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Old 08-29-2006, 10:18 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Texas
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Default RE: knockdown power... fact or myth?

ORIGINAL: Anthony T.

ORIGINAL: zrexpilot


Yeah, Brandon Lee killed himself with a blank!
Wound channel, or energy, whatever you want to call it, it takes velocity and weight to do it! To a certain extent, it doesn't matter, more velocity and less weight, or more weight and less velocity! You can't over do it, but you can under do it!
Not so. That pistol had a bullet lodged in the barrel from earlier testing with low velocity bullets or something they were doing, then when it came time to film they put blanks in it and it was just enough to get that bullet out of the barrel and kill him.
Not exactly, the bullet grazed him, leaving a flesh wound. The impact from the blast killed him.

Not exactly not even close. Copied and pasted

As filming finally neared completion, eight days from wrap to be exact, yet another accident would rock the slip-shod production. Several prop masters, in an attempt to save time and money, made a grave decision regarding some bullet cartridges that were to be used for a scene involving a close-up shot of a handgun being fired. During the scene, the gun was loaded with "dummy" cartridges, which are used for close-up shots because they contain the actual projectile on the end of the cartridge but contain no gunpowder. (It looks more realistic if the viewer can see the bullet tips in the pistol's cylinders.) It seems that the prop department didn't have any of these "dummy" cartridges on hand, so rather than shut down the production for the night, some Bozo decided that he'd "rig" some of the live rounds. They removed the gunpowder from the cartridges and replaced the bullet tips thereby giving them the "dummy' rounds that were needed for the close-up shots. At some point, one of the tips would unknowingly come loose from the cartridge and lodge itself in the barrel or cylinder of the handgun. (The subsequent investigation never conclusively determined how or why the bullet tip came dislodged.) This seemingly innocuous oversight would not only set up the tragic event that ended up shutting down production after all, but it would also provide Morbidly Hollywood® with its next fascinating tale of death and morbidity.

As shooting of the close-up scenes finally wrapped, it was now time to move on to the scene in question. It would call for a wide shot of Brandon's character being shot from a handgun that was loaded with "blank" cartridges. These blanks were loaded into the handgun not knowing that somewhere in the barrel or cylinder, there was a whole or piece of a dislodged bullet. "Blank" cartridges are different from "dummy" cartridges in that the blanks are loaded with highly explosive powder to give the handgun the smoke and muzzle flash associated with having fired a live round.

Filming was taking place in Eric (Brandon's character) and Shelley's apartment. The scene called for Brandon to enter a room where actor Michael Massee was to shoot him using a revolver loaded with blanks. Brandon, wearing black leather jacket and boots, and a t-shirt bearing the prophetic phrase "Hangman's Joke" entered the room carrying a sack of groceries. As the .44 caliber revolver fired from about 12-15 feet away, Brandon set off the "squib" which is supposed to simulate bullets hitting the grocery bag. Brandon then collapsed to the floor, bleeding profusely from his right side. Many later commented that they noticed he did not hit the floor in the same manner as he had in rehearsals. Brandon groaned and signaled with his arm that he was hit but everyone was too busy with his individual roles to notice. The director yells "cut" but Brandon doesn't get up.

Brandon was rushed by ambulance to the nearby New Hanover regional Medical Center in Wilmington located at 2131 S. 17th Street. Upon his arrival he still had vital signs and it was decided to perform emergency surgery to stop the bleeding. The bullet created a quarter-sized hole in his lower right abdomen before perforating his stomach and several more vital organs. The "bullet" finally came to a rest next to his spine.

The doctors couldn't stop the severe internal hemorrhaging. He died in the hospital at 1:03 pm on March 31st, 1993, 12 plus hours after the shooting. The investigation determined that the tip of the "dummy" shell had come dislodged and remained in the barrel unnoticed. The "blank" cartridge fired with enough force to propel the broken bullet tip out the barrel and into Brandon.

The official cause of death is listed as gunshot wound of the abdomen. His body was flown back to Washington state where he was buried on April 3rd next to his father in Lake View Cemetery. The next day a memorial service was held at his actress friend, Polly Bergen's house in the Hollywood hills where many celebrities attended including David Carradine, Kiefer Sutherland, David Hasselhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips and Steven Seagal.

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