Improvised Weapon / Film


  • 28 Days Later has Jim wielding a baseball bat (and later a crowbar), Hannah wielding what appears to be a vase of some kind in one scene, and makeshift Molotov cocktails wielded by Selena. Otherwise, real weapons abound.
  • The famous power loader from Aliens is, well, a powered loader, and not intended to be a weapon.
  • The Chuck Norris movie An Eye for an Eye has Mako as Norris' sensei knock down one of several attackers, then render the mook fully unconscious by hitting him with a desktop telephone (rotary, no less). He growls, "The warrior uses what is at hand!"
  • The climax of Arabesque shows Gregory Peck killing the villains with a ladder — by jamming it down through the girders under a bridge into the rotor of their helicopter as they fly below trying to shoot him.
  • In the Sean Penn film Bad Boys, Penn is in a juvenile prison and about to be attacked by two other boys who run the cell block. Penn knows the attack is coming, so he goes to the soda machine and buys four cans of soda. Then he goes to his cell, tells his bunkmate to leave, puts the four cans of soda into a pillow case and ties it shut. The two boys walk into his cell expecting a defenseless victim. Penn starts swinging, taking them completely by surprise, and the beatdown he puts on them with his makeshift weapon becomes the stuff of legend in the facility. Both boys were carried out on stretchers. It's notable that his number one target out of all the swings he makes is their faces.
  • In the 2007 Beowulf movie, the title character kills Grendel with a door. While loudly introducing himself.
  • In this scene from Beverly Hills Ninja Chris Farley attacks his opponent with fish while Robin Shou (Disguised in Drag) uses a purse and high heels.
  • In Big Game, during the fight with Hazar, Oskari attacks him with a fire extinguisher and Moore uses a doorstopper book to defend himself.
  • Blade Runner: Deckard is cornered in a bathroom with two broken fingers, no gun, and the villain Roy Batty has just walked in. His response? Wrest a lead pipe from the wall and beat Roy in the head with it. Roy's response? "Yes, that's the spirit!"
  • Jason Bourne is another master of the form in The Bourne Series
    • In The Bourne Identity, he is attacked by a switchblade-armed operative (who also knows kung fu), and has to defend himself with a ballpoint pen. He then disarms the assailant by brutally jamming the pen in between his knuckles.
    • In The Bourne Supremacy he uses a rolled up magazine against a former Treadstone assassin and blows up his house with said magazine stuffed in a toaster.
    • In The Bourne Ultimatum, he kills an assassin with a bathroom. No, not things in the bathroom. The actual bathroom.
  • The famous scene from Braindead/Dead Alive where Lionel slaughters a horde of zombies with a lawnmower strapped to his chest.
  • Twice in Captain America: The First Avenger. Skinny, pre-serum Steve uses a trashcan lid as a shield against a bully. And post-serum Steve uses a taxi door as a shield against a Nazi assassin.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick features the title character killing someone with a tea cup. He then nonchalantly picks up and threatens them with a sardine tin key.
  • Coffy:
    • In one scene, Coffy ties razorblades into her afro hair, in anticipation of trouble. When the big Cat Fight erupts, another woman tries to grab her by the hair, with a gory result.
    • When held captive by the bad guys, Coffy sharpens one of her harpins and then puts it back in her hair. She later uses it to repeatedly stab a guy in the neck.
  • Colombiana. The final confrontation between the Action Girl and The Dragon involves towels, and toothbrushes akimbo. In the end The Dragon gets his hands on a pistol, only for her to eject the magazine, field-strip the slide, and stab him in the neck with it.
  • In Crocodile Dundee, the chauffeur who was driving around Mick yanked the in-car phone antenna off of the limo he was driving, and used it as a boomerang to take down a fleeing mook.
  • The best thing in Daredevil was Bullseye's mastery of the Improvised Weapon. Killing someone with a paper clip or a peanut? Badass.
  • The Dark Knight: The Joker makes a pencil "disappear" with a bit of Eye Scream. Likewise, his incarnation in Tim Burton's Batman used a quill pen to kill a local mob boss.
