M1911 draw

The M1911, from a production shot

The Colt M1911 makes a major appearance in Van Helsinki as the eponymous character's sidearm. It first appears in Van Helsinki's trousers while he sleeps, and is then placed in his holster when he dresses. Helsinki carries it for the rest of the film, eventually drawing it after he is freed from mind control. He uses it to kill Fay and then carries it in his left hand throughout all of his run to the Red Herring Church. Here it is holstered until Helsinki draws it when his attempt to stake Geoff Vampire is thwarted. He fires its remaining five shots into Geoff to no avail. The gun is then knocked from his hand in the ensuing fight. Helsinki picks it up after the fight, holstering it again, making it the only gun he carries at the end of the film, albeit with no bullets in it.

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Behind the scenes and trivia:


Van's M1911 in its shoulder holster

  • The gun was named 'Colty' (after the manufacturer, Colt) by the cast and crew.
  • It is the only gun which appears in all the same scenes as Van Helsinki (with the notable exception of the scene where Helsinki is carried by Man and Jim and then dropped, where it was left out to avoid damage to the gun).
  • This gun certainly has the most screen-time of all the weapons, as it is in Van's holster in every scene, though given it is fairly discreet, it is not visible for all this time.
  • It is interesting that while Van wears the holster so it can be drawn right-handed, and he is ambidextrous, he only draws the M1911 right handed once, after he has been saved from brainwashing, and then quickly transfers the weapon into his left hand, carrying it there until he arrives at the church, where it is holstered again. Van also draws it left-handedly when he tries to shoot Geoff, to no avail during the final fight.
  • An M1911 normally has a seven-round magazine, but the gun can also carry one in the chamber, explaining how Van can shoot it eight times without reloading (three into Fay, and five into Geoff).
  • This gun, along with Norty Nigel and the two M9's, are the first guns to be seen in the film, in Van Helsinki's bedroom.
  • Oddly, Van's M1911 is seemingly double-action, unlike most 1911's which work in a single-action manner. This can be seen when Van fires at Fay and Geoff, as he does not have his hammer cocked when he fires.
  • Van's M1911 appears to be fitted with some sort of modification which prevents the slide locking back, as when Van runs out of bullets firing at Geoff, the slide does not move. Alternatively, perhaps Van's 1911 was not loaded with .45 ACP, and was 9mm instead, though given Geoff's reaction to the bullets this is unlikely.
  • The gun was the key plot point in the alternate timeline of the fanfiction Van Helsinki: What If, where it jammed on Van, allowing Fay to shoot him.