Why is it that Hollywood consistently runs storylines about people who are guarding (or searching for) Artifacts of Apocalyptic Power, what are guarded by (or also sought by) Mysterious Deadly Bad Guys Capable Of Killing With A Single Finger —

— and the good guy quite obviously doesn’t know the Good End of a firearm from the Bad End?

I mean, call me nutso, but if this schmuck is the mythical Bartender of the Silver Light, charged by Fate with recovering the Sacred Swizzle Stick of Horus before it Ends The World As We Know It — and knowing that said schmuck is going to be opposed by the fanatical (and deadly) Wombat Clan of Egyptian Ninjas (Transylvanian chapter #5496) — don’t you think it might be somewhat wise for the afore-mentioned schmuck to have the entire Thunder Ranch syllabus under his belt?

And don’t these people have any friends? Relatives? The half-a-bubble-off-of plumb uncle that doesn’t get invited to family reunions; the cousins with NASCAR bumperstickers and cookbooks full of recipes for ‘possum; or the high-school and/or military buddies that went on that roadtrip to Mexico resulting in 110 sutures, mysterious blood stains, some enigmatic tattoos, short-term antibiotic regimens, and oaths of secrecy?

Or is that just me?

With the Fate of the World at stake, you’d think any self-respecting secret society worth the name would have the funds set aside for some decent prior training, or — if the training isn’t possible — the direct phone number to Blackwaters Rent-A-Friend Program.


Mysterious Emissary: “LawDog, you are the last descendant of the girlfriend of the second squire of the third-to-last Equerry of the Benedictine Chapel that once sheltered a lost patrol of Knights Templar for a rainy weekend. It is your DEEESSSS-tiny to recover the Holy Truss of Saint Fred the Sproinged before it is used to bring an end to the world!”

LawDog: “Now what? Haven’t you folks ever heard of bank vaults? Yale locks? Sodding Switzerland?”

Mysterious Emissary: “You must travel to the mysterious depths of the Amazon Basin to the mythical Temple of Garglegarglehack — I say, old chap, isn’t that an awful lot of guns?”

LawDog: “No. On the way to the Amazon, do you mind if we stop off and pick up a couple of friends?”


Oh, well.


This should be interesting ...
Phlegmfatale Blogmeet

67 thoughts on “*grouse*”

  1. I completely agree. If I ever find myself tasked with such a quest, my first call is to several military and retired military people I know. I need backup.

  2. Probably for the same reason all Disney heroines are orphans and almost no protagonists are members of large families – makes the author’s job easier

  3. It would be too interesting. You might find out that crazy Uncle Offplumb Bob knows where to find burgers in Natal, and that your bestest buddy’s buddy really isn’t your buddy after all.

    Ironically, a lot of these flicks assume that you know a bunch of professors who just happen to have studied some arcane subject, but that they won’t be at all interested in finding out why you suddenly are calling from the Natal Burger Den asking casual questions about the one thing that would really knock out people’s eyes at the conference in K-zoo.

  4. I slipped the safety off my revolver and chambered a round…

    What irritates me is how Our Hero could even start a dum-dum mission like the one you described.

    Sit and spin, Mysterious Stranger. I ain’t going. Not for a million, no not even to save the world. Let someone else do it. Go call Robin and his hoods.

  5. On the money, Lawdog!

    Jesse Ventura packin’ the minigun, my old high-school ninjabuddy and all his nunchuks and shirikins, one of everything made by colt, smith and wesson; a trailerful of ammo. . . .

    What have I forgotten? Oh, yes. The rest of my band of (not so) Magnificent Seven are at the corner quickmart stocking up on beer and chips; we’ll pick them up on the way!

  6. They’d never get as far as telling me my destiny. They might not get as far as telling me my lineage.

    They’d take one look at me and go “This is supposed to save the world?……. We’re screwed, the other side has big muscled dudes…”

  7. Which movie brought up this wonderful topic may I ask? The hero in the Mummy movies always seems to have tons of guns until he really, really needs them. Indy Jones seems to treat them as a bother. Those movies if staffed by your usual gun board posters would last about 15 minutes.

