Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight, for which he won a posthumous Oscar, is perhaps the most memorable in any superhero movie ever. One of the most memorable scenes in the entire film, however, is the Joker’s introduction following the bank robbery. A group of Gotham’s biggest gangsters are meeting when the Joker walks in offering his services. They don’t take him seriously at first, but before we know it, the Joker is ramming a pencil into some cocky henchman’s head, and nobody’s laughing anymore.
This video from Nerdist breaks down exactly how deadly that pencil trick really is. Fair warning, you’d be better off avoiding this one if you’ve got a weak stomach. Director Christopher Nolan is known for his detail-oriented directing, so it’s fitting that we have a video breaking down the specifics of what is ultimately a throwaway moment in the movie.
The video is part of host Kyle Hill’s Nerdist web series, Because Science. The show dedicates time to explaining scenes and techniques from our favorite sci-fi and horror movies using real science. Other episodes include “The Science of Star Trek’s Deflector Shields,” “Can The Flash Take a Truly Hands-Free Selfie?,” and “The Best Place to Stab a Zombie”. Check out the Joker video below, if you can handle it.
The Dark Knight is streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.
Images: Nerdist, DC, Warner Bros.