I’m a 90’s kid, so I grew up playing infinite rounds of Nintendo 64 with my brother and my father. My favourite game was always Conker’s Bad Fur Daybecause the characters were so damn cool (Berri in the matrix level is the best!) and getting drunk and peeing on rock people was legitimately part of the game play. In fact, I love Conker’s Bay Fur Day so much that for the last seventeen years the Rock Solid soundtrack has woken me from slumber every day.
Not only have I brought the Rock Solid tune with me everywhere I go, it was also Conker’s Bad Fur Day that gave me the strong love for chainsaws that I have today. When playing multi-player battles, I would ALWAYS play the Tediz (Hello? Nazi style robotic teddy bear bad guys? Awesome!) and I would always get my hands on the chainsaw weapon available. Once I had the chainsaw, I was unstoppable. I was never very good at aiming in video games (In real life I shot through the head of a dummy with an AK47) so found it easier to get up and close and personal with my future victims.
It was reliable, destructive and just plain damn cool.
In a zombie apocalypse, a chainsaw will always be my favourite weapon – so much so that I designed a chainsaw wielding character in my novel Cosmic Decay: Contamination. Chainsaws are wielded in other forms of zombie related pop culture, including the epic character of Ash from The Evil Dead, in which Bruce Campbell was forced to cut off his own hand and attach a chainsaw to the bloody stump. Chainsaws were rampant in the reboot, and they are the favourite weapon on the bloody mass murderer Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series.
But in the world of online trolls, chainsaws get a lot of hate – so much so in fact that they are branded the worst weapons to use in a zombie apocalypse. The reasons behind this are pretty sound; they can be very heavy and not well balanced for use, they require either fuel or electricity to operate in which there would be no electricity and fuel would be scarce, chain and blade failure is highly possible – especially when cutting through very thick objects (the shoulder blades of a Visitor), and they are extremely noisy which alerts your presence to other zombies. It was pointed out that the blades of a sword are just as sharp and more tangible for use on the battlefield than a chainsaw would be.
In all honesty, they’re not wrong. Chainsaws look fucking cool, but as a twenty-seven year old writer who uses the pen as a sword (and maybe some Brazilian Ju Jitsu moves) there would be no way that I would be able to wield a chainsaw properly against a horde of zombies. No matter how damn cool I wanted to look or how good I was at slicing through squirrels in Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
I would like to be in defence of the use of chainsaws in the zombie apocalypse, but for once in my life I think Ash got it wrong.
Doesn’t stop me from coveting it as my dystopian survival tool though.