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MFF Special: My Favorite Cinematic Moments Involving the Loss of an Arm/Hand

December 11, 2015

In honor of Luke Skywalker returning in the new Star Wars films I’ve gathered together my favorite cinematic moments involving somebody getting their arm/hand chopped off. Whether it is played for comedy or drama these moments remain memorable and prove when done right limb destruction is a valuable plot device (or prove JCVD is awesome at spin kicks).

Commando arm chop off gif

Sadly, this moment from Commando didn’t make the list. It felt too obligatory.

The only caveat is the losing of the arm/hand had to be caught on camera and can’t be shown after the fact (think Requiem for a Dream or Sam Jackson in Jurassic Park).

Here is the list!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail – It’s only a flesh wound

The Black Knight losing his body parts in The Holy Grail is hands down the best cinematic moment involving limb loss ever. The Monty Python gentleman know how to make a violent situation hilarious (think Life of Brian stoning) and this scene is proof. They burnt the phrase “It’s only a flesh wound” into the world’s lexicon and gave the us an amazing scene.


Anchorman – When Tim Robbins and a bear attack

I guarantee that Luke Wilson is the only person to lose an arm in a street fight and bear attack. The poor guy is never paying attention and it costs him dearly. He ranks high up in the list because of the circumstances surrounding his limb loss.


The Empire Strike Back – Luke and a Hoth Wampa have something in common

Sometimes I wonder if the Hoth Wampa is pleased that Luke lost his hand too. the Star Wars series excels at cutting off arms and hands so it had to make the list. I still feel bad for the Wampa though. The thing was just doing its predator business and came across the wrong guy.



The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its dedication to cutting off arms and hands. 

CINEMABLEND put together a killer video of all the Marvel arm destruction. Good job!


World War Z – Gerry springs into action

What I love about World War Z is that it never stops. There is a moment when the likable Segen gets bit by a zombie and Gerry (Brad Pitt)  hacks her arm off. Does she whine and complain? Nope. She soldiers on and helps save the  day.


Michael Ironside in Total Recall and The Machinist. 

The guy is always losing limbs and this video proves it. I love the Total Recall arm loss moment because Arnold gets the fun one liner “see you at the party, Richter” in there.


Deep Blue Sea – Please stay away from the sharks

One of the smartest men in the world loses his arm to a stationary shark…….That is Deep Blue Sea in a nutshell.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – A most satisfying death

The boss Uruk-hai meets his match with Aragorn and loses an arm for his troubles. What I love is with his remaining arm he still manages to pull Aragorn to him. This was a very satisfying fight because the punk Uruk-hai had just mortally wounded Boromir and you really wanted the thing to get wiped out.


Hot Tub Time Machine – When will Crispin Glover lose his hand?

I love that an entire subplot was built around Crispin Glover losing an arm in Hot Tub Time Machine. You gotta appreciate the build up and commitment to somebody losing an arm.


Idle Hands – A dangerous Offspring

Before the evil hand was killing The Offspring it needed to be cut off of Devon Sawa’s arm. I love this movie and even though it rips off Evil Dead it belongs on the list because of how bonkers the movie is.


Evil Dead 2 – A groovy situation

This is iconic hand losing at its most absurd. The hand gives Ash everything he can handle but Ash wins via a whole lot of blood and determination. Never has a hand been more of a problem. Also, it leads to the famous chainsaw attachment which is kinda groovy.


Time Cop – Henchman meets JCVD’s foot

I feel really bad for this henchman. He gets his arm frozen and then kicked off by a mulleted JCVD.


127 Hours – It had to happen

This arm cut was more about survival. However, the process and filming was excruciating to watch. The moment when he cuts through the nerve still pains me. Imagine if zombies attacked during this moment.


Predator – Don’t mess with invisible aliens

What happens when you battle an invisible alien with a canon on its shoulders? You get your arm blown off.


X-Men: The Last Stand – When regeneration goes wrong

The finale battle in Last Stand finds Wovlerine battling a man who regenerates his arms. The arm cutting become futile so Wolverine kicks the guy in the balls. Watch this video about everything wrong in Last Stand. You will see the nut shot.


Snowpiercer – Who throws a shoe?

What happens when you throw a shoe on a post-apocalyptic train? You lose your arm and get that shoe placed on your head. Ewan Bremner really sells the arm losing though. I love his reactions.


Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Never test your blood pressure during a zombie attack

I don’t think I will ever understand why a guy wanted to test his blood pressure in the middle of a mall raid. However, the guy went for it and ended up getting his arm separated from his body. I love Dawn of the Dead. 


Fright Night (2011) –  Kid becomes a vampire. Kid loses arm. 

I couldn’t find the clip but I did find the moment in the outtakes. If you are a fan of David Tennant you need to watch the bloopers. I love the Fright Night remake and the arm losing was pretty fantastic.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2015 7:05 am

    So this is a list of your favorite disarmings? *tihihi*

  2. John Leavengood permalink
    July 1, 2016 3:36 pm

    Perhaps in Deep Blue Sea they were initiating an anti-smoking campaign. Wasn’t it his cigarette-holding arm that was bitten?

    • July 1, 2016 3:39 pm

      Deep Blue Sea taught me to never monologue or let my arm dangle next to a genetically modified shark.


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