  8. The Mummy franchise is great – heroes armed to the teeth and proud of it.

  9. “…Holy Truss of Saint Fred the Sproinged.”

    Actually did LOL on that one LD.

    Good show!

  10. LawDog, this kind of snark only comes to the world every great once in a while. I would greatly love to see you continue this story.

  11. I’m flat effing useless for foreground shoot-em-up stuff, but if you pick me up on the way to the Amazon I’d be honored to provide maintenance for your Close Air Support.

    (I hope you know all those adventure movies are comedies, really, they are.)

    Word verification for this is “folcessu” – is that the Sacred Society Of Folcessu?

  12. Hello- Mr. Eric Prince? Yes, I’d like a Battalion To Go please? No, price is not an object…..

  13. The thing that made me laugh my ass off about The Mummy is in the beginning when our hero is serving in the Foreign Legion, he’s well armed with a 1911 Colt, but as an archaeologist he’s armed with a pair of c.1867 Royal Irish Constabulary’s.

  14. he’s armed with a pair of c.1867 Royal Irish Constabulary’s.

    Huh. I thought Rick O’Connell was carrying a brace of French Modele 1873 Chamelot-Delvigne revolvers in 11mm (180 grains/.451 @ 700 fps).

  15. Ok, I have GOT to know what book/movie/tv show prompted this…

    I know one of MY first moves would be to post to TFL & THR: "Anybody feeling up to a roadtrip?"

  16. Dawg, I gotcher back.

    Can we also bring explosives? With modern detonation capability, not some sodding fuse that’s going to get pulled, cut, whizzed on, or just proved defective?

  17. I’d offer my services, but the only useful things I can do are taxes and cook. Neither of those skills are much help in battle.

    I would, however, appreciate a continuation of the story you started. It’s off to a great start.

  18. Ironically, it was Indiana Jones who gave the best demonstration of why you shouldn’t bring a sword to a gunfight (with a hilarious sigh and roll of his eyes).

    One of my favorite exchanges:
    I seem to remember you’re not too familiar with Colonel Colt’s revolver, so this will be your first lesson. Don’t worry. Mr Dobkin and Mr. O’Flynn will ensure that it’s a fair contest.
    -Elliot Marston

    (After quick-draw shooting Dobkin, O’Flynn and Marston):
    I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it.
    -Matthew Quigley

    One of my all-time favorite gun/cowboy/Western (Australia) movies. I still want a Sharps .45-110!

  19. Indiana Jones is not an example of this kind of movie, at least not the first movie.
    In Raiders he brings a gun with him and uses it, and he has friends and allies to help him. He also picks up a bazooka when he needs to, although he ends up not using it.

    You could argue that he could have used more firepower, but since the whole plot is that he’s mobile and travelling light, and he is also trying to recover the object from under the nose of the whole German army, bringing a few extra guns wouldn’t accomplish much more than presenting a bigger target.

  20. Years ago when I got Hubby to sit down with me to watch the first Mummy with Brendan Fraiser, Hubby turned to me and asked, “Is this a comedy or horror movie?”


    It would be quite fun to see the rest of the story you started. Maybe a new post? We could offer plot twists suggestions? That would be quite the read!


  21. ‘Dog,

    It’s actually a continuation of the “idiot hero” theme.

    It’s the same reason Our Hero runs around shooting bad guys with his trusty six shooter and leaves their 50-round Uzis sitting on the sodding ground. He’s a moron. That’s how he gets himself sucked into these adventures.

    If he wasn’t close, personal friends with the writers he’d be dead inside of 30 or 40 seconds…

    However, the flip side to this is, as a previous poster mentioned, each of these movies would last approximately 15 minutes should your advice be taken.

    It’s the same reason I can’t watch horror movies – I’m too busy going “Doesn’t anyone in this stupid movie own a shotgun?”…

  22. It’s much harder to look all heroic from behind cover with your friends laying down covering fire.

  23. Oh, damn. Like an ear worm, I can’t shake the mental picture of the museum display case and the Holy Truss.

  24. “he’s armed with a pair of c.1867 Royal Irish Constabulary’s.

