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OK, this article is going to be a little bit more Literature student than my usual stuff, as I woke up this morning and decided I wanted to talk symbolism. I will try and make it sound as unpretentious as possible, but bear with me.

Hahaha, I get it. Nice one, Google.

Hahaha, I get it. Nice one, Google.

I have just finished a script. It’s not my greatest work, more of an action flick I wrote for fun and to get my head into the script-writing game. However, I did manage to get in a bit of symbolism that separates it from the usual mindless violence. The symbolism discusses the assumed male dominance and even goes as far as to imply that men are always manipulated and controlled by females anyway, making the idea of male dominance a useless and outdated one.

The premise in a nutshell is about a fourteen year old girl who owns some land in the apocalypse. For an apocalypse, it is your ideal scenario. She has cattle, an electricity generator and even a minimal plumbing system. Other than being alone, it is pretty much the perfect home. My movie is about a group of men that stumble across her dream situation and decide to take it from themselves. It is possible to read ‘rape’ into that, a topic I am partially passionate about (rape in a negative sense, I feel prompted to add, before I am harassed in the comments), but for all intents and purposes, it refers to male dominance as a whole. These men see a supposedly weaker being (a young girl), and try to take from that person. Needless to say, they fail and end up dying in horrible, gory ways.

While writing this script, it brought me back to a discussion I read somewhere about how guns and headshots are sexual. And by sexual, I do not mean the same as sexy. If you get aroused by watching people get shot, I advise you put down your copy of Grand Theft Auto and check yourself into a clinic. But there is an element of sexuality to guns. Let’s start with the obvious: the gun is a phallic object. This is pretty clear from the moment in ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’, where a character called Sex Machine (no, I am not making this up), has a gun worked into his clothes, in the area where his penis should be (seriously, it’s a film!) Taking this idea further, a bullet could represent the… the… the… liquid stuff that happens to penises… (why the fuck did I start discussing icky sex stuff, god damnit?!) Anyway, if bullets symbolize ‘love-juice’ then headshots symbolize… I’ll wait for everyone to work it out… yeah, there you go.

There we go!

There we go!

OK, let’s digress for a moment, so I can explain to people why ‘love headshots’ are so attractive to men. It doesn’t take a genius to work out, but it is to do with dominance. Even if it is just for a brief moment, ‘face showers’ make the male in that situation feel powerful. This is why so many people get shot in the head in films (not in the sex way now). Because it is all a part of the male fantasy. Shooting someone is good in itself, but let’s be honest, headshots are way cooler. Ask any gamer and they will tell you that they always aim for the head to ‘fuck someone over’. Yeah, and now everyone female gamer reading this feels dirty inside. Shooting someone in the head connotes some form of execution, which usually involves the shooter having complete power over the executed.

Who else is aroused, right now?

Who else is aroused, right now?

It is also why women rarely get shot in the head in films. It is far too ‘dominating’ to really get away with. Even when a woman is shot in the head, it is either in an R rated movie. Even then, the shot usually cuts away or is at an angle that minimizes the blood splatter. You really have to rack your brains when trying to think of a specific moment when a female character in TV or film is shot in the head that isn’t a zombie/monster in a female body or a character who survives (so no, Kill Bill for those with that example in their head). When a character shoots someone in the head, making them helpless and… well… dead, this is sometimes referred to by ‘owning’ (depending if you hang out with socially retarded online gamers or not). Few film-makers are brave enough to open a can of worms where a female character is owned – in the face – by a male shooter.

In my movie, there is a bloody moment where this psychology is turned around on a male character. One of the main villains, the guy who makes the initial decision to take the house from the female protagonist, is basically beaten to a pulp by this female character. He is brought to his knees and the hero executes the character. She does this by sticking her gun right down his throat and pulling the trigger. Here, the female is using this male phallic symbol against her, making him the helpless weak figure that gets owned, even taking the sexual symbolism to the next level: the blowjob, for those slow on the uptake. It is one of the key scenes of the entire movie.

So yeah, discussion over. If anything, I am impressed that I managed to take a bloody violent action movie, with little higher purpose than being entertaining and squeezed in some subtle references to a socially important topic. I hope that this symbolism never gets in the way of the action and is just a little treat for people that want to dig deeper into the script. Not that I am ever planning on producing this idea, but it is good practice for the real scripts.

5 thoughts on “Analysing the Sexuality of Gunshots

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