  • When Brodie and Zakk from Deathgasm have to defend themselves from two Raimi-style zombies, they use the only tools they can find: Brodie's uncle and aunt's sextoys.
    • They later fashion weapons out of power tools, like a drill-guitar and a weed whacker with barbed wire.
  • In Die Hard 2, McClane kills a mook with a handy icicle. In the fourth film, he runs out of bullets and has to take out a helicopter with a car.
  • In District 9, the alien Christopher is able to improvise a bomb out some random pieces of alien technology left sitting around. Later on, Wikus uses the Gravity Gun on a prawn mini-mech to hurl a pig at a soldier with rather devastating results.
  • Dunston Checks In has one in the kitchen of a 5-star hotel. Among the implements used are a ladle, a whisk, and a 20-pound bag of coffee beans. And a wine bottle, almost:
    Rutledge brandishes a wine bottle.
    Grant: NO! NO! That's the Chateau Lafite.
    Rutledge: <looks at it> Good year. <puts it away, fighting resumes>
  • Both The Faculty and the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street feature the use of the arm of a paper guillotine as an improbably sharp bladed weapon despite the arm of actual paper guillotines being entirely blunt.
  • In Fatal Contact, the Japanese fighter puts nails into his gloves and boots for use against the hero.
  • Jason uses many of these in the Friday the 13th series.
  • In Godzilla And Mothra The Battle For Earth, a freakin' ferris wheel is used as a weapon. That's how giant monsters roll.
  • Grosse Pointe Blank: Among his post-high school accomplishments, Martin Blank lists "kill[ing] the president of Paraguay with a fork." He later stabs an assassin in the neck with a souvenir pen, and smashes a still-plugged-in television over his business rival's head, electrocuting him.
    • He also dispatches a mook with a frying pan.
  • In The Heat Mullins makes good on her plan to throw a phone book in Julian's face during interrogation. Mullins also uses a watermelon to subdue Rojas.
  • During the subway battle, the title character of the first Hellboy movie gives Sammael a good thrashing with a pay telephone.
  • There was a reason Thorin in The Hobbit was called Oakenshield, as he literally used an oak branch to protect himself and win against Azog, as shown in An Unexpected Journey. In his second rematch with Azog, he has fashioned an armored gauntlet reinforced with iron fitting out of the same oak branch.
    • Also Gandalf when they were trapped in a tree and being attacked by wargs. He grabs nearby pine cones and ignited them as impromptu firebombs.
  • During the climactic chase of Mad Max:Fury Road Max takes out two Pole Cats with a pair of bolt cutters.
  • In Hot Fuzz, Nicholas Angel knocks out an assailant with a flowerpot, and in another scene Doris Fletcher takes out a mad stock girl brandishing a box cutter by whacking her upside the head with a "Wet Floor" sign. Later on in the film, a line of shopping carts becomes a battering ram. There's also the Shoplifter being KO'd with a lobbed spray can. Nearly all of the murders are committed without traditional weapons: part of the church roof, gardening shears, a car and a combination of natural gas and burning food. Only once the NWA is found out do they use guns.
  • Played for Laughs in Hot Shots! Part Deux, when Topper attempts to take out a guard using a bow and arrow. After missing every single shot (which the guard hilariously doesn't notice till he turns to look at the wall behind him), Topper then utilizes a chicken and shoots the guard with it. In another scene, he also "kills" a bunch of random Mooks by simply throwing bullets at them with his hand.
  • In If Looks Could Kill, a gold serving tray is used to kill the French finance minister during his meeting with Steranko at the beginning, bashing him upside the head so hard he's knocked out of his chair and send sliding across the floor and into the wall.
    • In The Living Daylights, Necros shows great improvisation skills, infiltrating a MI6 safe house through the kitchen and taking out guards with a headphone cord, rolling pin, electric knife, cooktop, boiling water, and that old standby the cast iron skillet.
