This odd-looking naval whistle is known as a boatswain (or bosun) pipe, call or whistle. In Mad Max beyond Thunderdome (1985), the main character, Max, uses it as a secret weapon to defeat Master Blaster in the Thunderdome.
A boatswain, or bosun, is an officer in charge of hull maintenance on a merchant ship. Also known as a petty officer, or a deck boss, the boatswain is in control of the deck crew, anchors, rigging and cables.
The boatswain call is a whistle used to communicate commands on a ship, where voice commands would otherwise not be heard because of the volume of sea noise or inclement weather. There are over a dozen commands that can be called using the bosun pipe.
Mad Max beyond Thunderdome is a 1985 movie starring Mel Gibson and Tina Turner. In the post-apocalyptic Australian desert, Max (played by Gibson) gets his camel-driven wagon stolen by an airplane-flying bandit. Max’s pet monkey manages to throw a number of items out of the back as it speeds off. Among those items are a pair of boots holding a boatswain’s pipe.
Max wanders into the nearest town, Bartertown, to look for his wagon. There, he negotiates a deal with the town’s boss, Aunty Entity (played by Turner) to get rid of Master Blaster, who is challenging her authority. Master Blaster is a duo made up of a little person riding on the back of a large, strongman.
Max picks a fight with Master Blaster, and soon he is battling Blaster to the death in the Thunderdome, a large metal cage. After several minutes of fighting, Max blows the whistle, causing debilitating pain to Blaster’s sensitive ears.
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