BUCK knives and the Scream franchise

Discussion in 'Buck Knives' started by Hickory n steel, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Love 'em or hate 'em I enjoy the Scream franchise, but this is not about the movies themselves.
    If you've seen them you'll know that the first movie features a 119 special, then the other 3 mostly went up to the 120 general for the " hero knife " as the prop guys would call it.

    What are your thoughts on the use of these two iconic hunters as the weapon of choice for a movie slasher like this ?

    I don't generally like seeing cutting tools like this portrayed as weapons as Hollywood is responsible for stereotypes that caused a number of bs laws and regulations across the country, but in this movie franchise I think they made an excellent choice.

    I don't know that the average movie goer is a knife person or hunter that's familiar with these two icons, but they really were a great choice for these movies.
    The finish and grinds of this aggressive uspwept sweged clip point blade sure do attract light in all the right ways, combine that with the highly polished aluminum handle fittings and you've got a very impressive blade your eyes are instantly drawn to.
    All this bright shiny razor sharp steel and highly polished aluminum fittings really pop in contrast to the black hood cloak and gloves of the movies killer, and I don't think it's a coincidence.
    I would like to think the director maybe grew up with a 119 as a hunting knife, but I'm sure it was probably just something the props department brought.

    I don't know that this movie has done much for sales of the 119 special and 120 General, but I know when I first saw Scream on TV that halloween night when I was 12 that blade sure impressed me.
    I didn't know what it was at the time but that week the Buck 119 special really jumped out at me in the display at the local Walmart and that's when I knew I just had to own a Buck 119 special.
    I was even more enamored with it having learned it was a Buck as my other grail was the iconic 110.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  2. soc_monki


    Apr 5, 2019
    I enjoy the movies myself, as I was in high school I think when they came out. And I know what you did last summer (Jennifer love Hewitt!)

    I'm going to have to watch them again soon, just for the nostalgia!
  3. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    The slasher movies aren't much different from shows like Longmire, in which his 110 was a prominent character of death.

    And many of us are old enough to remember that the 110 was a part of biker gang uniform.

    The visual implication of menace is a part of the appeal of these knives, IMO.
  4. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    I was an adult when that movie came out. I saw it, but it was back in the 90s, I barely remember much about it. dont think ive seen it since then. I do remember the Buck being used in it. I was a skeptic back then I probably thought plug at the time. in hindsight probably wasnt a plug was more picked by movie prop people as it was easily identified and known by most people. if not by the well known name of Buck and model, more so the shape and sight of it.
  5. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I think it would be cool if it was a plug, maybe if the killers reveal why they chose the Buck 119.
    Maybe saying how sharp they are and such.
    Sadly they don't, the knife is simply used and not talked about.
    You can never see the tang stamp, and the sheath never appears.
    I don't even think the tang stamp is present on the props, because it's never seen when the real knife is on screen so they would not need to go through the trouble.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
    jbmonkey likes this.
  6. STDK

    STDK Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    I think it was chosen for its eye appeal. The 119/120 have always looked cool.
    jbmonkey likes this.
  7. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    They look cool in general, look menacing in the context, and their blade finish and grinds catch light really well.
  8. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    I think the knife makes a point in the movie for a few reasons.

    1. It's very pretty, with lots of good contrast, and as you pointed out good and shiny
    2. It's big and scary looking, very pointy, and bigger than anything most people are likely to have outside of the kitchen.
    That being said, I have always hesitated to call this a hunting knife and don't really see how Buck can honestly label it as a hunting knife. As a hunter myself the blade shape isn't really conducive to field dressing, the blade size isn't conducive to field dressing; and about the only thing that is conducive to field dressing is the makeup and fit and finish (because it's easy to clean). I've butchered deer with one, I've field dressed with one, and I've cooked with one; I've never thought it was particularly suited to any of those tasks. IMO it's a field and/or combat knife, similar to the USN Mk2 or Kabar.

    Now if I, a knife person, hesitate to call the Buck 119 a hunting knife (in the sense of its utility while hunting and not in the sense of hunting people), then it's pretty easy IMO to see why the producer/director/prop people went with the 119 as something potentially scary rather than something more utilitarian like a Buck 118, 105, 102, etc.
  9. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I can see your point, but I think they simply wanted the bowie-ish look which would explain why they ended up switching to the larger more Bowie like 120 general for the rest of the franchise.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  10. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    That's really what I'm getting at.

    The 119 and the 120 are much more impressively scary and have much better screen presence with their long, wide, shiny blades.

    Also to the point, in your OP you seemed to be stressing that the Buck 119 (and the 120) is a hunting knife but is somehow NOT out of place as a weapon. I argue that it is NOT out of place as a weapon because it is, in fact, a weapon (at least as much as it is a 'hunting' knife) in the same vein as Bowie knives (and often pressed into service in the woods in the same way).
  11. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I say the 119 most certainly is a hunter, the 120 on the other hand is about the same size as a mk2 combat utility knife and is known to have been a fairly common private purchase blade during Vietnam.
  12. kossetx

    kossetx Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2017
    There are four of those movies? Shows how much I pay attention.:rolleyes:
    GPyro, jbmonkey and pinnah like this.
  13. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    We also hunt quite a bit. Our circumstances are such that we are able to harvest deer weekly due to them being over populated and a staple food source.

