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5 Movies Where Power Tools Are Used To Cause Bodily Harm

Power drills, chainsaws, wood chippers, and even the gears of an utilidor pump were used in movies to cause bloodshed. This list will recap each body shredding, limb ripping, and brain draining moment.

Typically the gore is caused intentionally during conflict, but in a few cases power tools are used for self-inflicted wounds or are associated with industrial accidents. These scenes are not only found in horror films; the brutality is spread throughout psychological thrillers and crime dramas as well.

Gut spilling carnage through the use of a delicately crafted motor driven cutting or grinding device is a creative twist in a world where shootouts and fiery explosions serve as the most dominant source for a characters pain and suffering.

Prepare yourself for this gut wrenching guide that explains how a hardware store can double as a weapons cache; these are eight examples where characters did not “use only as directed.”

5. Pi

Artisan Entertainment

The final scene of Pi is a perfect example of why you give up on puzzles that induce strokes. After suffering debilitating headaches, hallucinations, and nose bleeds, Max Cohan is still determined to link a string of numbers to everything in existence. This brain teaser turns out to be more than he can comprehend and he decides to perform reconstructive surgery with his trusty power drill.

The power drill shows up earlier in the film when it was used to remove and repair toxic components within his computer system. That along with the ant infestation that plagues his apartment makes me question how sharp and/or sanitary the drill bit still is. Max seems to take all steps to prep for this complex procedure except for acquiring a more appropriate precision cutting tool.

He studies medical books and maps out the sections of the brain to pinpoint the penetration zone, but then just depends on the steadiness of his hand to ensure the proper bore depth is acquired. During the moment of truth, he plows the spinning bit into his temple without hesitation; tearing skin, breaking bone, and splattering blood in all directions. The procedure is a success; Max is now dumber.

4. American Psycho

Psycho 2
Lions Gate Films

If you were a perfectionist with borderline OCD relating to your appearance and your home, would you kill a person with the most violently messy murder weapon available? It sure didn’t stop Patrick Bateman from stabbing a hobo, axing a colleague, and dicing up hookers with a chainsaw.

Bateman seems to master the use of murder weapons quickly, and increases the complexity of his style with every slaughter session. There is a moment where he nearly uses a nail gun to blast his secretary’s brain all over a coffee table, but his skills weren’t advanced enough yet; he forgot to plug it in. Disappointed with his shortcomings, he asked her to leave.

Bateman chose a chainsaw as the instrument of death for his most climactic killing. Despite the noise, oil, unguarded and rapidly spinning chain, and the inevitable blood & gut fountain it would produce; Bateman chased a lady-of-the-night through his former colleague’s residence and dropped the death machine down a six story stairwell. The result was a medley of machine gears and call-girl guts left on the first floor as a gift for the cleaning crew.

3. Fargo

Gramercy Pictures

The use of a wood chipper to dispose a body in this film should really raise some eyebrows.

Two gangsters suffer from cabin fever in the middle of winter and after a minor dispute one of them takes an axe to the others face, leaving a body that needs to be disposed. Luckily there is a conveniently placed wood chipper nearby. Now ask yourself, why doesn’t this make sense? Let’s review the situation.

The cabin contains a wood burning stove, making all timber valuable for use as a heat source; it’s unlikely that there would be excess wood requiring disposal. There does not seem to be a place to easily store the wood chipper unexposed from the elements, so presumably it has been left outside unused during the frigid winter months. So why was it there and would it even actually work without being properly maintained in these conditions? Let’s suspend our disbelief and presume our killer could get it started; would the blades have been sharp enough to grind through human bone?

Fortunate for us, none of these factors came into play and we got to see Steve Buscemi cascaded all over the snow like a Jackson Pollock painting. Final thought, wouldn’t it have been most effective to just dump the body beneath the ice on the nearby frozen lake?

2. Scarface

Universal Pictures

A drug deal is arranged in a hotel room that immediately results in a standoff. The dealer and his goons force the clients, Tony Montana and his lookout (Angel), into the bathroom for a torture session. One of the goons turns up the volume on the television and gags Angel; obviously to prevent the neighbors from calling the police when Angel starts shrieking from the pain. The dealer then pulls out the torture weapon… a chainsaw?!

I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure the decibel level of chainsaw far exceeds the output of a 1970’s TV speaker. Also, cheap hotels built in the 70’s and located in a tropical climate historically don’t have the greatest sound dampening walls or windows. Never-the-less, the dealer cranks up the RPM’s on the chainsaw and starts carving up Angel.

Wall to wall, ceiling to floor; no one can escape the blood splatter. Likely because five men are stuffed in a bathroom the size of a closet. The rotating blade first removes Angels arm, followed by his leg; apparently causing his death. The chainsaw hesitates to start again likely from gut build up and gave Tony’s men just enough time to come in guns blazing and save him. Tony was saved because that rotating death machine was touched by an Angel.

1. 30 Days of Night

30 days of night
Columbia Pictures

This fascinating five second clip of carnage intrigued me so much that I did extensive research about the town portrayed in the movie. I’ll try not to bore you, but here’s what I found out:

The story is set in the town of Barrow Alaska. The town is built on permafrost. There use to be no water or sewage lines because either pipes would freeze and burst, or the water temperature would melt the permafrost causing homes to collapse. Systems of insulated utility corridors (utilidors) were created to separate the water/sewage lines from the permafrost. The water is always circulating to keep it from freezing. This is accomplished by huge pump houses, much like the one featured in 30 Days of Night.

If you’re still with me, thanks.

The few survivors of the annual 30 night vampire feeding frenzy have found the one place that still has electricity; the utilidor pump house (see, that short lesson paid off). As they enter, one unlucky officer is spotted and followed in by a blood thirsty stalker. It’s not long before all hell breaks loose.

The towns’ sheriff soon finds himself grappling with the monster over an elaborate mechanism of metal components that are rotating at an ungodly speed. Before the sheriff is hurled to his death, another officer recklessly body checks the vampire into the organ blender. The machine only needs to make a few rotations before the vampire is swallowed whole and the officers’ arm is ripped to pieces by the serrated jaws. The red stained metal teeth are the only sign that the body mangling machine had a meal; much like the vampires invading the town, its’ hunger will never be satisfied.


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