Surviving Edged Weapons (1988) — Step one, don’t get stabbed

“A man turns around and punches me in the head, the fight’s on. If he cuts me, the fight’s on. If I’m shot, the fight is on.”

Justin’s review: Sometimes I don’t even survive pillow fights

Justin’s rating: It’s not often — or ever — that I dip into the well of training videos for reviews, but I had to make an exception for the well-regarded 1988 classic, Surviving Edged Weapons. Produced in the most violent country in the world (Canada), this training film aimed to help law enforcement handle situations where attackers might use a wide variety of stabbing, piercing, and slashing weapons.

As much fun as THAT sounds, what really pushed Surviving Edged Weapons into the realm of lasting cult classic was its, let us say, creative dedication to portraying all sorts of insane situations and showing more blood than every Friday the 13th movie put together. It was clearly directed by a guy who was given this assignment and said to no one in particular, “You want a training video? Oh, I’ll SHOW you a training video! AHAHAHAHAHA etc.”

As you might expect from a police training video, Surviving Edged Weapons begins with a look back at the cavemen stabbing each other over meat. This quickly transitions to two drug dealers getting stabby as well. It’s all to teach us that there is a “knife culture” in our world that’s thanks to Grog and Og being jerks all those years ago.

This terrific knife culture leads to all sorts of kooky situations in this video, including:

  • A guy using a medieval sword to stab an officer coming to his door with a warrant
  • A posh woman using an ice scraper to jam into a guy’s hand
  • An officer getting a meat cleaver through his skull during a disturbance call
  • A guy whipping out a crossbow to a cop stop
  • The bust where an old lady is holding a satanic ritual and comes at the officers with a ritual dagger

I think the common reaction to watching this is a mixture of shocked amusement and internal terror. On one hand, you’ve got Surviving Edged Weapons trying to be the most awesome action movie ever made with its staged situations. These are worth the price of admission.

On the other hand, this video abruptly shoves pictures of real stab wounds from living and dead victims into your face (the scissors one I wish I could unsee) and makes you listen to officers tearfully talk about how traumatized they were from being attacked. That’s fun for no one. So I guess you have to decide if amusing yourself with the former is worth sitting through the latter. Having seen this, I’d advise “no.”

It’s not for the squeamish. Probably not for me either, but having watched this, now I know enough about edged weapons to successfully hide myself in a padded vault that’s locked from the inside. The outside is whack, yo!

Didja notice?

  • “Gradually, man created a knife culture that changed very little but cut its way through time.”
  • Driver’s Licenses and baseball caps can have razors taped to them
  • All of the crazy types of knives you’ve never heard of
  • “Plus, they can be used to crush a human skull”
  • Lipstick knives are popular with prostitutes
  • “And this bareclaw necklace” (and huge cleavage)
  • What kid made a mace in his school’s workshop?
  • Happy stabby dude
  • KILME license plate
  • “EDPs can quickly become the ultimate knife-wielding psycho”
  • Ninja stars!
  • “Remember this acronym: SMENS!”
  • Could’ve done without the guy cutting his own fingers off
  • Random superhero insert!
  • “You’re under arrest!” “Aw so are you.”
  • The flies buzzing around the hurt cop is a nice touch there

One comment

  1. It’s not Canada, it’s Milwaukee, WI – the hosts of Red Letter Media’s BEST OF THE WORST YouTube Channel (which comes from Milwaukee) spotted a number of familiar landmarks and pointed out the “Youper” accents a lot of the characters were using….

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