  • In The Incredible Hulk, the Hulk uses pieces of a broken statue to shield himself from the sonic cannons. He then uses the same pieces to take down one of the cannons and, later, a gunship. During the final fight, Hulk turns a police car into a pair of impromptu boxing gloves.
  • Indiana Jones lives by this trope. And Indy's not alone. As Marcus says, the pen is mightier than the sword.
  • Ip Man may be a Martial Pacifist, but if pushed has no qualms against using a feather duster, a long bamboo rod, wood pallets etc. to fight.
  • Iron Man 3 showed that even without his titular armor, Tony will do this to get the job done. With the armor out of reach, he just walks into a hardware store, buys a lot of tools and equipment, and makes a bola, a tranquilizer nailgun, a one-time use stun gun, Christmas bauble grenades/flashbangs, and a glove that functions as a taser.
  • Jackie Chan's characters are considered masters of the form, squeezing it for all its slapstick value. Notable occasions include this sequence using paste tables, his own jacket, a box full of paper, his opponents' fighting-sticks, sheets of plasterboard, a Chinese lion head, a broom and, most famously, a stepladder. Also see Jackie trying a series of items in succession, after which the mook surrenders when Jackie gets to the 15-inch pipe wrench.
  • It's rare that James Bond uses anything as a weapon that wasn't given to him by Q. However, in Live and Let Die, Bond is smoking a cigarette while he's shaving, when a villain lets a venomous snake into the bathroom. Bond notices it, and ever resourceful, kills it by using the cigarette and an aerosol can of aftershave to fashion a makeshift flamethrower and spraying it at the reptile.
  • In Kill Bill, after her sword is knocked out of her hands, the Bride kills Go-Go Yubari with a broken table leg with nails in it. She also gets her revenge on the hospital orderly who pimped her out by putting his head in a door and slamming it.
  • Once bullets and sharp objects prove unsuccessful in bringing down the eponymous creature in Killer Crocodile, main character has to resort to throwing an entire outboard motor into the thing's mouth. It burrows into the animal's guts, malfunctions, and explodes spectacularly, sending the croc back under the river's surface in flames.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, during the church brawl, Harry Hart uses whatever's at hand (such as bibles and incense burners) to fight off the churchgoers after he runs out of bullets.
  • In Law Abiding Citizen, all that Clyde wants is his steak. His Porterhouse steak. Turns out, the bone is a pretty effective punch dagger.
  • The 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left: Knives, wine bottle, roofing hammer, ottoman, mattress, lamp, hot water. Then there's the Your Head Asplode moment using a rigged microwave oven.
  • In Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, a man is beaten to death with a black rubber penis.
  • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie, Ivan Ooze pulls a move similar to Godzilla's above. After he merges with his Humongous Mecha, he grabs hold of an observation tower — the one he was watching the battle from just a minute ago — rips it free, and then uses it against the Ninja Megazord like a club.
  • In The Mist, an elderly English teacher clocks a delusional religious fanatic in the face with a can of peas, among many examples throughout the movie.
  • In No Country for Old Men, Anton Chigurh regularly uses a captive bolt pistol to not only kill people, but blast the locks off doors. He also strangles a deputy with handcuffs.
  • In Now You See Me, when cornered by Rhodes, Jack Wilder fights him off first by flinging burning flash paper at him and, when that doesn't work, throwing playing cards.
  • Oldboy (2003) features a toothbrush, a claw hammer, a screwdriver, and a broken CD all used as weapons.
  • Pacific Rim: Gipsy Danger uses an oil tanker as an improvised club/sword against Otachi.
    • Earlier, Leatherback and Gypsy take turns with these, with Gypsy getting a face full of crane and Leatherback getting slammed with two storage containers in return. Later, a hydrothermal vent gets used against one of the bigger Kaijus.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean. It wouldn't be a swashbuckling pirate series without them.
    • Jack uses the wrist irons that the soldiers put him in ("Finally!") to take Elizabeth hostage and make his escape.
