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Our 15 favorite movie knife scenes (with video)

Our 15 favorite movie knife scenes (with video) (photo)

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You can’t beat a good knife scene. Here are some of the sharpest moments in cinema, from the knife-fighting of “The Hunted” to the knife-throwing of “Gangs of New York” to the naked bathhouse brawling (involving knives) in “Eastern Promises.” Oh, and ‘Crocodile’ Dundee is around here somewhere, too.


“‘Crocodile’ Dundee” (1986)

The knife joke in “Crocodile Dundee” provides one of the movie’s biggest laughs, as Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) and his American sweetie (Linda Kozlowski) are confronted on the mean streets of ’80s New York City by a perfectly costume-designed thug with a switchblade who demands our hero’s wallet. Kozlowski vies for an Oscar here with her super-intense “Mick. Give him your wallet. He’s GOT a KNIFE.” “That’s not a knife,” says the mighty hunter, and… well, you know the rest. Just kids havin’ fun.


“Kick-Ass” (2010)

The freaky little comic book movie that just wants to be loved succeeds every now and then in getting a big hug from the audience with a few choice moments, most of them involving the father-daughter crimefighting duo of Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz). Hit Girl gets the best birthday present ever from her proud papa: a Balisong, a weapon more commonly known as a “butterfly knife.” The young superheroine shows off her excellent technique with the blade as her father gives her a pop quiz — one of the questions is a wink-wink reference to Cage’s two-time director, John Woo, who knows a thing or two about knives himself.


“Under Siege” (1992)

“All your ridiculous, pitiful antics aren’t gonna change a thing.” That’s Shakespeare-level dialogue for Steven Seagal, and this poke to the villainous Tommy Lee Jones in what’s probably the best Seagal movie out there prompts a brief but impressive knife fight filled with nifty “whoosh-whoosh” sound design — Jones is allowed one nick to his opponent’s face before he gets a finger jammed through his eye socket and a blade through his skull. As bombastic and theatrical as Jones was in his performance, you’d think his character would’ve gotten a more epic send-off, but alas, it’s a quick one — that’s how it goes out at sea sometimes.


“Gangs of New York” (2002)

Daniel Day-Lewis is a squinting maniac as Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting in Martin Scorsese’s flawed almost-masterpiece, throwing knives at hot girls like Cameron Diaz all to and fro. Bill’s none too happy with his “former assistant in manners of impalement” now that she’s banging Leonardo DiCaprio, and he takes it out on his once-apprentice and lover by having his blades land a little too close for comfort, much to the delight of the audience and the concern of Leo. Nothing signifies an official break-up quite like impaling a gal’s locket with a knife: “Whoopsie daisy, now it’s good and broke!”


“The Hunted” (2003)

Go Tommy Lee Jones! The old man proves he’s still got it as he engages (as the hero this time) in a one-on-one knife fight with Benicio Del Toro, who plays, like, the best knife fighter on the planet or something in William Friedkin’s military thriller. These two go at it for almost four solid minutes, stabbing each other multiple times as a waterfall gushes nearby (somewhat distracting scenery that the scene really doesn’t need). Any normal person would’ve been dead within the first few seconds of this battle, but these guys are only vaguely affected by things like “blood loss.” Speaking of which, the bit where Del Toro blinds Jones with his own blood is a nice gruesome touch.



“Eastern Promises” (2007)

Who are these idiot Russian thugs that think they can mess with Viggo Mortensen, especially when he’s just minding his own damn business whilst taking it easy in a bathhouse? Well, to be fair, these guys definitely get some good stabs in as they throw a naked Viggo around on the hard tiled floor, but this is Viggo we’re talking about, which means they’re eventually dead Russian meat. Director David Cronenberg makes you feel those aforementioned stabs — and you really feel the one that goes through the back of the second thug’s skull.


“Commando” (1985)

The climactic fight of this ’80s action classic is one for the books. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’d never been in better shape, takes on the paunchy and vaguely gay Vernon Wells, who makes a rather bizarre orgasm face when Arnold first presents the idea of turning their gunfight into a knife fight: “Put the knife in me!” Alyssa Milano looks on as these two go at it with blades until Wells realizes that he’s actually trying to take on Arnold Schwarzenegger with just his bare hands and grabs an Uzi. “I’m not gonna shoot you between the eyes, John — I’m gonna shoot you between the balls!” Sheesh.


