Hollywood definitely has a way with us. They can splash something on the screen so unbelievable and defiant of the laws of physics that the nearest second grader could easily call it out. But that kid wouldn’t, because he’s too busy enjoying himself. Because he has some imagination. No, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier couldn’t really fly. And no, K.I.T.T. couldn’t crash through a brick wall without a scratch. But we don’t care, because we’re having too much fun.
Therefore, since Monday is Memorial Day, and since we just covered some actual war machines, we thought we’d gather a few awesome combat vehicles that only really work on screen.
The Ripsaw Tank from G.I. Joe: Retaliation is only half fake. Based on the 1,000 hp Howe & Howe Ripsaw, it’s been fitted with plenty of firepower and some implied armor. In truth, any armor worth its weight would hinder the ripsaw’s top speed of around 95 mph. In fiction, it’s pure awesome.
In the 1989 movie-you-might-remember, Tango and Cash, Kurt Russell and Sly Stallone team up to take on LA’s top drug dealers. Needing a little help along the way, they borrow the RV From Hell, a lifted 1988 Chevy K-2500 truck with a GMC Safari roof extension and a side-mounted minigun. The windshield and hood have also been covered with another windshield, which must have looked awesome in the age when you could go to the mall and pay $7 to ride in a spaceship.
If you’re not a Bill Murray fan (seriously?), you might still get a kick out of Stripes, because producers took a GMC motor home and turned it into an undercover tank, the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle. Punching a few buttons deployed collapsible armor over the windows and wheels, along with a host of weapons.
Michael Bay’s Transformers series is like an Oreo whose cream center has been replaced by hair gel- just bad in the middle. With all that footage, they could have found more time for Brawl. The dude got about four seconds of screen time as an awesome, double-decker tank.
When you really think about it, a Hover Tank isn’t a great idea. It takes a lot of energy to lift something so heavy, and once the entirely unbelievable hover devices are damaged, you’re toast. Thankfully, 1996’s Sgt. Bilko wasn’t too interested in making sense.
And then there’s the timeless Halo Warthog. Every nerd on the planet wants a Warthog. Each wheel is on a parallel swing arm with an independent drive shaft, and the thing runs on hydrogen, which it extracts from water in-house. Fit its rear turret with a 50-cal. Gatling gun, a rocket array, or a Gauss cannon, and you’re good to go. But the best part about the ‘Hog is how many times you can roll it without destroying it. Or how on fire it can be before it blows up.
What are your favorite ridiculous and unreal Hollywood war machines?
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.