Gadgets, gizmos, guns, guns, guns… These are the things that separate human superheroes from their genuinely ‘super’ brethren. Batman, James Bond and most recently the rebooted Green Hornet have long depended on technical wizardry to compete not just with their enemies but with other superheroes for audience affections. With The Green Hornet buzzing onto DVD and Blu-Ray next week Crave Online has decided to take a closer look at the nifty weaponry developed for the classic character in the latest feature film.
THE GAS GUN
In reality a ‘Gas Gun’ takes many forms, from projectile gas grenade launchers used to quell riots (and dispatch police officers in Terminator 2) to propulsion systems used in outer space. In The Green Hornet a gas gun fires a plume of green (fittingly) gas used to knock out an opponent. It’s an excellent fictional weapon designed to allow a hero to carry a gun – and therefore look really cool – and also not shoot their enemies in actual, PG-13 threatening bullets. The fictional version of the gas gun dates at least as far back as 1939, when the DC Comics character ‘The Sandman’ (Wesley Dodds, not the personification dreams) utilized it to dispense both truth and sleeping gas upon his prey. Although the Green Hornet predates The Sandman by three years, the character did not carry his own gas gun until the gadget-centric Green Hornet television series that ran from 1966-1967. The gas gun in the new film functions largely the same as the original version, although it has been redesigned to look less like a Playmobile toy. Of course, this being Hollywood, the new Gas Gun does have its own toy… a 1:1 scale replica made by Hollywood Collectibles.
As Robin once said, ‘Chicks dig the car.’ Guys do too, especially if it has retractable Gatling guns mounted under the hood. The Batmobile may be the most famously tricked out supercar ever completely fabricated by fabulists, and James Bond’s Aston Martin comes a close second, but the classy black finish of Black Beauty – a 1965 Crown Imperial black sedan in the Green Hornet film, paying homage to the car’s make and model from the television series – and the fact that you can actually park it on the street without calling attention to the fact that it’s a death machine on wheels has made it a favorite amongst fictional car enthusiasts (that is to say enthusiasts of fictional cars, as opposed to fictional people who like automobiles) as well. Hidden under the floor of Britt Reid’s garage, Black Beauty boasts a broad arsenal of weaponry: the aforementioned hood-mounted Gatling guns, side-mounted guns on the oh-so-trendy suicide doors, a rear-mounted manned machine gun, a grill-mounted flamethrower, front and rear Stinger missile launchers and Ben Hur-influenced horizontal tire spikes. Defensive capabilities include bulletproof polycarbonate glass windows, run-flat tires and an Armox ballistic steel reinforced exterior. Ricky Jay couldn’t out-trick this tricked-out vehicle. But first and foremost Black Beauty also just a really cool car. Really cool cars are also weapons, as the villain of The Green Hornet – Benjamin Chudnofsky (Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz) – eventually discovers to his chagrin.
THE DOUBLE-BARRELED DESERT EAGLE .45 MAGNUM
Chudnofsky gets his own fancy and completely fictional weapon in a double-barreled Desert Eagle .45 magnum… which mechanically speaking should not even exist, or at the very least not work properly. Who cares? To paraphrase the Winklevoss twins, it’s 1,998.6 grams, 14.75 inches long, and there’s two of it. Many have suggested that carrying a big gun compensates for the user’s manhood. If that’s the case then Benjamin Chudnofsky is some kind of hypermasculine mutant with an extra… um… Chudnofsky to his credit, making him completely immune to such criticisms, whatever their size. The Desert Eagle has been featured in over 500 feature films, but we can’t imagine how it’s going to top itself next time unless it also dispenses its own witty bon mots:
‘What’s seven inches wide, shouldn’t have talked trash about Magnum Research Inc., and has two holes in it?’
Oh talking double-barreled Desert Eagle .45 Magnum… is there nothing you won’t say?
Photo credit – Josiah True/ WENN.com