Wednesday, August 31, 2011

History on Film: Deadliest Warrior

I usually think of myself as fairly traditionally feminine, and I'm sure most people who know me would agree. On this blog I've reviewed a lot of shows and movies, usually costume dramas with a good dose of romance; but sometimes even I want to see something blow up or someone get soundly beaten. For those times, there's Deadliest Warrior, from Spike tv.

Do you like historical weapons and battle tactics? Have you ever gotten into a heated debate with your friends over who would win a fight between disparate opponents (a la pirate vs ninja)? Do you like to scream with glee during gory testosterone-dripping battle sequences? Yes? Then you'll like this show. I'm quite certain that it started with a bunch of historical weapons experts sitting around debating pirate vs ninja (or viking vs samurai etc), and realizing that they had the ability to scientifically test their theory.

Bring on the pig carcasses, ballistics gel, and foam torsos. Oh yeah, and blood packets, lots and lots of blood packets. Lest you think it's entirely a bunch of frats boys shooting things and making war cries, let me assure you that there is a core of scientists, computer experts, and a trauma doctor who are equally interested in the endurance of armor, effectiveness of tactics, and realistic lethality of weapons. But, yes, they whoop a lot when a Zande sword takes an anatomically correct head complete with skull and blood off of it's attached torso. So do I.

It is interesting to see how a Spartan soldier fares against a Ninja, or sometimes even specific historical figures like Alexander the Great vs Ghengis Khan, and more importantly why the match-ups end in the results they do. It debunks some myths, like that bullets will go through armor, and surprises you in other ways. Who knew cotton padding could be so effective?

All in all, it's a fun, if at times gross, show to watch. Usually predictable, but always entertaining. If you have Netflix you can find at least the first two seasons on Instant Queue.

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