In recent years, movies like Hunger Games, Brave, and The Avengers have brought an ancient weapon back into the forefront: the Bow and Arrow. Yes, while American culture is still obsessed with loud guns, archery has emerged back into the forefront, and at the recent Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles, I attended a panel discussing archery in pop culture. Here are a few fun facts that I learned from the panel.
1. Archery Classes are Growing
Two members of the panel, Patricia Gonsalves and Jim MacQuarrie, both teach archery classes when they aren’t writing about TV or working on shows like the CW hit Arrow. Both claimed that they have seen a huge increase in their classes, especially with young girls who are inspired by Katniss Everdeen and Merida from Brave. Gonsalves said that in the past year alone, her classes have increased by 33.5%.
2. Buffy’s Crossbow has been found
Many Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans have been hunting for the various props from the set ever since the show ended. One of the biggest requests was the crossbow that Buffy used so many times. Well let the mystery be gone: it is owned by Dragon Dronet, a trained swordsman and bow maker who also happens to be a prop master. Dronet showed off the crossbow proudly at the panel, and passed around a few arrows that he uses on some of his bows.
3. Hawkeye is a terrible archer
If you are an aspiring archer, then don’t takes notes on Hawkeye from the Avengers. For the most part, the panel had good things to say about the various archers on TV and movies, but everyone agreed that Hawkeye was just awful. Everyone consistently said his form and mechanics were horrible, and that it was very clear that Jeremy Renner and the powers at be with the Avengers didn’t do their research as far as the bow and arrow were concerned.
4. Immortals was just as bad
The panel also didn’t hold back when it came to the Immortals, with one person saying that they “did everything wrong.” In fact, one of the most obvious errors, if you are an archery fan that is, was the fact that the archer in the movie, who was right handed, was using a left handed bow. But as they joked a few times, “you always hit your target when the arrows are CG’d.”
5. On the flip side, Brave was by far the best
Here’s something that will shock you: Disney Pixar did their research. Ok maybe that won’t shock you. Of course it’s easy to make the archery as accurate as possible when it’s computer animations as opposed to real life actors, but according to the panel, Brave nailed it. One specific thing they highlighted was the archery contest, where they accurately showed the arrows wobbling out of the bow as opposed to shooting in a straight line.
6. Sylvester Stallone Mastered His Craft
The bow and arrow was also a favorite weapon of Stallone in his hit series of movies, Rambo. Well in the first two movies, Stallone’s mechanics were “horrible,” according to one of the panelists. However, Stallone eventually grew fond of the archery art form, and trained extensively for the final two installments of the franchise. So next time you watch the Rambo franchise, pay attention to the archery scenes, and see if you notice the differences!
7. Learn archery for the apocalypse
The panel also talked a bit about Darrell using archery in the hit AMC show “The Walking Dead.” Many of them pointed out how if the zombie apocalypse actually happened, the bow and arrow would be the most efficent weapon to use. Guns are loud, and bullets run out fairly quickly. However, archers can reuse their arrows, and kill in a much quieter and stealthier way. Archery has stood the test of time, and with it’s sudden resurgence in pop culture, it doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon!