I told this story a little while back on terribleminds, but it bears repeating here:
“It was winter time. Not far from the holidays, if I recall. We were coming back from K-Mart, and a car full of seriously pissed-off dudes were riding the bumper behind us. Flipping us off, revving the engine, all that. In the Dirty Harry or Death Wish movies, they would handily be referred to as ‘punks.’ They kept following us. Off the main roads and onto back roads. My father, cold as an icicle, started concocting The Plan. He had no weapons in the truck, as it was a new truck. What he did have was a series of antlers rescued from the whitetail deer we raised. The Plan was, he’d pull fast into the driveway. If these punks came in right behind us, wanting to start some shit, he’d hold them off with the antlers while I went to the front door — just inside the front door was a little .410 shotgun for popping squirrels and starlings. We turned onto our road, and the car did not follow. They were saved that day, I guess, from antler stabbings and a face full of squirrel shot.”
Let’s be clear. Violence is what we do.
Not literally, of course. We are not the violent ones, oh no. It’s our characters. Those mad bastards. It’s them! It’s always them. Stabbing each other. Shooting one another. All that jaw-shattering and knee-breaking and throat-collapsing. It’s not the author’s fault our characters are violent. If it was up to us, it’d be flowers and fluffy lambs. It’d be boxes of chocolate instead of boxes for corpses.
... ehh, okay, no.
Hot dang, I love me some creative violence! Woo! Gets the blood pumping. Ah, but what I really think is slicker than goose shit on a glass window is creative violence featuring improvised weapons.
Jason Bourne, for instance. In the films, he whups up on poor fools with books, magazines, pens, electrical cords. The world is his weapon. Or what about the nail gun in Lethal Weapon 2? What about when the Stath (oy, Jason Statham) kicks dudes asses with a fire hose in The Transporter? Or a knitting needle in Michael Myers’ eye (that would be slasher film Michael Myers, not Austin Powers). Or LPs winged at the heads of zombies in Shaun of the Dead.
In some of the game books I’ve developed (Armory, Hunter: The Vigil) we have rules for using improvised or found weapons: Board with a nail in it! Broken bottle! Chainsaw! Power augur!
The list goes on and on.
To quote Ani DiFranco, “Every tool is weapon if you hold it right.”
So, let’s talk about it.
What are some of your favorite “improvised weapon” scenes from books, film, video games, whatever? Hell, come up with some new ones. Dazzle us with your disturbed minds. You know you want to. It’ll make you feel good. All the cool kids are doing it.