remember very fondly people discussing whether or not the role lead to his death and just widespread buzz in general was at a sky once the Heath situation occurred. Of course Batman would have been successful regardless, but Heaths death 100% brought things over the edge.
Not to turn this into a Heath Ledger debate (something popular around these parts), but the only thing his death can really account for is the opening weekend, and I doubt it was the reason the majority were going to see it. Like you said, Batman would have been successful regardless. What Ledger's death didn't help was the fact that film had legs and a lot of that was due to repeat business. There's only so far you can go with that excuse before the premise wears incredibly thin.
Steve307 replied: If you have a gun to your head and HAVE to watch a Twilight movie, Eclipse is the only one that isn't wall to wall horrible.
That makes sense, since it was the only one directed by David Slade, who previously made Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night.
GeeSpotter asked: How is Lost Boys not in your favorites of vampire movies? Classic...and accurate (that last part was sarcasm, but it was a great movie)
I knew someone would ask this. Pretty much the only answer I can give is that it's just not for me. I fully admit that it is a well-made movie, and there are moments in it I enjoy, but I don't like it as much as everyone else does. Chalk it up to personal taste. I will say it's been a long time since I watched it, so perhaps one day I will give it another viewing to see if my opinion changes.
Ryan Raze suggested: I enjoy your articles as it's rare to find someone who appreciates horror. I'd love to see you do more reviews, or cover more of the underground/unknown/foreign type horror. ie: Eden Lake, Inside, Martyrs, The Loved Ones, Severance, The Cottage, Lake Mungo, Woman...
Well the first three I can give you reviews right now. Eden Lake, Inside and Martyrs are three of the best horror films of the last decade, each for different reasons. Although Eden Lake is weird to watch now that Michael Fassbender is a huge star.
flairfan said: twiligh movies arent that bad. ur prob just jealous casue ur girl is in love with them or something. and its the cool thing to hate on them. and highschool girls dont get depressed over boys is what ur saying?? i mean have you just been in ur basement ur whole life. c'mon. and for the guy who said once bittne should be on thee list is blashempy. that was a fun movie back in the 80s
There's so much in this I could reply to, but I'll still with the depressed thing. I'm not saying girls don't get upset over boys. I'm saying high school girls don't sit in a chair for three months straight crying, and constantly wake up screaming over one boy. I'm also not going to pretend that behavior is okay like New Moon does.
Just A Guest: said: I like the column and good list but the above statement means you don't know the Anne Rice books which is fine. Lestat does awaken and join a band so I guess Anne Rice thought it was a good idea. Movie still sucked.
I haven't read the Anne Rice books, no. But a bad idea is still a bad idea, and Lestat joining a nu-metal band is a bad idea.
This week we're going to look at what I consider the coolest horror weapons. I decided to go the more personalized route on this instead of just saying, "butcher knife" or "pick axe". I only really go that way once. The way I decided which horror weapons would make it would just be what I thought looked cool, and if the item is more garden-variety than usual, how the person in the film used it. You probably have your own opinions, so feel free to share them.
#10: Electric guitar power drill (Slumber Party Massacre 2)
This is also one of the dumbest weapons of all time, but I think that's why I love it. In general, I hate the Slumber Party Massacre series because they're not funny and definitely not scary. But this one is so over-the-top ridiculous that it deserves a mention. Somehow the ghost of the killer from the first film comes back as a rocker, with yes, an electric guitar that has a power drill at the end of it. If I remember right, the entire movie ends up being a dream (It's been a long, long time since I last watched this sequel).
But hey, the weapon is still kind of cool. It's entirely impractical, since it's a lot bigger than your average guitar and the drill itself is huge. But somehow he manages to kill with it. I think this makes it because it's an example of the sillier horror weapons out there, and sometimes that's not always a bad thing. The real question is, can he actually play music on it?
