Here at Empire we don’t condone violence in any form. Unless your first name happens to be Chev and your last name Chelios, it rarely solves anything. Sometimes, just sometimes, though, cinematic scenarios demand a touch of the rough stuff. It's at times like that, ladies and gentlemen, that this weird and wonderful weaponfest comes in handy, gathering together the most ludicrous weapons ever wielded on screen -- and before you object, if it's just a big gun, it ain't in here. And as for the lightsaber? Well, that goes without saying...
First seen in: Constantine (2005)
Why it’s so ludicrous: It’s a crucifix and a shotgun. Made of gold. Covered with religious engravings and constructed from relics, it boasts a 12 shot spinning drum cylinder and an ever-so-sacrilegious mini-crucifix crosshair. Alongside the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, it’s the most blasphemous weapon to hit cinema. In anyone else’s hands, a 12-bore crucifix would look ridiculous, but in Keanu Reeves’ determined mitts, it lo… no, wait, it still looks ridiculous.
Most useful when: You want to get expelled from Catholic school. In style.
First seen in: Goldfinger (1964)
Why it’s so ludicrous: Come on, it’s a hat. That you wear on your head. Besides the practical implications of such a headgear-based weapon – surely that steel lining makes it undoff-able? – it’s also specially weighted to be slung accurately over long distances. To slice off a statue’s head, for example, or wipe the gurning grin off a spy’s face. It’s an inspired piece of nonsense that typifies Bond’s charm, and even now, when it comes to hat-based hardware, it is undoubtedly the tops. Shoe-based weaponry? That’s Random Task, in case you were interested.
Most useful when: You need a new approach to dead-heading weeds.
First seen in: Men In Black (1997)
Why it’s so ludicrous: You might think you want the Series 4 Deatomizer, but you don’t. You really, really don’t. Conclusive proof that good things most certainly do come in small packages, The Noisy Cricket packs one helluva punch. And by “punch” we mean “fireball”. Combining the two useful tricks of blowing shit up and blasting you backwards at great speed, it’s a pocket-sized punisher that’ll make your enemies weep with fear. Just make sure there’s something soft 20 feet behind you.
Most useful when: Protecting the Earth from the scum of the universe.
First seen in: Eraser (1996)
Why it’s so ludicrous: As movie sniper rifles go, the EM-1 Rail Gun has some tough competition from Wanted’s transglobal number, but Eraser’s long-range uber-rifle just about beats it. For starters, it’s meant to fire its rounds at the speed of light – which is fast – and its X-ray scope lets the wielder not only see through walls, but clothes, skin and bone too. Bunkum maybe, but fantastical bunkum, making for the most badass firearm Arnie’s ever wielded. And you don’t make that statement lightly.
Most useful when: You fancy a spot of long-distance bird-watching or need to turn your car upside down. Dramatically.
First seen in: Minority Report (2002)
Why it’s so ludicrous: The truncheon that makes you lose your luncheon, sick sticks force their victims to empty the contents of their stomach. While this piece of kit would leave your average law enforcer smelling like a bag of dead cats, it’s a neat notion that avoids the typical big-gun-goes-boom approach to sci-fi weaponry (as does the swing-reloading sonic gun elsewhere in the film). One for when you don’t absolutely have to kill every last motherf-cker in the room.
Most useful when: The dog’s swallowed your car keys.
First seen in: Krull (1983)
Why it’s so ludicrous: Ignoring the fact that it comes from a giant lava pool, it’s also a five-pronged boomerang. Five knives, jutting out from a weapon you’re meant to fling at people… and then catch again. That’s one for every finger you’re going to lop off using it, making it basically an Aerobee for lunatics. Shiny, magical and easy on the eye, it’s about as safe to fight with as a fishing net full of grenades. Which is why we love it.
Most useful when: You fancy trying something different on top of this year’s Christmas tree.
First seen in: Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
Why it’s so ludicrous: Like it says on the box, it’s the premier home and travel total security unit for the upper income survivalist, so... Gun porn for the uber-yuppee, basically. Handily, it's also got a cell phone built in – not to mention the microwave, night-vision goggles, alarm, compact disc player, digital radio and camera. Somewhere in there is an actual machine gun too, making it the Swiss Army's favourite imaginary firearm. Probably.
Most useful when: You feel like catching up on Woman’s Hour during a particularly arduous firefight.
