Many people will come to the defense of outrageous events in movies and otherwise unbelievable activities by claiming movies are all about the “suspension of disbelief.” That’s why cars can turn into robots, animals can talk, heroes can surf anything to safety, and all the Jewish people rode unicorns to Israel at the end of Schindler’s List.
See, that last one is a joke about how not all movies are about the suspension of disbelief. Sometimes movies make a greater impact by maintaining a thread of realism throughout. No, Die Hard isn’t the most realistic film in the world, but when a shoeless McClane has to run over broken glass, you can relate to “that must fucking hurt” because you can see it affects him for the next ten minutes of the movie. In movie time that’s like 8 years, so it’s no wonder he’s back to running and jumping by the end of the film.
While I’m the first to admit I enjoy action films where a commando can jump from a plane flying 150mph and fall 300 feet into a swamp and be fine, there are a few minor movie injuries that bug the shit out of me.
Few things in life are more humiliating than being knocked out cold by a single punch and few things in the real world require a more immediate trip to the hospital. You see, when you’re knocked out, this is generally the result of your brain smashing into your skull. Now, your brain doesn’t feel pain, so it’s possible to come through and have nothing more than a headache, a sensation that hides the fact you’ve bruised your thinker or are bleeding profusely into your skull.
The other unpleasant thing about being knocked out is that the effect is cumulative – just look at boxers who can barely speak or football players who endorse Skechers Shape-Ups. The more concussions you get, the worse everything is. Subsequently, basically every hero and henchman world-wide is one stiff jab away from a (short)life-long coma.
Thrown By an Explosion
You’ve seen it countless times – our hero runs from something about to go dangerously and fantastically boom, leaps at the last second, and rides the concussion wave to safety. In the real world, he’d ride the concussion wave to the ground a few feet away, where his body would lie limply as fluids poured out of all his orifices and shattered bones stopped maintaining his human-shaped exterior.
Concussive force ain’t no joke, and if you’re exposed to enough of it to do anything more than knock you down (and even being knocked down is a bad sign) odds are you’ve been exposed to enough to turn your insides into goo. This isn’t new to anyone – one of the most recognizable grenades of all time, the German Model 24 “Stick” Grenade or “Potato Masher” didn’t kill with shrapnel, it killed through concussive force. I won’t even talk about fireballs, because if a fireball is licking your taint while throwing you out of a door, again, you’re already fucking dead.
Thanks to the awesomeness and popularity of Mixed Martial Arts, choke-holds have been appearing in more and more movies and more and more playground fights. When applied effectively and correctly, you can incapacitate a person by denying either blood or oxygen to the parts of the body that need those things – like all of them. The thing about the choke-out though is, it’s pretty temporary. Often once blood flow resumes, or oxygen can again reach the lungs and then the brain, the person wakes up. In movies, after the former Marine puts a guy in a sleeper hold, that dude is out for the rest of the movie, which is surprisingly realistic, because he is dead. Applying the choke wrong (or maybe super right) to the point where the opponent is down for the count (the count here being more than 30 seconds or so), you didn’t subdue him, you killed him.
In the opposite direction, you’ll sometimes see someone resist a “sleeper hold” for a long time – good luck staying awake and alive if you let your friend try this on you at a party – an effective choke can render someone unconscious in less than 15 seconds and kill them in 30.
Now, before you get your panties in a bunch in the comments, yes, the choke-out is something done every day in MMA fights and people aren’t passing out and dying left and right, but that’s mostly because they decide to quit rather than pass out. But watch a few of them pass out, and they’re often back on their feet within a minute, or on a stretcher already.
Ritualistic Hand Slicing
This is my numero uno bothersome wound in movies, and it’s the least dangerous. Unless they get a nasty infection, no one is going to die from slicing their hand open. It’s in plenty of movies and TV shows: need a blood sacrifice? Take that blade and slice your palm open. From Supernatural to The Hangover, anyone from medieval warriors to modern blood brothers are willing to cut their palms open and let it bleed.
Hold on a fucking second have you ever cut your palm? Again – not fatal, but fucking painful and annoying. Not annoying in the “ow this hurts” (even though ow, that fucking hurts) way, but annoying in the “Oh man this isn’t healing because I literally open my palm thousands of times a day and the skin stretches and why did I do this I am an idiot” way. Slicing your palm open stitches style means you need to get stitches, you need to wrap your hand, and (here it is) you need to not use it for days to let it heal correctly. That’s a bit of a pain in the ass when you’re trying to exorcise a demon or fight a war.
Think back to any time you’ve had a cut in an awkward place. On your knee, knuckle, palm, or any finger or near any joint. That shit breaks open all the time and takes a while to heal because you’re always moving and stretching. Now look at your palm and open and close your hand to simulate doing everything from wielding a sword, shooting a gun, eating spaghetti and spanking your monkey. Or masturbating. Now imagine a deep ass cut stretching from one side to the other that you stupidly carved in there. Seriously, if you need some blood, why not prick a finger or, better yet, just cut your forearm or something? There are literally a dozen other places to cut yourself that won’t interfere with your ability to do anything with your hands.
While there are a dozen other seemingly non-serious movie injuries out there to complain about, these are the four that have me up in arms at the moment. I’m sure I’ll be back for the rest later, but for now, these medical movie marvels have pushed me past my boiling point.