October is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “31 days of horror.” Don’t bother looking it up; it’s true. Most people take that to mean highlighting one horror movie a day, but here at FSR, we’ve taken that up a spooky notch or nine by celebrating each day with a top ten list. This article about the deadliest horror movie weapons is part of our ongoing series 31 Days of Horror Lists.
Accessories make everything better. The perfect pen will aid in your writing. The right pillow will help you off to dreamland quicker. A proper television set will welcome any bitch to primetime.
Horror movie killers are geeks for gadgets as much as anybody else. What’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre without its chainsaw? What self-worth would Jason Voorhees have without his machete? Can you imagine Jigsaw without his traps? No way!
Scattered throughout the genre are numerous instruments worth stockpiling. Many of the weapons found on the list below have been turned into collectibles, and you can find them in every comic and horror convention across the country. Several others are less obvious and would be considered pedestrian in the hands of someone less maniacal. But give a basketball to a certain someone during a crucial transitioning moment in their life, and said basketball is as fatal a tool as anything found in Chucky’s toybox.
These deadly horror movie weapons were carefully considered and curated by the Boo Crew, aka Rob Hunter, Anna Swanson, Chris Coffel, Jacob Trussell, Valerie Ettenhofer, Meg Shields, and yours truly. If you ever find yourself in their homes, watch your back and stay out of their closets.
10. The Gristle Gun (eXistenz, 1999)
“The tooth fairy could go into the arms business,” Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Allegra Geller says as she examines a strange gun loaded to the teeth – quite literally. Holding a row of teeth bullets in her hand, she says with detectable amusement, “Oh look, this one has a cavity.” The Gristle Gun, as it’s dubbed by director David Cronenberg, is just one gonzo aspect of his entry in the “killer video game” subgenre, naturally blending wildly fascinating sci-fi body horror with his patent brand of goopy sexuality that never feels detached from the overall vibes of the film. But we’re here for the gun, which we later watch be assembled from an assortment of bones and gristle before Jude Law’s Ted Pikul removes his own teeth to load into his newly created weapon. It’s an ingenious little cinematic invention that we can’t tear our eyes away from, even if we’re justifiably grossed out by its overall aesthetic. (Jacob Trussell)
9. The Basketball (Deadly Friend, 1986)
In the mid-eighties, Wes Craven couldn’t catch a break. After the success of numerous other horror endeavors, audiences only wanted one thing from the director. He attempted to deliver a bittersweet, sci-fi love story with Deadly Friend, but test audiences rejected Craven’s early cuts of the film. No blood! No gore! Booooooo! Warner Bros. sent Craven back to work, asking him to inject a little of that red stuff. He did so with ridiculous abandon, producing this sequence in which a computer-enhanced and malfunctioning Kristy Swanson hurls a basketball through Anne Ramsey‘s skull, exploding her brains everywhere. Two points. She scores. (Brad Gullickson)
8. The Lawnmower (Dead Alive, 1992)
Lawnmowers have been used in other horror movies to slice and dice victims, from the creepy kills in Sinister to the goofy ones in Blades, but none have wielded it as well as Peter Jackson. Mama’s boy Lionel is finally fighting back against the horde of zombies invading his home, and in the big third-act set-piece, that means starting up his trusty mower and simply eviscerating dozens of shambling, bloodthirsty bastards. Limbs are lopped, faces are frappéd, and after nearly three minutes of absolute carnage, our hero is left slipping and sliding on the sloppy viscera. This scene landed the film in the record books for the most fake blood used in a movie. Bravo, Mister Jackson, bravo. Now give us the goddamn flick on Blu-ray! (Rob Hunter)
7. The Flesh Gun (Videodrome, 1983)
Fun fact: when Patron Saint of special effects Rick Baker first presented David Cronenberg with his ideas for the flesh gun, which included eyes, mouth, and foreskin, Cronenberg said that it was too graphic. Cronenberg. Too graphic. Just think about that for a second. Anyway, what we get in the end is the incredibly restrained gun that Max Ren (James Woods) pulls from his own torso slit and that fuses with his hand, producing a fleshy, oozey hybrid weapon. It’s as gross as it is creative, conjuring ideas about the potential for violence that always existed inside but has now taken over. Personally speaking, the fusion scene is also one of the most unsettling and upsetting things I’ve seen in a Cronenberg movie. Long live the new flesh, indeed. (Anna Swanson)
6. The Sentinel Spheres (Phantasm, 1979)
The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) can afford to lumber. Doin’ his Martian dirty work are his Sentinel Spheres, those shiny zoomin’ balls that rocket through corridors on the hunt for human skulls and the delicious blood they contain. Seeing Phantasm at an early age left a long-lasting psychological scar. The scream of the Tall Man’s balls zipping around corners still lingers in the back of my brain, in the shadow regions. As does the sound of their little drill, pushing forth and into their victim. Watching the film today, the cartoonish geyser of blood that ejects from their behind gives a little chuckle. However, their approach still creeps me the frick out. They’re unstoppably inevitable. Whoever hears their whir hears very little afterward. Into a bucket ya go. (Brad)
This list of the best horror movie weapons concludes on the next page…
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