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Ah, the Apocalypse. I want it. I need it. I gotta-gotta have it. On screen, that is. Without the Apocalypse, there’d be no post-apocalyptic world and without a PA world, there’d be no PA movies. Whether caused by weapons of mass destruction (On the Beach), radiation (Night of the Comet), geologic (2012) or climate change (The Day After), celestial collision (Armageddon), machines (The Terminator), wooden acting (Waterworld) or who-knows (Night of the Living Dead), what happens after the event is an urban planner’s worst nightmare, a survivalist’s wet dream and fertile ground for writers and directors. PA movies cater to the nihilistic best in all of us by serving up thick slices of ghoulish fun for our consumption . . .

We all have our favorite(s), and I have my mine. Hints: my “hero” carries a cut-down Springfield 1903 fitted to a Mannlicher Schönauer carbine stock, and a Webley WG Army Model .455 break-top revolver. That boy knew his guns. So, what are your picks for top cinematic PA weaponry? I’m talking about actual, theatrically-released movies wherein the excrement hits the air velocity accelerator big time. C’mon. Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.

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  1. My fave: the sawed off shotgun in Mad Max II, The Road Warrior (Jewish version: The Road Worrier). And while we’re on the subject, I love the line “A clever man might have a weapon under there.”

  2. We forgot aliens (Independence Day)!

    And while I’m off the straight and narrow regarding this post, I’m going to reach into video game lore and say that my favorite post-apocalyptic weapon is Half-Life 2’s gravity gun, although I am a fan of the portal gun from its sister game, Portal.

    Gravity gun:
    Portal gun:

    The gravity gun is pretty simple: pick things up around your environment, and throw them at people. The portal gun, though, is a little more difficult to explain. Basically, you can shoot two different portals at walls/floors/ceilings; one blue and one orange. Travel through the blue, and come out the orange, and vice versa. Momentum, changes in gravity, air speed, all are conserved. Both very non-traditional weapons by anyone’s standards.

  3. I’m kinda partial to the “freeze ray” and “piranha gun” from the movie Despicable Me.

  4. Tallahassee’s twin Mossberg 590 Mariners and his Winchester 1892 Mare’s Leg in Zombieland. And his twin nickel 1911s, and…

  5. If you’re gonna talk sawed off shotguns, RF, the best in movie history has to be Reggie Bannister’s sawed-off quad in the Phantasm series. With that sweet four barrel shotty, and ridin’ around in sweet Detroit iron with a four barrel carb, Reggie was stylin’. ‘Course, that was more of a WTSHTF movie than PA, but give ’em props for the gun.

    • That scene is epic.
      At first I’m thinking – survivalists with only a 1/2 dozen guns?
      Then the scene shifts to the gun rack – and Keaton and Reba cycle through their arsenal.

  6. The L85A2 from 28 Days Later made pretty quick work of Frank. Dr. Neville’s Colt AR from I Am Legend had all the bells and whistles.
    However, if possible, I’d much rather have the same character’s gun rack from Omega Man. Chuck knew his weapons.

  7. M134 Hand held Minigun, Predators though not Apocalyptic It could definately put a world of hurt on somebodies.

  8. Not in a movie, but cool if they were, dual CZ SP01 with bayonets. Those would serve as back up to a Marlin 1895 SBL 45-70 with a Trijicon reflex sight. Plus a chopped and converted Saiga-12 with a variety of magazines and plenty of Nobel Centurion. But I can’t stop there. What would an apocalypse be without a KRISS super V.

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