    Huh. I thought Rick O’Connell was carrying a brace of French Modele 1873 Chamelot-Delvigne revolvers in 11mm (180 grains/.451 @ 700 fps).”

    He was, as well as having at least one, possibly 2, 1911s. Look at the canvas tool roll he’s packing on the riverboat.

  25. Sitting around with ya’ll watching movies with guns in them has to be almost as much fun as sitting around with me watching movies with horses in them…. Hidalgo, for example.

    “That’s not the same horse.”

  26. ‘Dawg,

    As a member of one of those “secret” societies (I’m not sure how anyone thinks that the FreeMasons are “secret”, since the local Masonic Temple is usually on the main street in any given town and is clearly marked with our “secret” symbol on the outside of the building anywhere from one to eight feet tall), I assure you that there ARE some of us who are quite well armed. I’d be happy to call some of my well-armed Brothers so we could provide you with support if you do get tapped for that quest!

    However… if you’re bemoaning the lack of such a story… why not WRITE one, turn it into a screenplay and shop it around to some Hollyweird producers? If you could imbue a script with your world-class snark, I’d LOVE to see the results!

  27. They also make a rather significant assumption that the “hero” in question likes the world as it is and actually WANTS to save it. Sure, I could troll though a few firearm boards and end up with a rather motley-looking yet incredibly well armed posse for the task. Still, though, if you get me on an off day, I’d be every bit as likely to head down there as “The Chosen One” and help the standard Evil World Ending Bastard find The Big Red Button Of The Apocalypse and push that bloody thing.

    They always thing that the end of the world would be A Bad Thing. Well, it depends largely on your point of view.

  28. In the famous Indiana Jones “don’t bring a sword to a gunfight” scene, well, there’s a bit of history behind that one. Seems originally it was supposed to be a long, drawn-out swordfight, with Indy winning, eventually. However, due to the risk of injury, they planned to make it their last day of shooting on that site. All was well and good, except Harrison came down with a terrible bug, he was sicker than a dog, (no offense, LD) so they needed to do something. He proposed the revised scene, they tried it out, ran it once, and said good enough.

    Back on topic, well, if I organized some escapade like that, my movie would also only last about 15 minutes. I guess that’s why I don’t make movies….

  29. The definition of “laugh ’till I cry”, right there. You have a way with words.

  30. “Jesse Ventura and his mini gun”

    Not exactly a good choice for those looking for more sensible weapons and tactics in movies- Even Jesse couldn’t hold down that gun against the recoil or do a route march carrying the weight of the weapon and its power supply, let alone the ammo to run it for the duration shown in that flick.

    Ah Jesse. Do any of you remember that HE beat Norm Coleman in an election too? I voted for him- It was worth it for the “My governor can beat up YOUR governor!” bumper sticker alone.

  31. Been watching the “Librarian” series again, huh? Ya need to insure a healthy supply of silver re-loads and wooden stakes along side your Gerber.

  32. Not a movie, but I tend to think Michael O’Neil Jr. (and his dad) in John Ringo’s Posleen series had the right idea.

  33. I thought you might be talking about a recent episode of the Unit. I like(d) the show until they jumped the shark recently.

    Jonas ends up recovering and then surrendering the speartip the pierced the side of Christ as he was on the cross.

    Okay, I can buy that the speartip existed and may be buried somewhere, but the miraculous powers attributed to it, that it had been in Hitler’s hands (which was why he was winning) and then be spirited away by Gen. Patton to a Sount American pseudo-Templar monestary was too much.

    Puleezee! Can we get back to the simple gratuitous violence and blowing things up?!?

  34. “Not a movie, but I tend to think Michael O’Neil Jr. (and his dad) in John Ringo’s Posleen series had the right idea.”

    For that matter every combat wizard in Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books carries a piece and knows how to use it. Generally he pulls in more shooters for the big fight scene.

