Few props are as inherently cinematic as firearms. For decades, creative filmmakers have been pushing past the bounds of reality to craft truly inventive and unique movie guns. Whether in the action, thriller, or sci-fi genres, there are many examples of writers and directors injecting an added dose of creativity into their shootouts by inventing fictional firearms. Join us in counting down the most creative guns in movies.

Famous guns in movies

15. Puppet Guns - Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)

Shoot ‘Em Up  •  G uns on strings

Shoot ‘Em Up is chock full of creative shootouts. This action sequence finds our protagonist trapped in a gun warehouse and, as usual, severely outnumbered. To turn the tide of battle, he makes use of numerous guns he has attached to strings and planted throughout the building, puppeteering them to deadly effect. It’s a creative use of movie firearms and one that fits perfectly well with the over-the-top tone of the film.

Movie guns

Conclusion

In its essence it's nothing but a violent live action Bugs Bunny cartoon and I dug it.

Full review - Felix Vasquez, Cinema Crazed

Guns used in movies

14. Golden Gun - The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

Scaramanga assembles and uses his eponymous golden gun

The James Bond series is full of cool weaponry, but only one gun was so cool that it made its way into the title of a film. The Man With the Golden Gun isn’t one of the best Bond films, it isn’t even the best Roger Moore Bond outing, but it does have a great villain turn from Christopher Lee. And the golden gun itself became one of the most iconic props from the entire franchise.

Famous guns in movies

Conclusion

Roger Moore's Bond has got a rough deal over the year, but whilst this takes itself a little too lightly it has a lot going for it.

Full Review - Ian Freer, Empire Magazine

Movie guns

13. Motorcycle Minigun - Machete (2013)

Machete rides a motorcycle through the air in front of a massive explosion

In a movie jam-packed with crazy, over-the-top action sequences, the motorcycle minigun still manages to stand out as a big, fist-pump moment. The cool factor is through the roof. The only downside is that Danny Trejo’s titular Machete character doesn’t use it more.

Guns used in movies

Conclusion

This gleefully excessive pastiche of an exploitation picture delivers everything promised by its own faux trailer.

Full Review - Nigel Floyd

Famous guns in movies

12. Noisy Cricket - Men in Black (1997)

Examining the physics of the Noisy Cricket

The Noisy Cricket might not look like much but it is an extremely powerful little handgun. The small size makes the gun unassuming, but packed inside the tiny casing is quite likely the most powerful weapon in the entire MIB arsenal. Destructive and humorously contradictory, a perfect combo for a sci-fi, action, comedy film.

Movie guns

Conclusion

[Director Barry Sonnenfeld] establishes the premise in the wildly entertaining first 45 minutes and then glides along for the rest of the film on the strength of a poker-faced comic sensibility.

Full Review - Michael Ollove, Baltimore Sun

Guns used in movies

11. Holy Shotgun - Constantine (2005)

Assembling the holy shotgun

Constantine, far from being a perfect film, has some really strong elements working for it in spite of any shortcomings. Perhaps the strongest aspects of Constantine are the production design and level of general inventiveness. The holy shotgun is a sight to behold and it gets plenty of usage from Keanu Reeves’ titular character.

Famous guns in movies

Conclusion

Constantine deserves a cult following and should be remembered for all the things it did right instead of its perceived wrongs.

Full Review - Drew Dietsch

Famous guns in movies

10. Gun Leg - Planet Terror (2007)

Cherry puts her machine-gun leg to use

Planet Terror is the second Robert Rodriguez film to make our list, and not the last either. Rodriguez has a keen sense for badass, creative weaponry. Planet Terror was the first feature film in the Grindhouse double-feature presentation, with the second half being written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Be sure to check out our ranking of the best Tarantino movies.

The film has a wonderfully fun style and the machine-gun leg is the perfect encapsulation of this movie’s goofy sensibilities.

Movie guns

Conclusion

Gloopy and outrageous, this schlock horror tribute is pure trash... in the best possible sense.

Full Review - Jamie Russell, BBC

Guns used in movies

9. Pulse Rifle - Aliens (1986)

How the pulse rifle was created

James Cameron’s Aliens was a fantastic follow-up to Ridley Scott’s original sci-fi horror masterpiece. Cameron traded some of the horror for a stronger emphasis on action, and with more action came new sci-fi weaponry. The M56 Smart Gun deserves some love too, but it is the classic colonial marine pulse rifle that gets the spot on our list.

The design is iconic, and the sound design for the gunfire is creative and highly memorable. If you are a fan of the original, you can likely learn a lot by reading the Alien screenplay.

Famous guns in movies

Conclusion

Scene to scene, encounter to encounter, its tension builds unrelentingly. So, fasten your seat belts. It`s a blast.

Full Review - Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune

Movie guns

8. Guitar-Case Guns - Desperado (1995)

Guitar case guns in action

The middle film in Robert Rodriguez’s “Mexico” trilogy is undoubtedly the strongest. It’s a full-throttle, guns-blazing action film with a great sense of style. The previous film in the Mexico trilogy gave viewers a guitar case full of guns. Desperado takes it one step further and delivers guitar cases that were literally guns themselves. A pair of machine-gun guitar cases and a rocket-launcher guitar case form a trio of cool movie weapons.

