Why “Ol’ Painless”Still Remains The Coolest Movie Gun Ever

Ol’ Painless, the tree-cutter, the mini gun, the list goes on and on. Any way you say it this weapon is something truly impressive and more than a little devastating. If it were real in this incarnation it’s amazing to realize that it would be severely under-powered and nowhere near as functional. A gun like this should be putting it’s user almost on their butt even with a specialized harness. Even Jesse Ventura would have had trouble with this thing if it’s speed had been dialed up to true specs.

It’s a little tough to realize that the movie magic that brings these things to life isn’t real, but it’s very revealing. All of those that watched Predator once, twice, a couple dozen times even, were impressed when Mac took up the gun of his fallen friend and cleared close to an acre with minimum effort. The rest of them just jumped in without even asking what they were shooting at, clearing a swath of forest large enough for a rescue chopper to land in with plenty of clearance on either side, or at least it seemed that way.

And of course Ol’ Painless did the brunt of the work. This beauty was chewing up whatever it was aimed at, leaving a person to wonder how the predator even managed to get high enough to avoid the hail that was coming his way. Granted, the creature was nimble and quick for his size, but this literal downpour of gunfire should have had it running for its life without hesitation since it had already discovered that the human weapons could hurt it.

But now we get back to the facts of Ol’ Painless. It’s an impressive machine to be honest, but without a battery source its essentially just a hunk of iron without a propulsion system of any sort. In fact the gun was operated by a power cord that was attached to a battery off screen. The only time you can see it is during a shot that the cord unfortunately made it into the scene. Fortunately the scene was so quick that many fans probably missed it.

Another slip in the film comes when Ventura takes the cover off of the barrels and rotates them, almost the same action as cocking a rifle, shotgun, or pistol. But the difference here is that if he’d had any rounds chambered they would have been discharged upon rotating the barrels.

Normal RPM’s for this type of gun would be around 6,000, but for the movie this was toned way down to 1,250 for a few purposes. One was to lessen the recoil that would inevitably come, and another was so that people could actually see the barrels rotating. The director didn’t want the gun to be nothing more than a blur, since this didn’t look nearly as impressive. When fully loaded the lower RPM’s would grant the gun about 24 seconds of firing time, much more than the standard 4 seconds that would be available at 6,000 RPM’s.

When you have an angry predator coming at you I’d say that lower RPM would be a lot preferable just so you don’t blow your entire line of ammunition on a wild burst.


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