    • Will uses a red-hot poker as an impromptu sword midway through his duel with Jack in the first film.
    • Elizabeth uses a bedwarming pan to drop hot coals on a pirate.
    • A rowboat is used to knock several undead Black Pearl crewmembers to pieces.
    • Elizabeth gets a Simple Staff scene using an ornate pole against pirates at Isla de Muerta.
    • When escaping from cannibalistic natives, Jack tries (mostly unsuccessfully) to use the wooden roasting spit he's tied to as a weapon.
    • The Dead Man's chest gets used at least once to wonk somebody in the face.
    • In the fourth, Jack knocks down several Spanish soldiers while armed only with a coconut on the end of a rope.
    • Having found themselves without cannonballs, Elizabeth orders the crew of the Interceptor to load everything handy into the guns; a practice resembling langrage in real life, except that instead of special irregular shot it's just cutlery and desperation. They even load in Mr Gibbs' hip flask, which appears to be made of leather.
  • In The Raid: Redemption, a group of beleaguered cops blow their way out of a room by building a shaped charge out of a propane stove and a fridge. In about 10 seconds flat.
  • In the 1992 Brandon Lee movie Rapid Fire, he beats up a pair of crooked FBI agents with a kitchen. Fridge, drawers, doors, cooking implements... he pretty much uses the whole kitchen.
  • In [REC] 2 a teenager uses a bottle rocket to take out a zombie.
  • Red Eye has a truly righteous incidence of this... with a pen. One of those punchy pens, with the little levers to push to make it punch... It doesn't kill the guy, but they are on a plane at the time and Jackson had already demonstrated how well he'd deal with Lisa's escape attempts. Later weaponry includes a pair of heels and a hockey stick.
  • The ape protagonists of Rise of the Planet of the Apes do this a lot. Wrought-iron fence-poles? They make some pretty handy spears. Manhole cover? Throw it at a cop car and stop it dead in its tracks. Helicopter door gunner shooting at you? Throw a heavy length of chain at him.
  • Santa With Muscles contains a few like weed wackers, a stethoscope, and styrofoam candy canes.
  • In Scream (1996) Sydney takes out one of the killers by dropping a television on his head.
    • A fridge door, beer bottles, a rubber machete prop, a golf club, an ice-pick, a picture frame and a phone-receiver in an obvious Take That to the killer's tendency to stalk his victims over the phone.
    • Sidney also uses a fraternity necklace given to her by Derek, who is at this point, dead to try and damage a killer's eyes when they have her at gunpoint.
  • Serenity has Mal face off against The Operative in the final battle. The latter carries a sword so the former pulls out a screwdriver from a handy tool box..
  • In Shanghai Noon, he used antlers like a bat'leth, made a blunt rope dart using a lasso and horseshoe, and "piss shirt bend bar"...
  • A more popular example can be seen in Shaun of the Dead; the titular hero wields a cricket bat for most of the film. There is also a scene in which Shaun and Ed hurl albums at two zombies, as the zombies slowly meander towards them. In the scene at the pub, they fight the zombie bartender with pool cues, darts, and the jukebox. The swingball pole Shaun used to hit a zombie with the ball was ineffective, but then impaled the zombie to a tree with the pole itself (which stopped the zombie as a threat and helped the group afterwards when they learned to imitate zombies).
  • Sherlock Holmes: Watson's pot or hat. See also Holmes' (attempt) with a hammer.
  • Smith, from Shoot 'em Up, kills two people with carrots. He also has an interesting technique for firing bullets when his hands are busted up. He doesn't bother using a gun. He puts them between his fingers and puts his hand over a fire.
  • Showdown in Little Tokyo. During Murata's fight with The Dragon, they both break off metal bars in the refinery they're fighting in to use as weapons.
  • Sleeper — in a fight with a guard at a futuristic farm, Woody Allen knocks him cold with a strawberry the size of a medicine ball. Earlier he subdued another guard by asphyxiating him with a block of blue cheese.
  • So Close:
    • After losing her katana, Sue uses a sliced piece of bamboo in the final fight.
