In 1982, Hollywood released a motion picture whose impact on the custom knife industry rivaled, or surpassed, that of The Iron Mistress. • He also discarded the notion of casting the handles (or any other parts of the knife). This grip provides the knife’s user with better balance for close-up work or more leverage for difficult tasks. In the released version of the film, the Commando and Scorpion knives appear very briefly. The Commando sells for $300.00 (in 1986 prices). The alternative was to fabricate the handle out of a solid block of steel. Of course, it will be accompanied by a formidable price tag. However, Crain has introduced a special limited edition set containing both the LS-1 and the Commando. Our knives are only available for purchase through our Authorized Dealers. Shaw reported that Schwarzenegger had seen a Life Support knife. Crain says that, in general, a single row of teeth cuts better and binds less. “Knives have a bad enough reputation,” he states. All of the Bowies from The Iron Mistress are in a private collection, and they are not likely to be sold in that collector’s lifetime. None of them had been broken and returned. Caribou Media Group earns a commission from qualifying purchases. However, he regrets the film’s timing. He requires creative input from the filmmakers, either the producer or director or the actor who will carry the knife. Hollywood is sold on the custom knife, and knifemaker Jack W. Crain of Weatherford, Texas, has reason to be pleased. In January of 1985, Crain’s agent was contacted by Tom Shaw, the propmaster of a soon-to-be-made motion picture which would be called Commando. Occasionally a knife will surface which purports to be the Bowie knife used by Alan Ladd in The Iron Mistress. Because one of Crain’s knives has recently “co-starred” in a Hollywood production. Crain attempted to correct this problem by strengthening the tang and then welding it into the handle. The series, restricted to 50 numbered sets, sells for $1,500. However, he offers a double row of teeth as an option. Hays was a legendary Texas Ranger during the period when Texas was a Republic. Starting at the hollowed handle and watertight top, the machined grenade pattern of the handle transitions seamlessly into … Rather, he would incorporate his own notions of what a combat-survival knife should be. Then the movie folks requested that Crain design a “small and concealable stiletto-type” knife for Matrix to carry. He occasionally returns to the forge to make a damascus blade. There may be a sequel to Commando he states, adding, “We’ve been approached to make some knives for other movies. The single-edged, spear-point blade is flat-ground and measures six inches by one and one-quarter inches by three-sixteenths of an inch. Matrix carries it on the front of his combat vest throughout the second half of the movie and utilizes it in the final confrontation with his arch-nemesis, Bennett (portrayed by Vernon Wells). However, he had previously been commissioned by a private company to develop a limited edition of 50 small “all-around survival knives” to be called Scorpion. Handmade knives flourished in the years following The Iron Mistress and Jack Crain was part of the ensuing Renaissance of custom cutlery. They are manufactured to his exacting specifications. Later, he adopted the stock-removal method.
More people are writing and calling. On many survival knives, the tang is a short, thin rattail which is merely epoxied or bolted into the handle. And since he prefers to make Bowie knives over all other styles, he assumes that the movie influenced his career as well. However, he assumed the responsibility of recalling and replacing every knife he could locate. Actor & Leather Supplier, Adam Drescher, Appears in Clint Eastwood Movie, “The Mule”, Dietmar Pohl To Make Two Knives for Rambo 5: Last Blood, Battle at the U.S. Border: Tackling Counterfeit Knives, Hidden Blood Bladders? He also notes that it would be extremely unlikely for anyone to find one of his LS-1 knives in an army surplus store, as Matrix did in the movie (above). A decade later he became a full-time maker and joined the Knifemakers Guild. “It would have been more convenient if the movie had come out last year-or next year,” he states. That film was First Blood, and it showcased a handmade survival knife built by James B. Lile. He liked it and wanted to include it in the movie. The knife, a model Crain calls the “Life Support System I,” was recently featured in the popular motion picture Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. A Bowie knife found on the San Jacinto battlefield (and currently on display at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco) provided the design for the Captain Jack Hays series of 20 knives. He would not replicate Lile’s design or any other pattern. Who Designed the Knives Used in Rambo 5: Last Blood? “They treated us real well,” he recalls. Within the movie’s limited production schedule, there was simply no time for Crain to design and construct another new knife.