“Desperado” (1995)

Danny Trejo kicks (or rather stabs) ass in Robert Rodriguez’s follow-up to “El Mariachi” as Navajas, an ultra-tattooed, blade-throwing thug who makes short work of (spoiler!) Steve Buscemi before turning his attention to the Mariachi himself (Antonio Banderas). Navajas throws knives into the chests of a whole slew of cast members before he gets blown away by a gal with an Uzi, which, after “Commando,” seems to be the go-to weapon for calling it quits on knife fights. You can’t keep Trejo down for too long in Rodriguez-land, though — he’s returned for pretty much every one of the director’s films ever since.


“The Long Riders” (1980)

Western knife fight! You know things are gonna get rough and masculine when director Walter Hill is around, and the blade brawl in The Long Riders is one of the film’s highlights. James Remar (dressed almost exactly the way he was in Hill’s gangland fable, The Warriors) is Cherokee Sam Starr and David Carradine is Cole Younger, and their fight is over a dame named Belle (Pamela Reed) — the added bonus (and challenge) of their sharp-edged tussle is they each have to bite down on the opposite end of a sash, which keeps them from getting too far from each other. Whoa, pardner.


“I Saw the Devil” (2010)

No one can do sick and twisted revenge films quite like Korean filmmakers, and “I Saw the Devil” might be the sickest and most twisted to date (and that’s saying something — remember, “Oldboy” is also a raw Korean treat). “Oldboy”‘s Min-sik Choi plays a seemingly unstoppable serial killer, and a couple of guys are unlucky enough to pick him up on a deserted road in the middle of the night — they’re soon the victims of multiple (and we do mean multiple) stab wounds as our villain inflicts his macabre skills with a knife upon them, all while one of them is driving. Director Jee-woon Kim makes things all the more disorienting (and nauseating) as his camera spins around the action several times in a circle, making us feel like we’re being flushed down a toilet and into a stinking hell on Earth.



“V For Vendetta” (2006)

The masked child of the revolution known only as V can stick it to the totalitarian system in any number of ways, not the least of which is the way of the knife! Those who defy the gentleman in the Guy Fawkes mask soon taste the bitter pill of death… or, in the case of Natalie Portman, at least get their heads shaved. The brief but deadly knife scene in “V For Vendetta” is part of the whole “Which One is the Real V?” part of the film — confusion and deception only add to the sting of the piercing blade.


“Girl on the Bridge” (1999)

More knife-throwing, though the spectacle on display in “Girl on the Bridge” is decidely sexier and… well, more French than that of “Gangs of New York.” Vanessa Paradis is Adele, a melancholy lass saved from suicide by Gabor (Daniel Auteuil), a knife-thrower in need of a hot assistant. They make passionate French love not through sexual intercourse but via him throwing sharp objects at her, all set to Marianne Faithfull’s “Who Will Take My Dreams Away?,” a creepy tune previously featured in Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s “The City of Lost Children.” It’s art!


“Kill Zone” (2005)

It’s knife vs. police baton! The good guy wears black and the bad guy wears white (dear lord, are there no rules around here?) in this Hong Kong action flick that features the one and only Donnie Yen ridding the streets of crime with his mighty punches and deadly kicks. There’s plenty of martial arts mayhem on display throughout, though this alley battle is definitely one of the showstoppers — the police baton is eventually discarded, bringing it all down to just two guys and one knife, which is just the way it should be.


“Kung Fu Hustle” (2004)

Throwing knives can be dangerous, especially when you’re dealing with the kind that always seem to find their way back to you. Poor Stephen Chow in “Kung Fu Hustle” gets stabbed multiple times as the blades that are meant for the chainsmoking Landlady (Qiu Yuen) manage to end up back at their point of origin. Having three knives stuck in you is bad enough, but Chow soon has to deal with a basket of poisonous snakes being dumped on him as well (word to the wise — asps most certainly do not like whistling). “Kung Fu Hustle” also showed us that a knife stuck in your shoulder makes for a great rearview mirror.


“The Man from Nowhere” (2005)

Another hardcore Korean revenge tale, “The Man From Nowhere” stars Bin Won as a former special agent and recent widow who opens up a can of bloody filthy gooey vengeance when the young girl he befriends is kidnapped by a vicious drug gang. None of these poor idiots are safe as he infiltrates their ranks and picks them off one by one… or sometimes several at a time. Lots of priceless artwork is destroyed (or at least stained) in the museum scene — and what starts out as a shootout with multiple casualties soon becomes a bit messier when everyone starts pulling blades. This beautifully choreographed scene plays out like a ballet… if ballets frequently involved flesh getting stabbed, ripped, shredded and torn by a bunch of maniacs with knives.




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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.