Posts Tagged ‘Street’

Of Straight Razors and Demon Barbers.

Monday, May 25th, 2009

You know I have never really been a fan of straight razors. Don’t really know why. Apart from those rare occasions when they are ground into claws, brazed to copper pipes and attached to the fingers of leather work gloves, they just never really appeal to me. Normally, I find such evil and dangerous implements fascinating.

And straight razors are indeed evil. Unintentionally evil, grant you, but evil nonetheless. They are one of the few, relatively large, non surgical blades whose edge geometry is specifically designed to allow them to hold one of the keenest edges known to man. Even at the cost of strength. But in spite of my being intellectually aware of this, they just don’t *look* the part. Yes, they usually do have a little flair, but for the most part I find them waaaay to functional looking.

They are almost like box cutters to me. Equally dangerous, but they just don’t carry an aesthetic that evokes that primal awe that so many other blade designs do. Now I bring this up not for idle chitchat, but rather because I had occasion to analyze my thoughts about such a razor. Specifically a replica of the razor used by Johnny Depps character Sweeny Todd  in the movie “Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”:

Straight razor of Demon Barber Sweeney Todd

Straight razor of Demon Barber Sweeney Todd

Now this is a nice looking razor. I’m not saying it isn’t. The thing is, it just doesn’t speak to me. I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know if there is any real significance to it, but on the surface, it looks to me like the miniature equivalent of a machete. Just like any other razor. All go, no show. Well maybe a little show. But not quite enough show.

The funny thing is that, shortly after Sweeney Todd came out, having been glamorized by the movie, there was a sudden surge of custom straight razors on the market. Here’s another example I found somewhat more attractive:

Tom Anderson Raze Tac Custom Straight Razor

Tom Anderson Raze Tac Custom Straight Razor

Arguably a much more modern design approach to the straight razor, and it certainly looks the part..  Black micarta scales with beautiful shiny accents, all rising up into what looks like it’s gonna be a sweet looking blade, and then… disappointment. It still looks like a folder horribly abused. So horribly mutilated that the doctor recommended that the tip be amputated. Sigh.

Here’s an arguably more cutting edge design:

Custom Straight Razor - Blue Widow Web

Custom Straight Razor - Blue Widow Web

So now maybe we’re getting somewhere. This design eschews the classic straight razor grip for a contemporary designer folder grip. Not a bad look. Personally I thought it could have done without the spider web  motif, but hey. But yet again… as my eyes travel up from the hilt, that sinking feeling returns. Dagnabbit!

OK, so I admit I am biased towards points. And curves. And organic shapes. Perhaps with a few more curves or something, I might find straight razors more appealing. But that would defeat the point of a “straight” razor. And in any case, I think it’d be like lipstick on a pig. I dunno if it’s possible to gussy up a straight razor enough to make it look good,  without changing the very things that make it a straight razor.

But who knows. Maybe my expectations are a little high…

Tom Andersons Raze Tac – [True Swords]
Sweeny Todds Straight Razor – [True Swords]
Custom Straight Razor – Blue Widow Web – [True Swords]

Sweet New Razor fingered Nightmare Gloves!

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Ok, so a long while back some of the guys over at the Exotic Automatic forums happened to run into a site that specializes in a very special set of bladed gloves.

Nightmare Gloves - On Fire

Nightmare Gloves - On Fire

None other than the razor tipped gloves of Freddy Krueger from “A nightmare on Elm St.”. To be honest, I had planned to make a post about them a long time ago, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. But now, I present you with one of the first and most feared horror movie claws of all time. Freddy Kruegers Razor Gloves:

Nightmare Gloves - Display

Nightmare Gloves - Display

Seeing the copper tubing brace on my last post reminded me of this one, because Freddy’s claws were, in fact, made of cut down razor blades, ground into talons, brazed to copper tubing, and attached to leather work gloves. You can see this in the pic below. Yeah… Pretty cool actually. Notwithstanding the fact that a set of large, finger tip mounted blades are highly impractical, due to the fact that you would really have to be careful not to hurt yourself when using it, no one could really accuse Freddy of not being resourceful.

Nightmare Gloves - Assembly Line

Nightmare Gloves - Assembly Line

Anyway, the site, Nightmare Gloves pretty much specialize in what I’ll be calling “Freddy claws” for lack of a better description, and did a fine job of capturing every nuance of the original in their replicas. Anyway, if you are interested in Freddy’s legacy, you can head on over to Nightmare Gloves to see what they are up to these days…

Nightmare Gloves - Blood Red

Nightmare Gloves - Blood Red

Just a word of warning… Don’t go to sleep afterwards… 😀

Freddy’s claws – [Nightmare Gloves]

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