  35. Sounds like my old Call of Cthulhu gaming group … refs at gaming conventions hated us.

    “Elder gods being summoned? OK, the literate geeks screw up their minds reading the texts that tell us where these retards are having their ritual … then most of the rest of us suppress the damned cultists with BAR fire while the explosives guy sends an unoccupied truckload of ANFO into their sodding compound.

    Gee, that was fast … lets do lunch.

  36. Why am I suddenly reminded of the Charge of the Redneck Brigade (from Ringo/Taylor’s _Looking Glass_)?

    Mind, I’d be there too…

  37. 1. It’s not easy to write about guns if you know absolutely nothing about them.
    2. It’s bad form today in Hollywierd for good guys/girls to be gun savvy…
    3. First stop- China Post #1

    hehehe- WV- deepend

  38. smirk,
    I don’t know nothin bout that Mexico trip…but if you’re heading to the Amazon and require fire support do call

    I’d post under strategy and tactics on the highroad (with cross post to general gun discussions)
    after our refurb of the Pellinor Fields no LOB will return our calls.


  39. “I’d called some old chums from the Service, and a few boffins to make sure.”

    “Righto,” said Algy shoving his welding gogs back up his gleaming, sloping brow”, “This will only give you five nines of cee, you realise. There’s a goodly proportion of light-speed that this kilo of tellurium won’t achieve. But I assure you, the first five nines are good ones. Point it where he’s thickest, and he won’t darken our shores for long!”

    *changes channel*

    “Five petawatts is the nominal yield, but we can re-tune that a smidge, shorter burst and all but I think we can give you a full twelve for long enough to twat the important bits into fifth-state matter. That’s plasma, you know.”

    *changes channel*

    “Eldritch beast. Yes. Quite. LOAD SABOT!”

  40. The problem is too many of the Hollywood writers had to read J. Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces,” so all we get is the archetypical hero’s quest, trimmed so they can fit in the scene with the semi-clothed chick.
    At least that’s my theory, which assumes that Hollywood writers read. [sees flaw in theory]

    WV “decifful” – ten ffuls. More precise synonym for “ffulsome”?

  41. Pax, I see that you’re a new reader, aren’t you?

    Where do you think that most of us FOUND OUT about MHI??? ‘Dawg did a review of it months ago!! (and if I ever get to met the Law Dawg in person, I owe him a beverage of his choice for doing so… I haven’t enjoyed a book like that since… well… OK, since I read the last Looking Glass book by Ringo and Taylor. Still…

  42. The message being sentby most of these movies, is that you do not need a firearm to solve a problem. Or perhaps that if you do not have a firearm it takes MUCH longer to solve the problem. I mean, have a weapon solve the problem in 10-15minutes or don’t have one and take 2hours. Which one makes a better/more profitable movie?

  43. When the Great Sorceress Grecinilla la Pont sends the Dog and his Legions of Flying Monkeys to rescue the famous Flag of the Ruptured Bustard (see Addcap flag, 1980s Sadiyaat Island, Abu Dhabi) from the Devious Hand of Walid ben Farquahr in order to save the beeyootyfool Cyndi de Lauper from a Fate Worse than Death, read the book before you see the movie.

  44. I think that is why I love MHI so much, heroes who have guns and know how to use them!

    On another note: Are you sure someone didnt’ spike your Assam Black?

  45. Russ made a comment further up the page about Freemansons…as a member of the Lodge in Forney Texas I have to tell you that the guy that owns the gunshop in town is a member of our lodge. We could outfit a group quite well….

  46. Those are the same writers that have that little band of adventurerss throwing away their canteens when they run out of water.

  47. Oh, you can string it out more if you want . . . it just requires careful forethought.

    For instance, I’m writing a story where the hero (actually, he’s more the heroine’s love interest) is a shooter himself, among other things.

    He has one uncle that’s a ASAF AC-130 Spectre pilot . . . another that’s an “independent” spook working (deniably) for the US government (and allied governments) . . . a close friend that’s a werewolf . . . a friend-of-a-friend/ally that’s a former paratrooper from the 2 R.E.P. (Foreign Legion) . . .

