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Weaponized Camera

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Hey, Fritz: Say "käsee"!

So there's a fight scene, and someone just happens to have a camera. Not only is the camera useful for snapping photographs, it's one more possible weapon out of many already present in the scene. If the camera isn't being used to physically bonk people over the head, the flash can be used to momentarily blind them. In some rare cases, the effectiveness of the camera as a weapon has to do with superstition on the part of the person whose picture gets taken ("You stole my soul!"). An Art Attacker may have one of these as their weapon.

When the camera's offensive properties go beyond just the flash or a simple bludgeon, it's likely a Magical Camera or Shoe Phone.

Subtrope of Improvised Weapon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cutey Honey has Honey's photographer form bludgeon a few Panther Claw goons with her camera in the first anime opening.
  • The protagonist of Speed Grapher can kill with his camera, which blows up whatever he photographs.
  • The female character in Zombie Powder turned her tripod into a cannon.

    Comic Books 
  • Mr. Camera is a minor Batman villain who uses photography-based gadgets in committing his crimes.
  • In Cavewoman: River Styx, Meriem uses the flash on a photographer's camera to blind a cave-swelling Killer Gorilla whose eyes are adapted to functioning in very low levels of light.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Bodyguard From Beijing have an assassin disguised as reporter armed with a camera concealing a hidden gun. But the titular character played by Jet Li sees through the disguise and quickly puts a bullet through the camera's lens, as well as the assassin's face.
  • The terrorists in Death Train demand a camera crew be let onto the train so they can show off the bomb and make their point clear to the world. This is done - but the heroes are in the news crew, and the camera has a single-shot gun hidden inside.
  • In the film Dog Soldiers they use a polaroid camera to blind the attacking monsters. The photographs they take show up in the end credits.
  • In the horror film Don't Be Afraid of the Dark in 2011, Sally was given a Polaroid SX70 OneStep camera by Kim. During the dinner party hosted by her father, she went to photograph proof of the Fairy Fold monsters. However, she becomes locked up in the library and has to keep the Fairy Fold away from her with the flashes until her father finds a way in.
  • In Dr. No, photographer Annabelle Chung cuts Quarrel's face with a broken flashbulb. It doesn't do her much good.
  • Done in Gremlins when one of the characters tries to take a Polaroid of the Gremlins and discovers that they're sensitive to bright light.
  • A camera-mounted tripod is used as a stabbing and bludgeoning weapon in Halloween: Resurrection.
  • The Camerahead Cenobite from Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth can make things explode by taking a picture of them with his camera eye, which can also extend with enough force to punch a hole through a man's head.
  • When her home is plunged into darkness, Sarah from Inside uses the flashes emitted by her camera to navigate the house, and find the wounded killer.
  • In Licence to Kill, Q provides Bond with a Scaramanga Special sniper rifle that looks like a high-end camera and accessories when disassembled. Q also has a Polaroid camera that fires Frickin' Laser Beams (and takes X-ray photos) that is only used for a throwaway gag.
  • In Murder at the Baskervilles, Colonel Moran has a high power air gun concealed inside a movie camera that he uses to shoot the jockey on the winning horse during the cup race.
  • An alternate ending for Paranormal Activity would have had a possessed Katie beat Micah to death with the camera.
  • In Peeping Tom, Mark murders his victims with a retractable knife hidden in the leg of his camera tripod: allowing him to film them at the moment he kills them.
  • The Water Street Butcher bashes a child's head in with the camera in The Poughkeepsie Tapes.
  • In one scene of Quarantine (2008), a character uses the POV camera to beat up a zombie lens-first.
  • The climactic scene in Rear Window involves the protagonist using camera flashbulbs to slow down the villain as he advances on him.
  • In Ruby, the title character is given a home movie camera with a gun hidden inside.
    Vitali: It takes nine-millimeter film.
  • The murderers in the Australian slasher film Scare Campaign use a variety of weaponized cameras to bludgeon, stab, garrote, and chainsaw their victims.
  • Shatter: The titular protagonist, an assassin disguised as a reporter, kills an African dictator using a camera concealing a mini-pistol that fires a bullet from its lens as the victim had his picture taken.
  • The killer in The Sleeper blinds two co-eds with camera flashes before attacking them.
  • Erin uses one of these in You're Next to set up an ambush for the fox-masked intruder.

