According to Mad Max: Fury Road co-writer Brendan McCarthy, Thundersticks were one of the later additions to the movie. The inclusion of this weapon forced writers to retrospectively change the design of vehicles.
Thundersticks are a basic type of thrown weapon with a few common characteristics and a number of individual elements made from recycled materials found in the wasteland. No two thundersticks are the same. The basic construction of a thunderstick is built around a stick and a container made of a can of sorts (beverage, food cans, etc) with a spring primer mounted on top.
The thunderstick head at the very end is filled with explosives. The power of explosion is purely dependent on the number of explosive containers and their size. Most thundersticks have only one container, some thundersticks have multiple cans stacked at the very end. The power of a single head thunderstick does not seem to be significant against armored vehicles; however, a skillfully thrown thunderstick is able to permanently damage the target or even destroy it.
The stick itself is covered in various different materials ranging from bicycle tires, leather, rubber and even human skin.
The "Thunderpoon" is a variation of the Thunderstick. Its name derives from a combination of Thunderstick and Harpoon. This projectile has to be fired from preferably a gas-powered weapon as it requires enough force to bury itself into the target. While most commonly seen in the Mad Max video game, Thunderpoons are fired from War Rig's escort vehicles at The Buzzards on several occasions.
Storage and transport
Thundersticks are stored in The Citadel and brought out by War Boys when needed. They are then placed onto vehicles and transported on them in specifically designed pouches and mounting spots. Common thunderstick placement configurations are at the front of the vehicle, and in the back for easy access by a vehicle's lancer.
Real World Inspiration
In design, the Thunderstick closely resembles a number of anti tank weapons employed in the second world war, in particular the Panzerschreck, and Japanese suicide bombs. While the specifics of the Thunderstick design seem to vary in a number of ways, it seems that the weapon itself works similar to a 'hollow charge' explosive. Meaning that the explosive package at the end of the Thunderstick is designed to work much like a High Explosive Anti Tank round, and less as a direct explosive. Given Immortan Joe's military background, it's entirely plausible that the Thunderstick is his own improvised design based around the older anti tank rounds and weapons.
- ↑ http://www.indiefilmacademy.com/ifa-21-mad-max-fury-road-co-writer-brendan-mccarthy/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k52rhn2w1VM Mad Max Fury Road: Tools of The Wasteland Blu Ray Extra Feature