First seen in: Desperado (1995)
Why it’s so ludicrous: It doesn’t need to be spelt out for anyone, but let’s do it anyway. It’s a revolver. In the shape of a penis. With two separate magazines beneath the main barrel, it ‘erects itself’ (‘Oi, oi’, etc.) thanks to a spring-loaded mechanism. More intimidating than useful (it's not fired in anger at all until From Dusk Till Dawn), it’s a handy way of stealing yourself a free beer. Works better on ponytailed goons than vampires, mind, but hey ho, you’re packing a cock gun, what do you care?
Most useful when: You need the ultimate cocktail party conversation starter.
First seen in: Desperado (1995)
Why it’s so ludicrous: Guitar case MAC-10s are all well and good, and the codpiece revolver is kinda cool if you like that sort of thing, but what really sorts the ludicrous weapon-loving men from the ludicrous weapon-loving boys is the guitar case rocket launcher. It’s perfectly balances your need to look like a Mexican guitar player with your need to make things kersplode. Also, aside from spitting out rocket propelled grenades, it also has no recoil. Which is nice.
Most useful when: Busking in those shadier tube stations.
First seen in: Hellboy (2004)
Why it’s so ludicrous: Remember when we said the Holy Shotgun was the most blasphemous weapon in cinema? Well, a new challenger enters. The barrel and magazine are made from Irish church bells, blessed silver and crucifixes, the handle from the wood Jesus was crucified on, and it fires rounds full of garlic, holy water and white oak shavings, so just looking at it will earn you roughly a million years in purgatory. Weighing in at more than ten pounds, it kicks like a mule with a particularly nasty hernia so unless you’re a demon from the bowels of hell, it’s probably best avoided. Not to mention its badder brother, Big Baby – when shells have "Suck On This" stamped on them, you better be scared.
Most useful when: One-uping your bazooka-owning friend.
First seen in: The Fifth Element (2004)
Why it’s so ludicrous: Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg makes some damn fine weapons, and this is a highlight of his arsenal. But let’s not sell the weapon for him, especially when he’s got his own sales patter: “It's light. Handle's adjustable for easy carrying, good for righties and lefties. Breaks down into four parts, undetectable by x-ray, ideal for quick, discreet interventions. A word on firepower. Titanium recharger, three thousand round clip with bursts of three to three hundred, and with the Replay button - another Zorg invention - it's even easier.” Well said, half-haired psychopathic maniac.
Most useful when: You need to some boom-boom to seriously shake the room.
First seen in: The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (2004)
Why it’s so ludicrous: Built by the universe’s most powerful computer, Deep Thought, the point-of-view gun was commissioned by the Intergalactic Consortium of Angry Housewives, tired of ending every domestic row with the phrase: "You just don't get it, do you?" Fire it at a friend and they’ll suddenly realise exactly how you feel. Mostly harmless, then? Well, no. What if you put it in the hands of the most depressed robot in the universe, Marvin The Paranoid Android…? Well, then there’s no more powerful firearm in the history of cinema.
Most useful when: You’ve just experienced a Total Perspective Vortex and want others to know how it felt.
First seen in: Super Mario Bros (1993)
Why it’s so ludicrous: The portable de-evolution gun is one of the most ludicrous aspects of the Super Mario Bros, which is saying something in a film where Dennis Hopper plays a dinosaur. It possesses the power to create Goombas from of the unsuspecting inhabitants of Dinohatten and turn humans into chimps, turning back the evolutionary clock with a mere squeeze of the trigger. It may look like a piece of steel piping, but in this demented parallel universe, it’s everything. It works equally well the other way, but making your enemies smarter is probably not a good long-term plan.
Most useful when: You want to turn Bob Hoskins into a gibbon.
First seen in: Blade Trinity (2004)
Why it’s so ludicrous: A large metal bow with a neon blue laser where the string should be, it’s a vampire-dicing cheese slicer that cuts through the undead like nobody’s business. Sure, Wes might have his blades, but Jessica Biel has this shiny UV cheesewire and it always makes an impression. How it works on vampires is such gibberish the highest order – we’ll spare you the details – but rest assured that it’s nonsense, but very, very cool nonsense.
Most useful when: There’s a horde of vampires in skintight vests running at you or you just want to make a quick ploughman’s.
First seen in: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
Why it’s so ludicrous: It’s a giant Japanese sword, almost as big as Scott himself, capable of being wielded while jumping, backflipping and generally leaping through the air. It also has the amazing capability of making people turn into coins – something that surely has some kind of commercial potential. Oh, and it’s ON FIRE. As blades go, it’s like the hattori hanzō retooled by British Gas. After seeing Michael Cera carving his name into the air with this bad boy, you definitely want one. Or several.
Most useful when: It’s dark; you’ve run out of cash for the coke machine; there’s no kindling.