    In short, he does have the friends and allies for the “bring lots of friends” trick!

    It’s long, and a fan fiction, but in case anyone’s interested: http://maritzacampos.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=81

    –Webfoot Logger

  48. Hey Bro… if you go into the great nasty out doors to do harm to legions of baddies, give me a call. Speak softly and carry a Stryker Infantry Company I say!!!

  49. Before you cast aspersions on the Masons, Dog’s grandfather was a 50+ one of both Scottish and York Rites, and The East. Granted, the Masons these days aren’t what they used to be, but then, nothing is (not excusing the lack, just being realistic). However, the Masonic children’s hospital is one of the best and still free to those who need it.

  50. The most (in my opinion) egregious example of ignorance comes from none other than Jurassic Park (the original). Our heroes are trapped on an island populated by Velociraptors (think 6 foot tall, carnivorous Roadrunners) and are running around willy-nilly in an attempt to reactivate the whatzis switch thereby activating the nick-of-time plot device. One of the group opens up AN ENTIRE LOCKER FULL of SPAS-12 shotguns and takes, count them, ONE shotgun out. Instead of giving them the avoid-an-unpleasant-death quickie firearms course, he just charges out to face, and eventually enter, the jaws of death.

    John Milius, where are you now that we really need you?

  51. The half-a-bubble-off-of plumb uncle


    I nearly split a rib at this one. I had one of those uncles. Held my brother and I (I shit you not) at gunpoint at his house one year for 45 minutes, pistol-barrel pressed hard into my sternum, finger on the trigger, hammer back, while he lamented his sob tale that none of the family ever come by to visit him anymore and nobody loves him — to which I adamantly and fervently kept repeating “I love you Unc.”

    But I’ll tell you something else, when he finally passed away a few years back, the USMC came out and gave him a full honors burial, taps and 21 gun salute (3 of 7) at the graveside.

    He was a good man, lot of demons inside him, and without a doubt, at least half-a-bubble off plumb, but nobody else I’d want in my corner.

    Another story about that Uncle. He was career USMC, and more time in more hellholes than I can begin to guess at. After he got out, he was on psychotropic medicine from the VA for PTSD, and word got out about the meds they prescribed him. 2 miscreants took it upon themselves to bust into his house one night and just appropriate some of his meds – after all, he’s just an old man, right.

    (And for the record — this story comes to me by way of one of the local sherrif’s dept. deputies)

    So there are two miscreants, late teens, early 20s, who go up to his house, one stays in the car waiting and the other knocks on the door, and when my uncle opens the door, he shoves the door open and rushes inside my uncle’s house.

    The deputy said he got the call from the 911 dispatch to get over to my uncle’s house ASAP because they were “concerned” about the situation escalating. When the deputy arrived, thug #2 was still sitting in the getaway car, pretty as you please waiting for his friend to come out of my uncle’s house. The deputy went inside and found thug #1 in the living room on his knees, tears streaming down his face, and my uncle holding a .357 in the guy’s mouth, hammer back, finger on the trigger, and cussing both the thug on the floor and the 911 operator with all sorts of descriptive adjectives about what he was going to do to that little S.O.B. if dispatch didn’t get some police over there RIGHT NOW to take this guy.

    As it turned out, nobody got hurt (in either scenerio), and the next day after Christmas my uncle came over, apologized, and gave me that pistol.

    But if a man ever needed a crazy-uncle in his corner, he’d be the one I’d pick.

    Ben — SC

  52. Besides Monster Hunters you all might want to find some old early copies of the Matt Helm series. TRUST ME ON THIS, the movies and tv show’s are in NO WAY like the books.
    Remember “Speed”‘s whole shoot the hostage tread? Well in the third Helm book, written in about 1966, Helm does just that to his love interest in the book. Bad guy behind the love interest, with gun at her head. Helm shoots him though the woman. By the way she does live.
    Jay G’s comment on picking up the bad guys gun’s reminded me of this as Donald Hamilton, the author, alway had Helm complain of the same thing. Along with how people in movies and TV would wave gun’s around like magic wands. Usually just before he takes a gun away from some earnest young snot.
    All of Hamilton’s chariters are pragmtists.