  • Discworld
    • In The Colour of Magic, Bel-Shammaroth is stunned and scared off by caged Salamanders flashing lights. Salamanders whose purpose is to provide light for Twoflower's camera.
    • In The Truth, Otto Chriek's experimental camera is used to advantage in a fight scene because it uses Uberwaldean Land Eels — which emit the mysterious "dark light" — instead of Salamanders.
  • The only way to defeat the Big Bad in the book Golden And Grey: The Nightmares Ghosts Have, was to capture his image in some way. The hero intended to use a pocket mirror and brought one along, but when it broke, an annoying reporter with a camera ended up saving the day.
  • Sometimes, the camera really does steal souls. See (repeatedly) Goosebumps, most notably the Say Cheese and Die! books.
  • In Charles Stross' The Laundry Files, the CCTV cameras ubiquitous across England can be turned into "look-to-kill" weapons, operating on the same principle as basilisks, gorgons, etc. It says something about how bad a full-scale invasion by Eldritch Abominations is expected to be that killing (by petrifying and/or cooking) most of Britain's population is considered the better option.
  • In Michael Crichton's Prey, the killer Grey Goo were originally designed to be nanomolecular cameras.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Burn Notice: Michael Westen once cracked open a disposable camera and put the case around a taser.
  • One of the CSIs had a girl die when a camera was thrown at her.
  • The "KGB vs. CIA" episode of Deadliest Warrior featured the KGB using a camera that was also a gun. It was intended for assassinations, which was why it only held a single .22 caliber bullet.
  • Mentioned in an episode of Hogan's Heroes. There was a Hollywood star who had joined the US Army Air Corps and had been shot down, and had agreed (for some bizarre reason) to take part in a German propaganda film. Carter's idea to keep "America's Sweetheart" from doing a propaganda film for the Nazis?
    Carter: I pretend I'm taking a picture, but inside the camera, I've got a thirty-seven millimeter cannon...sawed off.
    Newkirk: You don't think that's a bit messy?
  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker
    • "Bad Medicine". When Kolchak takes pictures of a diablero, it flees to protect its eyes from the bright light from the camera's flashbulb.
    • Subverted in "They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be...". Kolchak thinks the monster is adversely affected by the light from his camera's flash bulb. It actually turns out to be vulnerable to the sound the camera's recharger makes after the flash.
  • TekWar: A former mayor and tek-addict was running for office. When he finally wins, one assassin moves into position with a camera modified with a rapid-fire energy weapon, while being able to look like a normal person of the press.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • At the 1993 King Of The Ring PPV, Hulk Hogan was defending the WWF title against Yokozuna. Near the end of the match, a photographer shot a fireball out of his camera, hitting Hogan in the face and allowing Yokozuna to get the win and regain the title.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Champions adventure C.L.O.W.N. Snapshot, one of the members of the title villain group, had a high tech camera that could change its target into a photograph.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: April O'Neil's action figures for the 1987 cartoon and 1990s live-action movies typically included a camera and microphone as accessories that the toys' packaging typically referred to as weapons. In her first toy, she had a cam-corder that hid a concealed pistol.

