Movie violence is predominantly focused around guns and knives, from the goriest R-rated horror films to the oddly bloodless killing of today's PG-13 blockbusters. Anyone who has watched their fair share of violent movies has seen countless people leaking blood from gunshot wounds and dozens of people hacked down with blades of various lengths.
It's always more interesting when movie characters decide to take a slightly different tack for their weaponry. Improvised firepower adds a frisson of uncomfortable danger, as opposed to the desensitisation many cinemagoers feel when a character pulls out a gun. The most prominent of these weapons is a hammer, which is the film character's weapon of choice for inflicting horrible blunt force trauma.
There's something identifiable about a hammer. Very few people in a movie audience will know what it feels like to be shot, but almost everybody has inadvertently hit themselves on the finger with a hammer at some stage in their life. This makes the violence easier to relate to and, therefore, even more horrifying than the most elaborate bloodletting of something like the traps in the Saw franchise.
So, from comic book heroes to the most hateful of villains, the hammer pops up frequently throughout the history of cinema, whenever characters are in need of a bop on the head.
Freelance film journalist and fan of professional wrestling. Usually found in a darkened screening room looking for an aisle seat and telling people to put away their mobile phones. Also known to do a bit of stand-up comedy, so I'm used to the occasional heckle.