  53. That’s exactly the kind of thing that ticks me off too. When I wrote MHI (thanks for the shout out) I meant for it to be an answer to all the standard ‘scream, run, get eaten’ schools of horror movie. Hell, no! Grab a shotgun and shoot the stupid thing!

    I carry a pistol to get the mail. If I’m going on a quest, I’m taking a howitzer.

  54. One of these days, my movie will be made. And one of these days we will hear:

    “You don’t know how to run a simple titration. How in Gh0d’s name do you expect to nitrate toluene if you cannot do the basic practices of organic chemistry?”


    “Paper cone. Solder bell wire to a penny and a tuppence piece. Penny first in the cone. Then the tuppence. Three pee electric det.”




    “And THAT is why we learn to do titrations without a parallax measuring error! And geometry.”

  55. I just think it’s odd that the good guy can hit a moving target at 100 yards, with a revolver…
    and yet..

    The bad guys can’t manage to hit the “hero” with 20 guns a blazing…

  56. Nancy, all bad guys learn to shoot at The Evil Empire School of Marksmanship.

  57. What you need to do is go all “Bored of the Rings” (National Lampoon circa 1972) in this topic. Watch a dozen or so of these flicks with their mind numbing inanities (taking careful notes on the back of the beer receipts), plant your tongue firmly in cheek and let your imagination really go.

    You could make …well… enough for Friday night a Hagra’s House of Ribs.

  58. The second Jurassic Park, in which the intrepid explorers actually have a professional hunter leading their group of mercenaries, has them camp in the open without reliable sentries, all sleep at the same time, without readily available weapons, which when attempted to be used are unsuitable for their intended purpose, and then they all panic and most are eaten. Similarly, the third movie has a smaller team of mercenaries enter a known carnivorous dinosaur island without the means of stopping one readily available. All three movies were examples of “people too stupid to live.” That would be a great name for a rock band, but makes a lousy premise for a movie.

  59. On that note. . .

    Time and time again we see movies where the shooters gear up to go after large, violent, creatures (or better yet, completely unknown alien threats), and they INVARIABLY select short range light weapons. P90’s with their 5.7mm (i.e., ballistically a centerfire .22WMR), M4 carbines with milspec 14.5 barrels, MP5 SMGs, etc.

    Look, I’m as big a fan of the AR15 as the next guy, but if I don’t KNOW that the threat around the corner is less than 150-200 pounds or so, I want something that, while perhaps a bit heavy and wasteful on small critters, is likely to have the OOMPH! to drop a larger threat. Nothing too earth-shattering, unless I know I’ll need it (for example, if you need a .50BMG, instead of having everyone carrying 35 lbs Barrets, you should consider an M2HB or even a Mk19 on a Humvee or LWB SAS-style Land Rover).

    But a pretty generic full-power .30-ish caliber rifle (Garand, FAL, M14, Mauser K98, SMLE, Springfield 1903 — whatever makes you warm and snuggly in the Dark Places), backed with an authoritative “Oops! I can’t reach my rifle!” sidearm, like a .357 or .44 revolver loaded with heavy solid slugs or JSP. . . that’s reasonable.

    Leave the semiauto thundercannon handguns for the guy’s with paws the size of dinnerplates (besides, the “magnum” semiautos tend to be REALLY finicky — I haven’t seen a one that holds a candle to any of the pistols of Mr. Browning or Mr. Glock), leave the buzzguns for the CT team kicking the door to the AQ safe house in Baghdad, and leave the GPMGs securely mounted to sandbagged tripods in a good overwatch position with accurate range cards and a security team.

  60. Smart use of a firearm — made a great visual joke in Bakshi’s animated (not safe for little kids!) movie “Wizards”. Almost on a par with Original Indy-versus-Swordsman.

  61. Re: clever use of a firearm — a great visual joke in Bakshi’s animated (not safe for little kids!) movie “Wizards”. Almost on a par with Original Indy vs. Swordsman.

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