Violence expert Lisa Gemino returns to discuss shivs, French nails, Millwall bricks, donkey jawbones, thrown animals, petrol bombs and many other improvised weapons. Plus news and pop culture.

Music: “Holiday Fun” by Richard Myhill




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Showing 19 comments
  • G A McKnight

    Cool episode. Interesting is where the Molotov Cocktail gets it’s name since a lot of people think it was Molotov who invented it, it was actually a bit of black humour by the Finns as in the early stages of the war Molotov claimed the Russians were dropping food for the starving citizens which were actually cluster bombs that the Finns named “Molotov’s Bread Baskets”. The cocktail was “something to go with the food”. Molotov reportedly hated the term by the way.

    The talk of petrol bombs and pipe bombs reminded me of my childhood. Being born and bred in sunny Belfast, Northern Ireland and growing up in the 80’s and 90’s these were terms I heard constantly in the tail end of the Troubles and the reason our police have Land Rovers so heavily armoured that they can’t go faster than 40mph.

    Also, the year before I started grammar school a former student of the school I was due to attend burst into the central hall where students were sitting their A-Level exams and attacked them with a home-made flamethrower made out of a fire extinguisher.

    And finally, the rolled up magazine thing is something we’ve used in Krav Maga class. Great fun until you get hit by one. :p

  • Scott S

    I’m with the BC Sheriffs office and we are constantly on the look out for shanks that the prisoners have made…see above link…we always say that if prisoners spent as much time coming up with new business ideas instead of new ways to kill each other they would all be rich.

    I think two of the coolest improvised weapons scenes in movies are the deer antler in Braveheart….and the tool shed in Commando.

  • Derek

    You skipped past it several times, but the most memorable movie scene with an improvised weapon I can remember is in Alien, with Ash (Ian Holm) attacking Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) with a rolled up magazine, trying to shove it down her throat when he went nuts. The scene was just so powerful for me, really demonstrating just how nuts the synthetic had gone. And there are a few home-made flame throwers in that one too – it was never quite clear to me because they looked like they were proper flame-throwers, but I couldn’t think of a reason why they’d have them on board.

    Anyhoo, I thought I’d look up that hedgehog throwing Kiwi thinking it might have actually been an echidna (but it wasn’t), because I’d say being hit with an echidna could really do some damage. Hedgehogs spikes are relatively thin and small, while the echidna’s are really thick and spiny. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one, anyway.

    Great ep, guys, and so glad to hear Lisa’s dulcet tones again. 🙂

  • Monty Pug

    Seeing the Full metal jacket clip reminded me oh something i saw on youtube. Who would have thought! 😉

  • MissFelis

    I love this podcast. Other, lesser podcasts bring on women to talk about fluffy things like makeup or shoes. You guys bring on a bad-ass lady to talk about violence and mayhem. It’s fucking awesome!

    • Lisa

      Thanks very much for the compliment! I spend a lot of time giggling during recordings though, because seriously, these dudes are funnier and cooler in real life which sometimes creates small dimensional rifts in the studio.

  • dg!

    Maybe the guy was just practicing his ferret-legging technique?

  • dg!

    Also, death by tea cup.

  • Jon Paynter

    I remember going to some museum in Europe about WWII and seeing some of the improvised weapons the pow’s made. Some of them were ingenious One that stuck out in my mind was a home made crossbow made from bedsprings, among other things. Apparently, this thing packed a punch and could easily go right through someone. I couldn’t find a picture of it, but I did find a link to a prison made crossbow:

  • Jon Paynter
  • Nels Anderson

    You all neglected to mention a local improvised weapon landmark- the Vancouver Police Museum. The museum has at least three gigantic display cases of weapons that have been seized over the years, many of which are improvised. I’m pretty sure there was even a genuine baseball bat with nails driven through it. It’s too cool, check it out sometime.

    • Toren

      My hope is to some day get a guided tour through that museum and record it for CS, like we did with Bodyworlds…

  • banks!

    I finally remembered to comment on this topic. My mom’s side comes from Scotland. Glasgow to be exact. There is a term for the headbutt in Scotland (and known elsewhere) called the Glaswegian Kiss.

    Where the improvised weapon part comes in is that my family would tell stories of gentlemen who would put razor blades or other sharp objects in their hats so when they performed the ‘Kiss’ it did extra damage.

    • Generaleesimo

      Extra classy! It puts the DASH in haberdashery….

  • Tom

    Just for a future Follow Ups episode; You say Tunisia “…got rid of their extreme muslim government there…” I’m sorry to say that they have never had an extreme muslim government. I love you guys and the podcast and you’re usually factually spot on but this is plain factually incorrect. They had a socialist dictator/president NOT any kind of Theocracy which is what you’re hinting at. Please amend this, as it’s such an important part of recent history, and would be great if you North Americans didn’t live up to the stereo-type. It feels like you’re mixing a ‘muslim country’ with ‘muslim extremists’ and this is wrong.

    Love the show, keep up the good work (and follow ups)

  • Sigurd

    One of my favourite Fallout 3 weapons is the deathclaw gauntlet which is the definition of an improvised weapon.

    Deatchlaws in the game are huge monsters (mutated chameleons) and some of the most fearsome and hard to take down wild creatures in the game. As you can imagine you can make gloves with their claws attached to them as some lethal hand to hand weapons.

    Also, i feel obliged to mention how truly awesome the one fight scene in Oldboy is when he finally gets out from his room. He uses the hammer but all of the bad guys are using what looks iike 2 by 4s against him. The scene is so well shot, all in one take, it’s completely breathtaking.

  • Derek

    Just watched The Raid Redemption last night – great movie if you like gritty extreme violence. Such wonderful improved weapons too. I think my favourites were the bottom of the broken door and the smashed fluoro light bulb.