Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I'm into bullwhips. I make 'em, read about them, use them, and write about them. I also see movies about them. More on that at the end of this post.

I write often for a magazine called Make, published by O'Reilly Media. It's a thick quarterly magazine, light on advertising and heavy on information. Projects, stories on inventors, (or "Makers" as the magazine calls them) tutorials on everything from welding to moldmaking.

Some of my past articles were "how-to's" and covered topics such as a hamster powered night light, an ornithopter, a taser powered spud gun, and a tensegrity tower.

Now, O'Reilly has recently launched a sister publication called Craft of similar ilk. It's a craft magazine that's terrific for men as well as women. As wide ranging a magazine as I've ever seen, it covers crafts of all kinds.

I've just submitted my first article for Craft, entitled "How to Make a Bullwhip." I made several, and it's a great hobby. Complicated yet simple, whip making is a mix of science, craftsmanship, and sophistication. I love it!

Movies about People Who Use Whips:
I am making a list of whip-o-philic movies. The following movies are my Top Ten Whip Movies, chosen for having characters known for their whip using skills. (Interested blog readers are invited to write me with their favorites):

1. All Indiana Jones Movies. My son Andy is studying at the University of Wisconsin to become an archeologist. For graduation, I'm giving him his own bullwhip.
2. Legend of Zorro - "Nobody leaves my tequila worm dangling in the wind" and Mask of Zorro, and the many other Zorros
3. King of the Bullwhip. This 1950 oater features Lash Larue, the king of the bullwhip, hence the title.
4. Catwoman. Yes, a pretty bad movie, but there's nothing wrong with Halle Berry in a tight, revealing leather outfit cracking a whip.
5. Blues Brothers. Jake Blues sings the theme from Rawhide in Country Bob's Bunker , while cracking a conveniently placed bullwhip:
Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em on, head 'em out
Rawhide! (Whip Crack)
6. Mutiny on the Bounty. I seem to remember some sailors getting flogged.
7. The Ten Commandments. I also seem to remember some Israelites getting flogged. But that's not why I like the movie. I like it because of the way Edward G. Robinson's character, the duplicious Dathan delivers his lines.
8. Bullwhip (with Rhonda Fleming and Guy Madison) GM is an underappreciated talent.
9. The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin
10. Kitten with a Whip - with the (then) luscious Ann Margaret

Best catapult related movies
Movies with atomic weapon explosions


Gerard said...

Ahh!!! I can't believe that you left off "The Man from Snowy River" and Douglas Fairbank's "Don Q: Son of Zorro." Oh, strictly speaking those featured Australian Stockwhips, but the cool David Morgan kangaroo hide whips in the Indiana Jones Movies are all based on Australian-style whip making--which you as a whip maker surly know.

Anonymous said...

..."I can flick a fly from my horses ear without breaking his stride". Said by Vincent Price as he gently pets his whip in what has to be the best scene from The Ten Commandments with a whip. Lets also not forget Ben Hur and the whip practice scene when Judah comes back to find his mother and sister.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't seen "underworld", you're missing a great whip scene. A decent movie about a war between vampires and werewolves with what I consider to be the greatest exhibition of whip skill on film when Scott McElroy (also the film's assistant stunt coordinator) wields two whips simultaneously against a menacing werewolf.