#9: Scythe (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
Okay, this is purely on here for aesthetic purposes. A scythe just looks cool. It's like a knife or an axe, but on the end of a long stick and it's curved. Why is it curved? To cut more grass or reap crops. It can also decapitate someone pretty quickly if you used it that way. A lot of horror directors agree because this is a weapon that is surprisingly common. Jason and Michael have both used one, and it was the trademark weapon of Leslie Vernon. It also makes an appearance in Children of the Corn and Wrong Turn.
The scythe is the only real common horror weapon on this list, unless you count the next one. It's not as common as the kitchen knife, but more horror movies are using this as a standard slasher tool and it's not hard to see why. It's a weapon that looks good on the screen, and provides more impact than say, a pair of scissors or an axe. It's also the weapon commonly associated with drawings of Death, so it has that going for it.
#8: Otis the Axe (Frailty)
By my own rules, Otis shouldn't be on here. It's just an axe. There isn't really a good slasher that doesn't have the use of an axe at some point. Jason uses them quite often. If you're thinking this weapon makes it on this list because it's the only one with a name, then you're right. The axe in Frailty is called "Otis". It's also the hand-picked weapon of God for Bill Paxton to kill demons. If God wants to name his weapon after a garden-variety redneck, who am I to argue?
I'm not sure why the axe ever got a name. Bill Paxton does though, so let's see what he had to say about it: "There were two reasons for that, actually, the first being that it was really a character in the film, you know, [the serial killer] meets it in the barn with the light from the heavens shining on it, and I really wanted to anthropomorphize it. The other reason was that, when, at the climax, this certain character reaches for it, I wanted the audience to immediately realize that this was the same axe. It's kind of hard to talk about this without giving things away, but that's why. Otis is the holy weapon that's passed down in the movie. "
Whatever gets the job done.
#7: Jason Voorhees' Machete (any Friday the 13th film)
Somehow over the years, Jason Voorhees became known for his use of the machete. In Freddy vs Jason the damn thing is practically glued to his arm. But he has killed about thirty people with this particular weapon, so it makes sense. Why does Jason keep going back to this weapon? It could be because it's the same type of weapon that killed his mother. If you're going to take vengeance on people for your mother's death, why not use the weapon that killed her?
The machete itself is fairly common in horror, and it's only on this list because of how much Jason has become identified with it. It's kind of funny to me, because he's used a variety of other weapons to kill his victims and in at least two of the films, as far as I can tell, he doesn't use the machete at all. You can't really go wrong with it though, if you're an aspiring slasher. It's a lot bigger than your average knife, and wider than a sword. You can do more damage that way.
#6: Cherry Darling's Gun-Leg (Grindhouse)
There was no way your average gun was going to make this list. Talk about common. But a gun that somehow is fired by the stump of an exotic dancer? Now you're talking. Cherry initially loses her leg after zombies tear it off, and her boyfriend El Wray gives her the M4 Carbine with a M203 grenade launcher attachment as a new leg. Later in the film, she gets a mini gun attached instead.
There are so many reasons why this thing shouldn't work. How in the hell does she fire it? Did El Wray do some modifications so her muscles somehow pull the trigger? We never know. But then, we're not supposed to know. If your movie has a woman blasting zombies with a gun on her leg, then there's no need for any technobabble in order to make it work. You're going to love it or hate it. I want to see a sequel to this movie so we can get more weapons attached. Maybe a bazooka or a rocket launcher?
#5: The Quad-Barreled Shotgun (Phantasm 2)
When I talk about the Phantasm series on this column, I usually express my love for The Tall Man and Reggie. I know the movies tend to act like this is Mike's movie series, but anyone who has watched them knows that Reggie is the real star. Mike has some sort of mystical connection to the Tall Man that's never quite explained. We can't identify with him. Reggie's the average guy, with a menial job and a desire to get laid. He uses the opportunity of world devastation to become a badass, and fashions himself a four-barreled shotgun.