    • She also finishes off the Big Bad by firing her grappling hook into his head.
  • Occurs in Spy Kids here. Subverted in that the next movie reveals said device is a weapon, though we still don't see it fire.
  • There is a moment near the end of the original Stargate, when Jack killed Anubis using transporter rings. Yes, he used the local teleportation device to kill a guy. A really badass guy.
  • In the 2009 Star Trek, Kirk uses his dropsuit helmet as a bludgeoning weapon when he loses his phaser on the Narada's drill.
  • In the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Sudden Death, he kills a man with a chicken bone (death #2 here).
  • In Surf Ninjas, the mysterious guardian Zatch finds himself without a weapon against ninjas. So he reaches for the nearest object at hand... a skateboard. Which he uses as a Bo Staff.
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the title character's first kill, in the heat of the moment, involved him laying into Pirelli with a metal teapot and beating him into unconsciousness before stuffing him into a box. He has to finish him off with his razor because the beating didn't kill the guy.
  • In one of the most memorable scenes from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Casey Jones takes out Shredder's Dragon using a golf-club found in the crime-wave warehouse. (Casey's motif is usually other sports equipment as weapons; this gave him a new respect for golf.) Casey is in fact an Improbable Weapon User, as in the battle described above, Casey spends the first half of the fight getting his ass summarily handed to him. The exact moment when Casey turns the fight around and goes from being a punching bag to being a badass, making quick work of The Dragon? When he finds the golf club in a pile of debris into which The Dragon knocked him. In an act of major bowdlerisation, in the sequel the turtles do this throughout the whole movie, most notably in the shopping center at the beginning.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah Connor takes a psychologist as a hostage using a syringe full of cleaning fluid stuck in his neck, and threatening to kill him by injecting it if she wasn't left alone. The same psychologist comments how she had earlier stabbed his knee with a pen.
  • Used occasionally in The Three Stooges. One short that took place in the Civil War era had Curly using a meat grinder for its intended purpose while the stooges were trapped and under heavy fire. Then Moe and Larry accidentally spill bullets into the meat grinder, leading to the stooges using it as a makeshift machine gun.
  • In Thunderball, Bond and Colonel Bouvar attack each other with chairs, bookshelves, upholstery, and a fire poker. (Bonus points to Bond, who only pulled the bookshelf onto Bouvar because his jacket sleeve had been stuck to it with a throwing knife.) Later, in the movie's climax on the Disco Volante, Bond frantically pummels several henchmen with what appears to be a radio officer's headset, repeatedly slams a small hinged door on a fallen goon, and hurls a heavy-looking chair at another one.
  • In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the big forest battle starts with Optimus whaling on Megatron with a couple of nearby trees.
  • The Transporter specializes in these, or indeed anything with Jason Statham in it. The best example is beating up a roomful of Mooks with a fire hose in the second film. Then turning the hose on and leaving it to beat up the mooks by itself. Complete with Unflinching Walk.
  • In The Tribe, Sergey makes good use of the desks of the gang members to dispatch them at the end.
  • In Undercover Blues, Jeff Blue uses his daughter's stroller to beat up two muggers.
  • In United 93, which is based on the Real Life September 11 attacks, one of the passengers uses a fire extinguisher as a bludgeoning tool, whereas the hijackers use a food cart and a fake bomb. The flight attendants also boil water, break several wine bottles, and use every sharp eating utensil they can find in the back cabin.
  • The Warriors: gang members fight with all manner of improvised weapons and repurposed items. Baseball bats, chains, belts, straight razors, two-by-fours, pipes, and bottles are all featured. In the end, a whole sequence is dedicated to the remaining Warriors preparing for battle with the Rogues by dismantling pipes and wood planks from the building their hiding behind.
  • Adamantium claws as throwing knives in The Wolverine.
  • Zombieland — Jesse Eisenberg's character kills his newly reanimated neighbour with the lid off a toilet cistern.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ImprovisedWeapon/FIlm