The Bowies for both sets were loosely patterned after the Bart Moore knife, which allegedly belonged to Jim Bowie. Read more from BLADE‘s archives in this collection. Disclosure: These links are affiliate links. “Actually, the movie has slowed my production,” Crain reports. The Knives of “The Last of the Mohicans”. The end result was the Life Support System I, which featured a nine-inch by two-inch by 1/4-inch blade, flatground for strength. Then came a 20-piece series commemorating Isaac Millsap, one of the Alamo defenders. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. However, it was Commando that solidified Crain’s reputation as a knifemaker to Hollywood. Some knives had changed hands and were lost; a few collectors had prototype knives and refused to return them. Contrary to the film’s publicity, Crain did not make the D-guard combat knife carried by Bennett in the movie. An In-Depth Look at the Knives of Rambo: Last Blood. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. Jack Crain passed away in September 2016 at the age of 70. He has also added D-2 as an alternative steel for the knives with a matte finish. “I had several pleasant conversations with the producer of Commando, Joel Silver,” states Crain.
Crain secured permission for the Scorpion to be used in the movie, and serial numbers eight and nine were shipped to Hollywood. Showing 1 - 12 of 12 items Microtech Jagdkommando Knife Fixed Blade (7.13" Bead Blast) 105-7 However, Crain became dissatisfied with the quality of the 1095 and later substituted 01 steel on the black-finished knives.
He stresses that knives are sometimes favored by the “good guys,” too. His fellow knifemakers have cautioned him that the popularity of the Bowie is waning. Crain thoroughly enjoyed watching Commando, noting that it was “fast-paced and fun.” However, he does not recommend that his customers try to emulate Matrix by throwing their Scorpion and Commando knives. But he admits to having watched The Iron Mistress “several hundred times.”. Another distinctive feature of the LS-1 is the cut-out at the choil. However, during strenuous testing he discovered that his blades were still vulnerable at the junction. “People associate them with street gangs and psychopathic killers in the ‘slasher’ movies. Although it has not yet appeared in any movies, Crain reports that the LS-2 has been more popular than its big sister with campers and backpackers and others who actually want a using knife. Sets have been presented to Arnold Schwarzenegger and producer Joel Silver. “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making knives,” he states. Thus, these knives are liable to break at the guard. *Blade steel for 2020 will be Carpenter CTS 204 P / Carpenter XHP / Bohler M390 / Bohler ELMAX®. The Life Support System I still costs $450 (in 1986 prices). Here is the complete article about his work for that action film. That film, a romanticized biography of James Bowie starring Alan Ladd, had a tremendous impact on the early custom knife industry. Crain also makes the Life Support System 11, a scaled-down version of the LS-I with a seven-and-three-quarter-inch by one-and-three-quarter-inch by one-quarter-inch-blade. A single row of sawteeth is standard on the LS-1. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. He’s best remembered for the knives he supplied for many Hollywood movies, including Commando, Predator, Road House, Predator 2, Demolition Man and Executive Decision. We’re considering it.”, Copyright © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); Caribou Media Group | All rights reserved. In fact, Crain will not permit one of his knives to be used by the villain in a film. “The thing that impressed me,” remembers Crain, “was that these people were trying to get actual working guns and knives-no dummy props.”. Initially, Crain forged his blades. It was a model with a black finish that was “discovered” by Hollywood and featured in the Airwolf series. None of Crain’s knives are mass produced. Head to our Find A Dealer page to locate a dealer near you! Crafted from solid billet, the machining behind the Jagdkommando® (German for mountain hunter) is highly impressive. “It was quite enjoyable working with them.” Crain adds that Twentieth-Century-Fox provided him with the movie’s press kits and forwarded all inquiries about the knives directly to him. Suddenly the market was flooded with both factory and custom knives featuring sawteeth and hollow handles. Indirectly, explains Crain, the relationship between Hollywood and the custom knife began about three decades ago with the motion picture The Iron Mistress. Crain complied by developing the Commando model. But he determined that the wall thickness of the tubing was too thin. Crain’s agent took several Life Support knives to California. Crain has another rule which applies whenever he is asked to design a knife for a movie. Thank you! That knife, explains Crain, was composed of a factory blade attached to the handle of a 1918 trench knife. The hollow handle of the LS-1 provided other problems. The seamless, yet functional, design of this knife is brought together by grooved faces and drilled holes.
Crain thinks so. The knife is also available with either a square or sharpened back instead of the sawteeth. Limited edition commemorative Bowie knives have become Crain’s specialty, because they allow him to merge his talent for knifemaking with his passion for Texas history. Since such knives are essentially modified Bowies, the task would appear simple for a Bowie knifemaker. These knives featured a six-inch by one-inch by three-sixteenths-inch blade with a sharpened top edge and a double row of sawteeth.
| Privacy, The Story Behind Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Knives in “Commando”.
The blade's three sharpened edges twist as they come to a point while the grooved faces feature drilled holes that flow seamlessly together.
The knife also appeared in the Airwolf television series, and later this season it will appear in an episode of The Fall Guy.
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