One of the things I like most about this weapon is that we actually see it built. Even if it wouldn't actually fire (I tend to think there could be away to make one that does), it looks cool and it looks like it could actually work. Reggie sure has an easy enough time blasting the Tall Man's zombie Jawas with it. If you get hit with the payload from this thing, you're not getting up.
#4: Ash's Chainsaw Hand (Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, Army of Darkness)
We can't really talk about amputees getting cool weaponry without mentioning Ash and his new chainsaw hand. Ash loses his hand to by his own...hand, when he cuts it off after it gets possessed by the Deadites. You can't exactly fight the forces of evil with a stump, so he fashions himself a brace to fit the chainsaw onto his arm and use it as a weapon.
Just like Reggie's quad-barreled shotgun, Ash's chainsaw arm looks like it could work. It's situated on his arm with various straps and metal bracing and he has a hook that the string can latch onto in order to start it. Once the chainsaw's running, he just needs to swing it at the evil things. For all the love that Ash's boomstick gets, that's just a shotgun. This is a personalized weapon ready to cut up anything demonic that gets in his way.
#3: Flying Spheres (Phantasm)
Yes, Phantasm gets two entries on this list. I can't help it. There was no way I could add one without the other and not feel like this list was incomplete. The Tall Man has some impressive weapons of his own, and these spheres are it. How do they work? Well it could be human brains (this is shown in Phantasm 3) or it could be anti-matter plasma cells, which several websites have mentioned. I think that's just another technobabble way of explaining what really shouldn't be explained.
Who cares how the spheres work? The Tall Man has enough magic on his side that you could just say that. These things have two spiked prongs and a drill that will empty the contents of whatever it attaches to. If you get them stuck on your head, you lose your brains. There have been variations in the films too, like a golden sphere that is way more powerful and has both a laser and saw blades. The Tall Man is in the business of death, and these are the tools of his trade.
#2: The cube (Cube)
It's hard to argue against the inclusion of this device, because the entire facility is one giant weapon. Sure, each room has it's own surprises and there are various traps contained within, but the purpose of the Cube is to kill. The true reason for it being built is never fully explained (it's hinted that it's a religious theocracy type of government behind the instrument) but once you are locked inside, there is very little chance that you are going to get out alive. The rooms move around at random and every other room has a different type of trap (razor wife, flame throwers, etc). Even if you don't get killed by a trap, if you don't figure out the cube's system you'll likely die of thirst or starvation (or simply exhaustion) before you can ever get out.
This does raise a few questions. Do these designers leave the dead bodies inside? How do they get new people in the cube? How do they know everything is going to work as it is supposed to? My guess is that a lot of testing went on to make sure the cube worked perfectly, and the people who made and operate it probably have some sort of computer system to shut it down to get people in and out. The point is, this makes it high on the list because it's not only the biggest weapon, but it's also the most elaborate and intricate.
#1: Knife-glove (Any Nightmare on Elm Street movie)
This is the most iconic weapon on this list, and even though Freddy has killed without his glove, it's perhaps the most famous horror weapon in the genre. Freddy's knife glove was created by him in an effort to murder children. It takes a demented mind to build a custom weapon like this to maim and slaughter innocents. It's things like this that always make me question the sanity of America, given how popular Freddy was in the 80s.
It's a handy (no pun intended) weapon to use, too. You don't have to worry about dropping it, just keep it firmly attached on your hand and slash away. Even with Freddy's ability to kill you with anything in the dream world, he usually goes back to a simple slash and stab with his trusty glove. He could show off his power, but it's just as fun for him to personally end you with the weapon he created. Once again, children wore Halloween costumes of this guy. I'm just saying.
That's it for me. What's your favorite horror weapon? Leave some comments here on or my Twitter. Next week, we look at the best horror films to own on Blu-ray.
Closing Logo courtesy of Kyle Morton (get your own custom artwork and commissions at his Etsy account)
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