When Canada's James Shand patented and developed the world's first portable chainsaw in 1918, developing on the earlier work of San Francisco's Samuel J Bens (thank you, Wikipedia), could he ever have envisaged the cultural impact of this handheld power tool designed specifically for felling trees?
There's nothing quite like a chainsaw. The enormous blade, the unmistakable roar: they're inherently terrifying, patently absurd, and yet strangely alluring. This popular fascination naturally lends itself to psychoanalysis, and perhaps unsurprisingly many have suggested the chainsaw is almost never just a chainsaw. Draw your own conclusions there.
Given how easily the tool lends itself to horrendous bloodshed, it's hardly surprising that it's long since become a staple of horror cinema. Naturally, it's been utilised in some of the most extreme gore ever put on film, but in many other instances, it has served to give an adrenaline boost to confrontations which might otherwise have been a little pedestrian. Chainsaws immediately raise the stakes and boost the intensity of any given action scene or chase sequence.
Still, as prominent as the chainsaw may be in the popular consciousness, there are only so many actors who have really made the most of the formidable device - and, unsurprisingly, not one of them played a lumberjack or gardener. However, most of them did wreak bloody havoc.