Movie guns

Conclusion

Like an R-rated, violent Roadrunner cartoon.

Full Review - Nell Minow, Common Sense Media

Famous guns in movies

7. Deadly Codpiece - From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Don’t mess with Tom Savini

One last creative Robert Rodriguez weapon to round out the list. The codpiece revolver worn by Tom Savini, who dubbed it the crotch rocket, is a funny sight gag and a deadly last-resort for self-defense against vampire strippers.

This codpiece also appears in Robert Rodriguez’s earlier film, Desperado, but it doesn’t get used in that film, disappointingly. 

Luckily, From Dusk Till Dawn came along a couple of years later and put the prop to good use. Quentin Tarantino stars in and wrote From Dusk Till Dawn, meaning there is plenty of great Tarantino dialogue.

Guns used in movies

Conclusion

Still sizzles like a capsaicin-spiked grindhouse meatloaf baked and served just under the wire of its sell-by date.

Full review - Nick Rogers, The Film Yap

Famous guns in movies

6. Gristle Gun - eXistenZ (1999)

Birth of the gristle gun

The gristle gun is a wholly unique cinematic weapon. From David Cronenberg, the master of body horror, comes a body horror firearm, and not the only one on this list either. The gristle gun makes use of Cronenberg’s penchant for stomach-churning special effects. This gun is comprised entirely of biological components and is inventive and grotesque in equal measure.

Famous guns in movies

Conclusion

Dark, delirious fun.

Full Review - Geoff Andrew, Time Out

Movie guns

5. Auto 9 - RoboCop (1987)

RoboCop puts the Auto9 to use

When the futuristic Detroit police department set about creating the ultimate law-enforcement hybrid of man and machine, they, of course, had to develop a highly-effective, personalized pistol for RoboCop as well. The Auto 9 is an automatic handgun that can deal with creeps with ultimate efficiency. It even has a nifty storage slot built right into RoboCop’s metallic thigh.

Famous guns in movies

Conclusion

A sardonic but perfectly-realised depiction of a mayhem-fuelled near future.

Full Review - Clark Collis, Empire Magazine

Movie guns

4. Sleeve Guns - Equilibrium (2002)

Christian Bale busts out the gun kata

Produced and released as a direct answer to The Matrix, the reception to Equilibrium has swung back and forth over the years. A new form of pseudo-martial-arts was devised for the film. It was dubbed “gun kata” and fused hand-to-hand combat with firearm usage.

One sci-fi advancement that makes the practice of gun kata possible are the high-tech sleeves that can reload your guns for you. If you are a fan, you might be interested in reading the screenplay for the Matrix.

famous guns in movies

Conclusion

Violent post-nuclear sci-fi is Orwellian.

Full Review - Nell Minow, Common Sense Media

Famous guns in movies

3. Flesh Gun - Videodrome (1983)

The handgun fuses with James Woods

With Videodrome, David Cronenberg makes his second appearance on our list, this time with an even more horrific and sickening body horror handgun. The special effects for this gun-hand hybrid are astonishing and the visual is unforgettable. The flesh gun plays a pivotal role in the plot as well, it is not just for shock value. 

Videodrome is bursting with creativity at every level, and the flesh gun is a great example of Cronenberg’s brilliance. Videodrome made it onto our list of the best horror movies ever made. Find out what else made the cut.

guns in movies

Conclusion

It's hard to overstate how premonitory David Cronenberg's masterpiece turned out to be.

Full Review - Sean Fennessey, The Ringer

Guns in movies

2. Lawgiver Mk. II - Dredd (2012)

Judge on judge violence

2012’s Dredd, an alternate take on the Judge Dredd source material, was an underrated sci-fi, action flick. The Lawgiver Mk. II is the signature weapon of the judges, and it is a real beast. This high-tech handgun has a number of alternate fire modes and ammunition types, all of which get used throughout the film in the various shootouts. Fully automatic, armor-piercing, stun, incendiary, and more, it even contains a built-in miniature rocket launcher.

famous guns in movies

Conclusion

I may have never seen a non-horror film as relentlessly, brutally, and crowd-pleasingly violent as this skintight adaptation of the long-running British comic-book character.

Full Review - Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

Famous guns in movies

1. ZF1 - The Fifth Element (1997)

A demonstration of the ZF1

Within The Fifth Element, the ZF1 is a brand-new creation and is being pitched as the ultimate weapon to end all weapons. It is easy to see why. This thing has every conceivable option you would possibly want in a sci-fi gun: bullets, poisonous arrows, a net launcher, a rocket launcher, a flame thrower, and even a freeze-blaster.

It is truly the Swiss army knife of movie guns. The ZF1 has it all.

Guns in movies

Conclusion

The Fifth Element has enough eye-appeal for two good movies.

Full Review - Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

Up Next

The Best Action Movies of All Time

Those were the most creative movie guns to ever grace the silver screen. If all of this talk of firearms got you in the mood for some exciting shootouts, then you’ll be sure to enjoy our list of the best action movies ever made. You might even see some of these inventive guns put to use.

Up Next: Best Action Movies
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