It’s hard to look at a chainsaw and not immediately think of using it to carve a path through a zombie horde, chop up drug dealers in the bathroom, or chase a woman through the woods. This is evidence of a brain subjected to lifetime of cinematic shock and awe perpetrated by the raging teeth of the gasoline-powered implement of destruction preferred by psychos everywhere –– the chainsaw.
If you find yourself wanting to be a chainsaw murderer, chances are you’ve seen way too many horror movies. It’s a loud, heavy weapon, that awkward to wield and requires gasoline or a power cord to run. You’re probably better off picking up an axe the way Lizzy Borden allegedly did before giving her father 40 whacks.
So the chainsaw is not the obvious choice for a psycho on the go, but you’re different. You’ve got style. You like to make a mess of shit, and you don’t care who knows when you’re doing it.
Chainsaws have made a big splash on the big screen.
Some people credit the film Dark of the Sun with being the first to feature a chainsaw as a weapon. I can’t personally verify if this is true, but I’m going to go with it until I find information about a movie that precedes it. Dark of the Sun was one of Jim Brown’s early roles in film. It was his third film, and was released just one year after The Dirty Dozen in 1968. If Dark of the Sun truly is the first movie to feature chainsaw violence, it’s just one more feather in Jim Brown’s super-stylish, I’m-one-of-the-baddest-men-to-ever-walk-the-Earth cap.
The lineage of the chainsaw as a weapon is one of cinema royalty with Herschell Gordon Lewis and Wes Craven being among the first to use it.
The roots of the saw might lie with the Godfather of Gore and an undeniable master of horror, but it was Tobe Hooper and Texas Chainsaw Massacre that made using a chainsaw world famous.
So the stylish psycho with an eye for pop culture significance might want to think about starting his career as a chainsaw murdering psycho with these chainsaws made famous by the movie murdering icons of the day:
Bob Dylan went electric and he never looked back.
On those Saturday afternoons when the neighbors are all out in the yard barbecuing and drinking beer and you’ve got to carve up some turkey you have chained up in the shed, it’s time to think about going electric too.
The Remington EL was the saw used by the Montag the Magnificent’s stage show in the Herchell Gordon Lewis movie Wizard of Gore (1970). The Remington EL is quiet, effective, and will saw right through a woman’s guts without hesitation.
The biggest drawback is the fact it’s an electric saw. The extension cord guarantees you’ll have to be near a plug in or leave miles of extension cord behind you. It’s a home court saw if there ever was one. If Bob Dylan can go electric, so can you.
The EL also has the panache of being an antique saw. The original EL, like the one seen in Wizard of Gore, was introduced on the market in 1956. It’s the kind of saw Ed Gein might have used!
The Homelite XL isn’t one of the most popular chainsaws ever made for the consumer set for nothing, this thing gets the job done.
The Homelite XL is the perfect saw for the job because it’s lightweight won’t wear you out when you’re stalking victims in the woods, or hacking your way through a crowd of people. At some point, you’ll be glad you have the XL, which weighs about 10 pounds, versus one of those professional grade saws that weigh two or three times that much.
Homelite took chainsaws out of the logging industry and put them into everybody’s garage. When the XL-12 debuted in 1963, it revolutionized the industry with it’s small stature and weight of a measly 12 pounds. It sold 50,000 units it’s first year on the market and would go on to sell 1.5 million over the next 23 years before Homelite introduced the next generation of XL saw.
Ash Williams strapped one to the end of his arm where his hand used to be in the Evil Dead series, Angel gets chopped up with one in Scarface, and if I’m not mistaken, it made an appearance in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers too. The Homelite XL is also a favorite among chainsaw art carvers, so if you’re the creative type, you can get very detailed in your dismemberments and disembowelments.
If you’re the type of chainsaw killer who just has to have as much style in your choice of saw as you do performance, and you’re tired of the old-fashioned red, yellow, orange saws typically found on work sites, then the puke-green and purple Wild Thing from Poulan is the perfect saw for you.
Ok, it might not be exactly puke green, but it’s damn close! But don’t let the color fool you, this is no light-weight saw. It’s 23 pounds and 40cc’s of easy-starting, flesh-ripping, power.
Pumping the primer bulb on this thing is a pleasure, just ask Chainsaw Sally, the chainsaw goddess herself, who prefers this model over the many saws she’s used to keep Porterville on its toes.
If you are the type of chainsaw psycho who likes to pay homage to everyone who has ever used a chainsaw in a violent way throughout the history of film, then the McCulloch 3-10 is the saw for you.
As we pointed out, there are many who attribute the first chainsaw battle on film to a movie called Dark of the Sun. The bright yellow saw being swung around in this movie was a 15-pound, McCulloch chainsaw. Sure, you might have to spend much of your time trying to keep this 45-year-old saw running, but there won’t be anybody else out there anywhere, who is also currently using one of these bad boys. It’s the chainsaw equivalent of shooting someone with a black powder pistol.
Admittedly, there might be a chainsaw geek out there who will argue that it is actually not a McCulloch 3-10 in Dark of the Sun. Those trolls are assholes and should be ignored. The 3-10 was the new model at the time the movie was filmed, and it looks just like the one in the movie, however, it might actually be a 4-10, 5-10, or LG-6A, but when you’re sawing off someone’s legs I doubt they’ll notice the difference, and if they do, fuck ‘em! They won’t tell anybody when you’re through with them.
Saws for the I Wanna Be Like Leatherface Sheep
So you don’t like going with the more obscure odes to the chainsaw, and are determined to just mimic the most famous chainsaw psycho of all time, Leatherface, huh? Well, if you must be so blasé, you have a ton of options to go with, almost all of which are big-ass saws that’ll wear a brother out in a marathon of a foot chase through the woods, but if that’s okay with you, then…
We’ve all seen these saws at work, and we all know to be careful to keep them away from our legs when we fall down, so I’ll just leave the narrative out of these.
This is the original saw, from the original movie, featuring the original cannibalistic chainsaw-loving family. There isn’t a more iconic saw on the planet. The only modification you need is to add a longer bar to it, and you’re set to pretend you’re Leatherface.
Some sources say Bill Johnson used a Craftsman 4300 saw in TCM2 (1985), but you try searching for one of those online and see what you get… several posts claiming that was the saw used, but no actual saws to look at. The source claiming it was a Craftsman 4300, also said it was a model that was made by Poulan for Craftsman, and that could be. The Poulan 4900 was in production around the time TCM2 was made, and it looks a lot like the saw in the film if you paint it red. Either way, you’re going to fuck somebody’s world up with this behemoth.
From Leatherface 3 (1991), the saw was chromed out and customized for this flick, but at it’s core, it’s still a Stihl 066 Magnum.
It’s the one used in Next Generation, aka the McConaughey Special (1994).
Used in the remake and the prequel, so if you are the type of chainsaw killer who looks up to these flicks and want to use the Leatherface saw from these two, hey, I can’t stop you, but why? God, why? You are the perfect sheep for the type slaughter perpetrated by a real hard-core chainsaw-crazy psychopath.
Choose your saw carefully my friends. They have been known to become part of the family.