    I like to use a variety of different knives. What we have found is that the 119 is a nice compromise.

    A typical scenario is being very far from a vehicle, and having to pack out the meat. This means skinning, deboning, and organ collection is done at the drop spot.

    The 119 handles it all, without needing to carry multiple knives. This means more meat can me carried, and less tools. Less weight is a valuable thing when traversing ravines with an 80+lb. pack.

    I agree it’s not ideal for all those tasks, but works well enough across the spectrum to be considered a hunting knife.

    But to the original point, I do agree it’s got a certain visual appeal that works well for the types of movies mentioned.
    jbmonkey and pinnah like this.
  14. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    My own theories on why the 119 is marketed as a hunting knife and my thoughts on the efficacy thereof aside; I think the 119s (and the 120s) being marketed as hunting knives is part of the reasoning behind choosing them. Just do an image search for "hunting knife" and see what pops up. All manner of huge, spikey, saw backed, fearsome looking knives show up; along with Buck 119s, 110s, etc. At a guess I would say at least part of the reason for choosing the 119 is because it is marketed as a hunting knife and to so many people a hunting knife must be a huge slicenstabber. To lend credence to the idea that a couple of high school kids are pulling off this murder scheme it seems plausible that in devising their plan they realized they could buy a Buck 119 without so much as a second thought; where as more fearsome looking 'hunting knives' might cause someone to remember them.

    So, we are left with the movie choosing a knife that looks good on screen, is iconic, is plausibly available to characters using it, and is still appropriately fearsome looking AND fully capable of hunting the chosen prey of the characters. I think they eventually moved to the 120 simply because it's bigger and more impressive looking.

    Not to threadjack, but as a digression:

    If we are to believe the marketing blurb in this thread about the 119 historical set: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/119-special-historical-collectors-set.1537413/ we can take the 119 to have started life as a combat knife, later morphing in shape a bit and eventually being advertised as a hunting knife when there was less need for combat knives. To a huge section of the population (especially as fewer people hunt) and for whatever reason, a 'hunting' knife is large and fearsome looking stabby/slicey thing; and I think Buck was capitalizing on those thoughts when 'repurposing' the 119. That and maybe capitalizing on some nostalgia vis the "I remember my dad carried a Buck knife just like this one in the war, when he came back and taught me to hunt that's the knife he used. When I started my own family I knew I had to get one of those knives for myself." kind of thing. So while I personally don't think much of it as a hunting knife, I think it's easy to see why it has become known as a hunting knife and is in fact iconic of such.
  15. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I didn't know till last week when I recorded the 4th on my DVR, came out in 2011.
    I enjoyed it but any more sequels will just feel played out.
  16. Sharp Steel

    Sharp Steel

    Aug 10, 2009
    My local Action News station used to put the 119 on their corner graphic every time there was a stabbing to report. I think the use a KABAR image now.
  17. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    That's a really nice digression, actually.

    I think it's worth noting that in post WW-2 America, there was a blury line between "hunting" (and camping) equipment and military surplus equipment.

    Think of all of the Springfields, Enfields and Mausers that became "hunting" rifles in the 50s.

    Here my grand-father's "hunting knife" purchased at a sporting goods store in the early 50s.
    [​IMG]Grandpas Knife by Pinnah, on Flickr

    It's about the size of a 119. My sense is that knives of this size were common in that era.
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  18. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I've seen the 119 used in this way, as well as the 110 as well.
    It's a shame too considering that the most common weapon is in fact a kitchen knife and not the kind of knives people carry.
  19. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    And consider the turn of the century English hunter Bowie's of this size range.
    And throughout the 19th century when the most common hunting knife would be a 7" or so blade butcher knife.

    I do not think a knife this size has to be a combat knife or is it unreasonable to think that it in fact an actual hunting knife and not simply being marketed as one.
  20. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    It is true that hunting Bowies were popular as exemplified by two renowned woodsman:
    What I am saying is that the 119 was developed first and foremost as a combat and general purpose field knife for warriors of the day. Later, after the need for combat knives began to wane it was then marketed as a hunting knife. Not because it excelled at such tasks (though is entirely adequate), but because it would sell better marketed as a hunting knife rather than as a combat knife in a time when combat knives were not needed. That many a frugal man would return from service and opt to use their already owned combat knife and a surplus 03A3 for hunting duties didn't hurt. Obviously something like the Buck 119 is not without provenance as a hunting knife, with the somewhat similar (albeit often smaller) Marbles Ideal being marketed as such long before the Buck 119: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/the-marbles-usa-thread.1202974/

    Again though, sorry for the digression. I really do think the 119 is absolutely iconic and assume that's a huge part of why it ends up in things like those news casts and movies.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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