Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Weird Weapons That Surprisingly Did A Lot Of Damage

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by Looper.

When it comes to fight scenes, Hollywood has consistently raised the bar on the intensity and innovation of its blockbuster collisions. With the advent of supreme special and practical effects, the sky is quite literally the limit when it comes to how bold a filmmaker can be with their on-screen battles.

One of the most entertaining results of this anything-goes movie-making landscape is that we've also seen an uptick in unusual weapons on display in films. Sure, massive explosions and sprawling shootouts are still completely commonplace in cinematic showdowns, but there's also been a steady rise in character conflicts that forego the usual weaponry for some far more unique tools. And when those strange items prove to be especially effective at taking on a foe, well, it's even more fun to watch. Here's a look at some of the weirdest movie weapons that surprisingly did a lot of damage.

The snowball in Red Notice

They say you shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight, but apparently, a snowball is A-OK. Or, at least that's the case for Ryan Reynolds' Nolan Booth in "Red Notice." The film features the star as a master thief who's wanted by Interpol and gets tracked down by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Agent John Hartley. After finding themselves in a bit of a pickle together, and with an even more notorious criminal on the loose in Gal Gadot's Sarah Black, the two decide to join forces.

Their first team mission is to escape the confines of a Russian prison, and this is where Nolan gets a chance to show off his ingenuity. After he and Hartley survive a harrowing journey across a wafer-thin wall ledge, Nolan makes a break for the helicopter that might offer them escape. The trouble is, it's guarded by a well-armed soldier, and our guy isn't packing any heat. But it's no problem because all he needs is a quick scoop of snow to neutralize the guy and take command of his vessel. You might've thought gnarly snowball fights were for kids, but as it turns out in "Red Notice," if you pack that ice tight enough, it's a highly effective shot indeed.

The bowling ball in Gunpowder Milkshake

One of the most riveting aspects of "Gunpowder Milkshake" is the sheer array of weaponry on display as the assassins get to work protecting their charge from some relentless attackers. Karen Gillan stars in the film as Sam, a ruthless assassin who works for a mysterious agency called The Firm, but she runs afoul of her employer when an operation goes astray. Though she's spent most of her life chasing down targets, she finds herself on the defensive when she decides to buck her boss and rescue an 8-year-old girl who's caught in the crosshairs of her latest job.

As Sam steps up to try and spring the girl from her captors at the designated meeting point — an empty bowling alley at a rundown shopping center — she finds that The Firm has sent a trio of other hitmen after her. Though she's armed with nothing more than a child's suitcase, she isn't afraid of these goons because she knows how to work with what she's got. In addition to the luggage, Sam eventually finds something a little heavier to help her in the fight, grabbing a bowling ball to smash her way out of trouble. The fact that she's able to take down not one, not two, but three trained enforcers with an item many people can't even correctly aim at pins shows just how resilient Sam is. Of course, her resourcefulness hardly stops there. Later, we get to see her do her worst with a tooth-shaped cookie jar, of all things

The skull ball in Mystery Men

Speaking of oddball bowling equipment being used as weapons, the 1999 comedy "Mystery Men" features an even stranger and more effective striking device. The film features a ragtag gang of vigilante superheroes who join forces in Champion City and look to recruit a few new allies to the team. When Janeane Garofalo's character Carol shows up to audition for the amateur crew, they don't quite take her seriously — that is, until she reveals her secret weapon and alter ego identity as "The Bowler."

See, tucked in Carol's bag is a crystal bowling ball with a surprise inside — the skull of Carol's own dead father, a bowler who died fighting the city's infamous goon squad, the Disco Boys. And if that wasn't unique enough, the ball also whizzes and whirrs through the air before bouncing off of surfaces with power and precision, turning the entire world into an oversized pinball machine. Needless to say, Carol becomes a top-tier member of the pack after that stunning showcase of her wild weapon.

The towel in The Last Mercenary

Anytime you've got a Jean Claude Van Damme character in the mix, there's just no question that audiences are in for some fireworks. And in "The Last Mercenary," there are cool clashes aplenty with the "Muscles from Brussels" right at the center of the action. The film features him as Richard Brumére, known in his professional circles as "The Mist," a notorious former secret service agent who has to dive back into the business when his son — who has no idea who his father is, by the way — is accidentally caught up in an international mafia conspiracy.

Though Brumére has been out of the game for a while, he's hardly out of practice when it comes to gathering a loyal crew, infiltrating top-secret spaces, and, of course, duking it out with his foes. Though there are a lot of highly entertaining bouts to be seen throughout the film, one that truly shows off Brumére's adaptability is when he faces a full-on group of armed attackers and manages to take them all down with nothing more than a bath towel. That's right, a bath towel. Mind you, he's facing people with sharp knives in this scene, but with a few key twists and some precise aiming, Brumére manages to neutralize a whole lot of folks with what seems to be an otherwise harmless bit of terrycloth.

The yodeling in Mars Attacks!

Film fans will know that when it comes to mankind's last stand against an invading alien race, humans have used quite a few unique weapons to fight back. For example, take the Noisy Cricket from "Men in Black," the computer virus in "Independence Day," or even the cups of water in "Signs." Put simply, there's no telling what the Earthlings' secret weapon will be once they face a rash of extraterrestrials.

