Whip It Good

(Bill Gurstelle is guest blogging here on Boing Boing. He is the author of several books including Backyard
, and the recently published Absinthe
and Flamethrowers
. Twitter: @wmgurst)

I'm into bullwhips. I make 'em, read about them, use them, and write about them. Being able to handle a bullwhip is an impressive skill. There's a section in Absinthe and Flamethrowers that covers the basics in terms of whip use and technique. If you don't think learning the bullwhip is Golden Thirdstuff, you haven't tried it.

The following movies are my Top Whip Movies, chosen for having characters known for their whip using skills. (Interested readers are invited to write me with their favorites. Whip experts will note that the movies below include both stockwhips and cat-O-nines, which are quite different from one another in purpose.)

1. All Indiana Jones Movies. My son Andy is a graduate student in archeology currently on a dig in Ghana. I gave him a bullwhip as an undergraduate. I wonder if he brought it, and if it could go as carry-on luggage?

2. Legend of Zorro ("Nobody leaves my tequila worm dangling in the wind,") Mask of Zorro, and the many other Zorros

3. King of the Bullwhip. This 1950 oater stars Lash Larue, the king of the bullwhip, hence the title.

4. Catwoman. Yes, a pretty bad movie, but it has Halle Berry in a tight 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.

6. Bullwhip (with Rhonda Fleming and Guy Madison.) GM is an underappreciated talent.

7. Mutiny on the Bounty. I seem to remember some sailors getting flogged.

8. Jailhouse Rock. I vaguely remember Elvis getting flogged.

9. The Ten Commandments. I also seem to remember some Israelites getting flogged. "I can flick a fly from my horse's ear without breaking his stride," – Vincent Price as he gently pets his whip in what I think is the best whip related scene from The Ten Commandments,