The 9 Most Effective Movie Gasses

3D is great and all, but we’re holding out for Smell-O-Vision so we can enjoy these movies more thoroughly.

3D is great and all, but we’re holding out for Smell-O-Vision so we can enjoy these movies more thoroughly.

We’re still a few years away from fully immersive movies you can touch, taste, and smell, so in the meantime we’ll just have to imagine what it would be like to get a nice whiff of these incredible movie gasses. From aerosol sprays that make you smarter to weaponized agents that reduce you to a blubbering pus bubble, here are the best and most dangerous things to ever sear a nostril.

The Joker’s Laughing Gas – Batman (1989)

The Joker’s nefarious plot to kill the citizens of Gotham City with a poisonous laughing gas hidden in personal hygiene products and, later in the movie, a parade float is the #1 reason why we don’t bathe or go to parades. Ever.

VX Poison Gas – The Rock (1996)

When pissed-off war hero General Francis X. Hummel took control of Alcatraz, he was packing some serious shit. We’ll let Stanley Goodspeed explain what, exactly, VX is: “It’s a cholinesterase inhibitor. Stops the brain from sending nerve messages down the spinal cord within thirty seconds. Any epidermal exposure or inhalation and you’ll know. A twinge at the small of your back as the poison seizes your nervous system…Your muscles freeze, you can’t breathe, you spasm so hard you break your own back and spit your guts out. But that’s after your skin melts off.” So, yeah, let’s cut the chit-chat, A-hole.

Smart Gas – Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

It’s truly a quirk of evolution that when chimpanzees get a whiff of this experimental gas, they become super intelligent and organized. When we huff from whipped cream canisters, we forget how to tie our shoes and what words are for. Go figure.

Zombie Gas – The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

When you crack open a drum filled with unidentified, military-grade toxic waste and catch a snotlocker full of a mysterious gas, being turned into a zombie should pretty much be at the top of your list of expectations. Numbers two through five on that list should be (in order): Getting turned into a walking blob of gelatin like the guy from RoboCop, sentient tumors, a sudden craving for Arthur Treacher’s shrimp balls and an unexplained appreciation for anything airing on TLC.

Spider-Villain Gas – Spider-Man (2002)/The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Waaaay back in 2002, old timey audiences shrieked in horror as a strange green gas turned Norman Osborn into a powerful super villain called The Green Goblin who could only be stopped by Spider-Man. Thankfully, they made the decision to modernize the story in 2012 by having a strange green gas turn people into powerful super villains called The Lizards who could only be stopped by Spider-Man. Otherwise, today’s audiences would be totally lost. “Green Goblins? Whatever, grandpa!”

Scarecrow’s Fear Gas – Batman Begins (2005)

Imagine a scent powerful enough to make you hallucinate your innermost fear and deepest childhood trauma. (For us? That scent is cotton candy, greasepaint, and Zima. Don’t ever ask why. EVER!) Now imagine it being wielded by a burlap-sack wearing lunatic. Powerful stuff. And yes, we do realize this is the second mention of Batman. It’s because Batman is better than Spider-Man. And yes, we will fight you.

Old People Gas – Gas-s-s-s (1971)

This little Roger Corman gem features an experimental military gas that kills anyone over the age of 25. When it leaks, it reduces the population of the country to, basically, the mosh pit of a Skrillex show. Imagine living in a world where the concerns and opinions of anyone over the age of 25 are wiped out completely. Or, you know, get a job in the entertainment industry.

Gas Gun – The Green Hornet (2011)

Batman (Yep, third mention. It’s a hat trick! Or a bat trick, if you will) swears off guns and employs only non-lethal tactics to take down baddies because he’s still recovering from his parents’ murder. The Green Hornet, however, has his cake and eats it too by creating a non-lethal gun that emits a stun gas. So he gets to take guys down without committing murder, but he still gets to hold a cool gun.