"I can't believe I get paid for this," MNU's military leader tells a beaten, bloodied alien. "I love watching you prawns die."
The filmmakers must believe moviegoers enjoy watching, too, because District 9 boasts a sky-high body count of both prawns and humansthough, frankly, there's often very little left of the bodies to count.
The aliens rarely use their own weapons, though early on we see some news footage of crashed trains and the like, suggesting the prawns sometimes caused serious damage outside the ghetto. For the most part, prawns trade their weapons for, literally, cat food. Wikus, however, kills scores of people with the horrific weaponssometimes tearing off their arms and heads, but more often they're messily vaporized, leaving behind just a spatter of blood and gore. (He can fire them because of his new alien appendage.)
Humans and prawns are punched, kicked, thrown, shot, burned, stabbed, gassed, blown up and otherwise treated poorly. A human kills a prawn, execution style, with a bullet to the head. A pack of prawns rip apart a human with their tentacles. (Blood spouts when the man's head comes off.) A bomb explodes in an office building. A small missile lodges in the forehead of a human before exploding. Prawns appear to watch the alien equivalent of a cockfight, with two small creatures battling to the death in a makeshift ring. We see a charred prawn corpse. A lab worker stretches what appears to be a prawn skin.
Wikus' transformation is incredibly painful to watch. He pulls out his own fingernails, yanks free his teeth and, finally, begins to peel away skin. Holes and sores begin to cover his fleshplaces where Wikus' burgeoning prawn body inside is working its way out. In an effort to stop the transformation, Wikus steals an ax and nearly chops off his prawn arm. (He settles for a finger.)
Because of his unique status as a human/prawn hybrid, Wikus becomes a desirable commodity for MNU. Doctors and officials poke and prod his evolving arm with needles (causing Wikus to curse and scream in pain) and eventually whisk him to a secret, Josef Mengele-style lab filled with prawn corpses and body parts. There, they strap him to a chair and force him to fire captured weapons (zapping him with electricity to make him pull the trigger). Most often, the target is a slab of meat. But the final "test" is on a living, confused prawn, whom the weapon obliterates in a cloud of blood. (Bits of the carcass spray Wikus.) Eventually, MNU decides to "harvest" everything they can from Wikus"strip him down to nothing," someone saysa fate Wikus escapes by fighting his way free from hospital personnel and holding a scalpel to the throat of a doctor.
A minor human-run crime syndicate in the ghetto also tries to separate Wikus from his armtwice, in factso the crime leader can eat it.