The recipes for making explosives in "Fight Club"

I just watched this movie tonight, and I was surprised at how casually the Brad Pitt character mentions simple ways to make napalm and nitroglycerine. I have no wish to blow myself to kingdom come, so I have no intention of trying this myself. But can anyone vouch for whether the methods described had any validity at all? And what good is “napalm” if you don’t have a plane to drop it from?

Note: Hope you’ve seen the movie. I don’t want to get in trouble with the Mods, so I’m not giving the recipes here. If a thread talking about file sharing can get shut down, the fate of one about bomb-making is certain.

In the trivia section at IMDb for this movie (link). it says:

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’d wager it is true.

It’s true. Or so Fincher says in the commentary track.

I am a soapmaker and saw the movie. While part of the soapmaking part of the movie was technically accurate (lye BURNS!!!) the thing about “skimming off the glycerine” from the soap batch to make nitro is to laugh. IF you could make nitro from glycerine by adding stuff to it, it would be FAR easier to just buy it by the gallon like a sane person.

I know nothing about making explosives, nor do I want to learn. But sounds reasonable to me that they altered that info or made it up to avoid lawsuits from some nutjob.

It’s also not quite as easy to make napalm out of orange juice as the movie would suggest.

The orange juice=napalm thing, if I remember correctly, is taken from the Anarchist Cookbook, which should be taken with a salt mine.

According to interviews of Chuck Palhuinik I’ve read, the recipes for bombs is accurate in the novel. I’ve read the novel, but never paid particular attention to those little factoids nor did I have the desire to research their validity.
We can just take Paluhunik’s word for it until the chubby kid down the street blows his finger off with improperly made plastic explosive.


The napalm recipe in the movie would not work, the napalm recipe in the book does work.

The idea of using napalm without a plane is that it sticks and burns, rather than being absorbed or lost as fumes.

Whistlepig, the kid down the street who still has all of his fingers but lost some hearing.

The book Crime as Work by Peter Letkemann explains the process for making nitroglycerine in its chapter on safecracking. It’s risky, and it’s not exactly kitchen chemistry – the ingredients, except for glycerine which can be purchased at the local drugstore, are controlled substances, if I’m using the term correctly. The government likes to know who’s using the stuff. The dream of the people who buy The Anarchist’s Cookbook is to be able to build bombs out of chemicals they can’t keep out of your hands.