5 Best Dressed MACs in Film

Travis Pike

Travis Pike

Today we are talking about MACs from the Military Armament Company and their offshoots. According to one MAC manufacturer, these are “the guns that made the 80s roar.” I spend a lot of time watching movies and I’ve noticed a weird trend in action movies to take MAC-style SMGs and even pistols and convert them into monstrosities in some form or another. This varies from the standard MAC 10 guns to Cobray models like the 11/9 and beyond.

Let’s take a look at all the times Hollywood took MACs and dressed them up to look like something else entirely.

Why the MACs?

A big question I wanted to know is why. Why is the MAC so popular as a dressed-up firearm. What I found were some pretty standard answers. First, they are relatively common, even for machine guns. Prop houses have MACs on hand, and they tend to be cheap. You can modify a MAC permanently and not lose something of value.

MAC 10 .45 ACP SMG, suppressed
The MAC 10 is a big, beastly, 45 ACP SMG.

Full auto MACs work well with blanks and create a giant fireball at the end of the barrel. This captures the camera and draws the eye. We can also assume that it’s easy to dress up a MAC since the design is essentially two simple squares stacked on top of each, and there is no moving slide.

Their size is a plus, too. They are massive handguns that capture the camera better. Why do you think the Desert Eagle has over 600 film and TV credits to its name?

With that said, let me illustrate what I mean. Here is my list of the top five dressed up MACs found in film. Some are genuinely cool, and some are abominations, but I’ll let you decide which.

The Five Best MACs in Makeup

1. The MAC 10 in Escape From New York

This might be the most normal-looking of the MACs in makeup. When Snake Plisken is voluntold for a mandatory fun trip to the prison island of New York City, he’s armed with a dolled-up MAC 10. In the typical gearing-up scene, we see the MAC 10 broken down.

Snake Pliskin with MAC 10
Snake rules...even if his MAC makes no sense.

Once assembled, the MAC 10 wears a suppressor with a scope attached. Let me be clear—the scope is attached to the suppressor. That’s not the best method to do things. The scope appears to be a variable optic that is more common on a hunting rifle than an SMG. Oh, and the gun doesn’t have a stock, but we get a single-point sling and holster, which Snake uses well.

2. MACs in Blade and Blade II

The first Blade film implements the MAC 11, a 380 ACP variant, as Blade’s gun of choice. This mini machine pistol is enormous but much smaller than the MAC 10 variants. Blade uses the weapon efficiently, and his super-strength makes it easy to control when fired full auto with a single hand. Blade’s MAC has a massive pseudo muzzle device attachment that makes the weapon huge.

Mini Mac in Blade movie
Blade's Mini MAC makes a great gat.

Blade II has Blade upping his SMG potential with a MAC 10 decked out for killing vampires. It is massive and made to resemble a more standard SMG rather than an oversized pistol. This MAC 10 features a muzzle extension connected to what appears to be a false magwell. Maybe it’s designed to give the MAC an MP5 K-like appearance. I’m not sure, but in the dark, it barely looks like a MAC. Oh, and it has two front sights, so you know it’s extra accurate.

Blade MAC 10
The MAC 10 is a big, beastly, 45 ACP SMG.

3. Cobray M11/9 in Spawn

Spawn hits us with two dressed-up MAC pistols, specifically the Cobray M11/9 variants. The first came about because the filmmaker wanted a P90, but the P90 wasn’t available to prop houses in 1997, and the PS90 wouldn’t come around till 2005 or so. So the armorer decked out MACs to give us a Faux 90. I think he did a great job in delivering a P90 wannabe. Its not a P90 but its still a reasonably awesome accomplishment.

The Faux 90 from Spawn is all MAC.
The Faux 90 from Spawn is all MAC.

The second Cobray is a little more pistol-like. It’s a stockless variant with a thumbhole pistol grip with an odd, unergonomic-looking back piece. At the front end is a massive muzzle device that gives the gun some gravitas. 

Cobray M11/9 variants in Spawn Movie
Both Spawn and Jessica Priest dual wield the guns throughout the movie, and they seem to be standard issue for the secretive A-6.

4. Cobray M11/9 in Robocop 3 and Cliffhanger

What’s the best way to make two old guns seem like a gun from the future? Superglue them together, duh.

The Robocop 3 and Cliffhanger armorer designed the firearm of McDaggett and Heldon to be quite the odd duck. They took a Cobray M11/9 and attached it to the bottom of the DefTech 37mm launcher. 

RoboCop with Cobray M11/9 attached to DefTech 37mm launcher
The MAC sits below the barrel and is mounted sideways on the gun and the magazine sticks out the side like some form of bizarre Sten gun contraption.

The DefTech launcher stands in as a multiple grenade launcher, and the MAC gets plenty of muzzle flash action throughout the film. As a kid, I thought this was real and was very disappointed to find out what the NFA was.

Mac 11 in Cliffhanger movie
Cliffhanger doesn't get the credit it deserves.

5. MAC 11 in Ultraviolet

Mila Jovich kicks as in a little movie called Ultraviolet. In the film, the main character Violet uses mocked-up MACs that combine the 1980s with the 1480s. Her MAC-11s aren’t just MACs but combination weapons.

Ultraviolet M11 sword
Sadly this was just a pure prop gun.

The term “combination weapons” applies to weapons that mix a gun with some form of melee weapon. In this film, the dual MAC-11s have katana blades that deploy from the pistol grip like physics-defying switchblades. Where do the magazines go? I don’t know, but I can tell where to store the katana.

More MACs

These are a few examples of the far-out MACs wearing makeup. There are some others in the film made up to look like Uzis and similar SMGs. However, I think these five really take the cake as far as getting dressed up for a role goes. MACs share an odd and dubious honor of being the method actors of the gun world.

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