    Video Games 
  • While Jade cannot actually fight using her camera in Beyond Good & Evil, it does serve as a substitute for a Sniper Rifle scope for making precise long-distance shots with the disk launcher.
  • In Deceit, cameras are used that way against the Infected when they are transformed. What's more, they are put there specifically for this purpose by a mysterious man hosting a Deadly Game as a way for the innocents to defend themselves against the Infected.
  • In Eternal Darkness there's a level where you play as a journalist in a makeshift World War I hospital. You start the level with a camera and some flash powder which you can use to stun enemies (which is useful, considering some of them can easily dodge the puny guns you're given).
  • In Final Fantasy VI one of Edgar's tools is a camera with a damaging flash.
  • The small, flying camera robots in Half-Life 2 often end up blinding you.
  • In NetHack, a camera can be used to blind foes.
  • Ran Hibiki from the Rival Schools games incorporates her camera into some of her special attacks, being a School Newspaper Newshound and all.
  • In the movie studio stage of the Scott Pilgrim game, one of the generic mooks attacks with a flash camera.
  • In Spelunky, from the HD remake onward you can find a camera that causes a Blinding Camera Flash in a box in front of you, stunning and disorienting most enemies (including the otherwise invincible and infallible Ghost, if only for a brief moment) and outright killing most undead enemies, including skeletons and vampires.
  • In Super Solvers: Midnight Rescue, the Super Solver's main tool is a camera. It serves two functions: One, to take photos of Morty's robots to gain clues on which robot Morty is hiding inside. Two, to zap the robots and make them disappear whenever they try to attack you.
  • Although it works slightly different in both games, Frank West uses a camera as one of his special moves in both Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • There's at least one Tintin videogame adaptation where you can use the camera to scare away birds/bats and stun both men and beasts alike, allowing you to get close enough to knock them out cold.
  • In Touhou Gaiden Games Shoot the Bullet and Double Spoiler, taking enough pictures of the bosses makes them explode as though they were defeated. Taking pictures also clears away bullets in the picture.

    Web Comics 
  • In El Goonish Shive, Catalina and Rhoda use their cameras' flashes along with a loud whistle to scare off a boar.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Count Duckula episode "Dear Diary," Dr. Goosewing loads a camera with a stake to fire at Duckula. He gains entrance to the castle disguised as a photographer, but he gets revealed when the gunpowder meant to propel the stake blows up in his face.
  • During a James Bond parody episode of Dexter's Laboratory a mook at the photography company's secret lair uses a camera to shoot shuriken-photos at Dexter. The main villain has an electronic camera eye with a flash that renders victims catatonic.
  • During one episode of Code Lyoko. Xana was using rats that were extremely sensitive to light. Cue everyone using the cameras flashbulbs to get the rats to scatter along with some incredibly painful "say cheese!" and "smile!" puns.
  • In one Ed, Edd n Eddy episode Eddy keeps doing this to Kevin.
  • Johnny Test used this to defeat the Molemen in one episode.
  • When The Simpsons went to Itchy & Scratchy Land and the robots went berserk, flashes from cameras made them malfunction and short circuit, rendering them useless.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: During a battle between Venom an Spider-man at the J3 news station, Venom grabs a large camera an is about to smash Spidey with it, before Iron Man blats it out of his hands.
  • Simon Bar Sinister of Underdog created a special camera in "Simon Says" (his first-ever appearance in the show), that, when it hits the victim, turns said victims into photographs, and he intended to do so to our hero and Sweet Polly and then kill them both by tearing up their photographs. Underdog defeated Simon by employing a mirror to make the ray bounce back towards him. The effects are reversible by switching the lens in the opposite direction.
    Simon: Simon says, "Hold it"!

    Real Life 
  • More reasonable than you may think. Older film cameras are liable because they tended to be made out of milled metals and other durable materials with a simple internal construction, while modern high-end cameras tend to have heavy-duty magnesium frames and are designed specifically so that you can drop them on rocks in the middle of an African safari and still expect them to work well enough. As for flashes, well, a professional off-camera flash is something you don't want going off in your face rapidly in the first place, and many modern flashes have enough capacitors to build several flashes' worth of charge per cycle. Plus, many photographers are liable to have two or more flashes on them if they have their kit. Basically, don't put a photographer in a corner, it could be painful.