Guns of the Silver Screen: V21N3

By Kyle Shea

Berettas of the Underworld

The two most popular monsters from European folklore are without doubt the Vampire and the Werewolf. Both were feared throughout the continent during the Dark and Medieval ages and were regarded as unstoppable killing machines that few could slay. There were even trials where random people were accused of being werewolves and many even confessed to being one. Hollywood eventually brought these monsters to life, first with vampires in “Dracula” (1931 with Bela Lugosi) and then with werewolves with “Werewolf of London” (1935) and “The Wolf Man” (1941). In 1943, a film called “The Return of the Vampire” was produced, in which the said vampire had a werewolf as a servant. In both “House of Frankenstein” and “House of Dracula,” both Dracula and the Wolf Man appear but never meet. They do meet in “Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein,” and there is an epic fight. In 2004, Dracula and the Wolf Man meet again in “Van Helsing.”

In 2003, a real Werewolf versus Vampire movie hit the screen in the form of “Underworld.” The movie tells of a secret war between the powerful Vampire covens and an underground army of Lycans, the name given to Werewolves. The main story follows a werewolf hunter named Selene, played by Kate Beckinsale, who seeks vengeance for the death of her family who she believes was killed by Lycans. Selene uses a number of weapons in the movie, but the ones she uses the most are a pair of Beretta 92FS Pistols. The best scene in which she uses them is when she is at the end of a hallway and three large Lycans are coming for her. Realizing that she can’t fight them, she shoots a circle into the ground beneath her with the Berettas. Despite the fact that she shoots more ammo than her magazines should hold, she falls down to the hall below and manages to escape.

Beretta was founded in 1526, making it the oldest Firearms Producer in the world. They have supplied weapons for every major conflict in Europe since then, especially both World Wars. In 1976, they introduced the Beretta Model 92, an improved version of the Model 951 Brigadier. It is a very good gun and has been accepted by over 40 countries for use in Law Enforcement and Military. It is popular with private buyers and is fun and reliable to shoot. There are about 40 variants of this pistol, including the Model 92FS. In the US military, the 92FS is designated the M9 and replaced the M1911A1 as the pistol of choice for the United States Armed Forces. It has seen action in the first Gulf War, the Somali Civil War, the Kosovo War and the War on Terror. The Beretta 92FS uses a 15-round magazine and fires 9x19mm cartridges. It is light and easy to shoot, thanks to a slide system that feeds and ejects ammo with ease.

“Underworld” is a fun movie at times, but it is not great. Some of the fight scenes are good, and many of the weapons are fun to look at. The acting is okay, and the sets are really, really good. However, the story isn’t that riveting, and while the costumes and the CGI do make them look good, the Lycans look nothing like traditional werewolves, more like giant black hyenas standing on their hind legs. Not my favorite movie series.

Selene’s two Berettas were modified by Bapty & Co to fire fully automatic and had weights on the front of the slides, changing the outer appearance. These were also used in Judge Dredd. There were a total of four guns used in “Underworld,” because of the usual movie requirement to have back-up guns in case there were problems on the set.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N3 (April 2017)
and was posted online on February 17, 2017


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