Perhaps the most unusual saving grace for humans in movie history came along in the star-studded 1996 sci-fi/comedy "Mars Attacks!" The darkly hilarious pic sees most of Earth overrun and destroyed by big-brained aliens with big blaster guns and a twisted sense of humor. But in the end, the joke's on them once one of the most vulnerable survivors — a sweet little grandma who doesn't even know what's going on — accidentally unleashes the beast by putting Slim Whitman's yodel-country classic song "Indian Love Call" on blast. 

Those super high notes are enough to turn all of the aliens' oversized noggins into instant goo, and soon, word spreads across the globe that this vintage record and a pair of loudspeakers is all that's needed to save the world. Talk about the song of the century.

The vocal cords in We Can Be Heroes

The grown-up Heroics in "We Can Be Heroes" are all gifted with their own special talents, from crushing things with their bare hands to flitting through the sky with jet packs to just plain being handy with some swords. After they're captured by alien invaders, and their own children have to step up to save the day, the kiddos prove to be just as remarkable as their folks — if not more so.

See, unlike the Heroics, who have an entire headquarters full of high-tech help, these children have to rely on just their heads and hands to save their captive parents from a spaceship. This means we get to see the kids use tricks like water shaping, face-swapping, and lots of limb-stretching to make their way through the maze of obstacles. 

Perhaps the most unusual, and yet effective, of their unconventional weapons is a simple voice box. A Capella (Lotus Blossom) — whose mother has some similar skills with her singing range — is able to not only incapacitate the guards in her way, but she also turns them into a full-on staircase and then flies the whole crew through the city sky on a runaway train car. Not only is she an MVP escape artist, but she also proves to be essential to the team's storming of the spaceship just by hitting those high notes.

The fembots in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

When "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" arrived in theaters in 1997, the entire movie-watching world erupted in a collective "yeah, baby!" The knee-slapping, edgy spy comedy film featured "Saturday Night Live" favorite Mike Myers as the titular British spy and his detestable archenemy Dr. Evil. In the film, Powers is mentally stuck in the groovy time of the late '60s, thanks to being cryogenically frozen for three decades, and his madcap adventure in the '90s proves to be the seminal spoof of more serious spy films. Plus, his dirty mind and some clever film angles make the movie full of surprises.

For Powers, the problem isn't just the culture shock of the late '90s (and the fact that his flirty advances are far from acceptable now). Powers also has work to do since he's only been woken from stasis because Dr. Evil has also returned from the freeze to wreak havoc on the world, as is his pinky-nibbling want. In Dr. Evil's absence, his top henchman has been busy making his company a mega-successful corporation, so now he has all the resources he could need for world domination. Perhaps the cleverest and most immediately effective weapon at his disposal is an army of "fembots," which are highly effective at distracting and confusing Powers, and they have bras equipped with poison and guns. Clearly, Evil knows who he's dealing with when it comes to this invention, and even if Powers eventually overcomes this team of temptresses, they do get the better of him for a bit.

The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Another slapstick spoof that cemented itself into pop culture history forevermore is 1975's "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," a British parody of the Knights of the Round Table adventure epics. The film was the first cinematic collaboration for the Monty Python comedy group and centered on King Arthur's quest for the titular religious relic. Along the way, the goofy monarch has to collect some allies and deal with endless chatter about swallows, but his biggest setback arrives when his knights try to enter the cave where the relic is supposedly hidden and are stricken down by the Rabbit of Caerbannog.

Arthur then turns to another ancient artifact, the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, which comes with an absurdly drawn-out instruction sheet and a whole lot of pomp in its delivery. The grenade doesn't look like much, but once Arthur does finally get to put it to use, it proves to be quite effective at finally getting them access to the cave. Hey, some big things just come in little packages.

The pencil in John Wick

The "John Wick" franchise has become one of the most exciting and revered action packages of the modern movie landscape, thanks in no small part to Keanu Reeves' electric portrayal of the retired hitman who gets back into action for the sake of personal revenge. In the first film of the franchise, Wick is legendary for his history of killing, especially for taking down three men with just a pencil in hand. In "Chapter 2," audiences finally get to see him prove the pencil is indeed mightier than the sword.

Of all the intense weapons and slick combat styles that John Wick puts to use in this series, the pencil trick is undoubtedly the most anticipated. It's been talked about often enough that it's practically the Chekov's gun of this series. And indeed, if there has ever been any doubt that John Wick can indeed eliminate his enemies with a sharpened No. 2, well, he puts that to rest in spectacular fashion in the second film.

The cattle gun in No Country for Old Men

There's a reason that the very name Anton Chigurh still earns a shudder from almost anyone who's seen "No Country for Old Men." The character, played in an Academy Award-winning performance by Javier Bardem, is so quietly and relentlessly menacing that he's become an enigma of villainy forevermore. However, it's not just his eerie mannerisms and casual cruelty that make him such a force. He also comes equipped with a stunningly effective tool of death and destruction.

Sure, Chigurh kills a dude with a pair of handcuffs, and he carries around a pretty intimidating shotgun (complete with silencer). However, his scariest weapon is also his most unique. Chigurh utilizes a portable bolt gun to its most deadly capacity throughout the pic, from blasting open door locks to assassinating people at point-blank range with a sense of morbid fascination for its efficiency. What might otherwise be known as a farmhand's tool becomes a morbid device once Chigurh gets his merciless hands on it.