The Crossroads of the Aether
I went to see "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" last night and while I could give a review of the film I almost think it isn't worth it. We're not talking Shakespeare but it doesn't take itself too seriously so it is, at least, entertaining if fairly predictable. However, something that kept catching my attention through the film were the weapons. Since it was about killing monsters in as varied a way as possible to keep your attention there were a lot of guns.
Even though the story probably has it's origins in the 14th Century, the story of Hansel and Gretel was first published just under two hundred years ago by the Brothers Grimm. Given that this film utilizes late medieval woodcuts as an opening theme one might expect that this movie was going to run more towards the earlier period but the movie poster destroys that notion.
This poster is a bit truncated so that you can't see the double automatic crossbow but it better shows Gretel's boobs and Hansel's pair of LeMats. The LeMat was a cap and ball revolver use by the confederate cavalry during the Civil War. It has nine 41 caliber round in the cylinder and a 14 gauge shotgun underneath. A kick a**-sort of weapon but definitely not anywhere near late medieval. The town sheriff has one of these sitting on his desk when he's hiring trackers and Hansel pulls one from a holster at the small of his back during the boss battle at the end but it otherwise doesn't get a lot of screen time.
What the hell is this? It looks to me like a break top shotgun with a plastic covering on it. No, really. That stock looks plastic.
The actor's love laying their weapons over their shoulders. Sure it looks cool but nothing says "bad a**" like pointing your weapon at the guy standing behind you.
At least their fingers are off the trigger.
The thing that Hansel has there? It is, in fact the same gun in the image above but here (and when it is used in action scenes) looks much more like a pump shotgun. Looks a bit like a SPAS-12. There are are a couple of scenes where the right side is solid and others, when it is in use, where you can see the open ejection port.
At the 51 second mark of the trailer you'll see a gun that unfolds. Kind of neat. Completely impossible but still neat. It look to be built on a lever action rifle, like the Winchester 1876 with the stock cut off. There are a couple of other scenes with lever action rifles.
At the 1:31 mark you see the 24 barrel chain gun and a cart full of belted 50 caliber ammo, deployed at the 1:45 mark.
There's a scene where a townsman who has come in to assist them has a 12 gauge double barrel sawed off coach gun. One of the few guns not covered in plastic to conceal it. When asked if he's a good shot he responds, "Not really. That's why I have a shotgun." However, when he uses it the witch deflects the round as if it were a single slug. And he was a complete incompetent when it came time to reload it. I'm a complete amateur and even I could have reloaded and emptied it two or three times in the time it took him to reload once. Of course, I wasn't firing at an evil monster. In that case, I probably would have been loading and firing even faster. Or running.
In another scene, trackers are being slaughtered by a troll and one of them pulls a modern double action revolver and empties it. I think I counted seven rounds. I didn't get a real good look at it but I think that with 7 shots and it's shape it may have been a Russian Nagant M1895.
This gun looks a little more "period". I'm not sure if this a completely made up gun or if it's a mod of some historical prop. I might think the former because it doesn't look like the chambers in the cylinder line up with the barrel.
There's another quick scene early on when Hansel hold a multi-barrel long gut at someone's head. I didn't get a good look but it reminded me of the Wilson Nock gun. The thing about the Nock gun is that it's from the late 18th century and is a flintlock so it would not look as anachronistic in this film. Which is actually why I don't think it was a Nock gun that I actually saw in the film.
I'm sure that once the DVD is out, the guys at the Internet Movie Firearm Database will be going frame by frame and identifying exactly what the guns are.