Saturday, October 28, 2006


Three years ago I downloaded Saw 1 and watched it unabashedly on my monitor. It was great to see Princess Bride cut his fat leg out of the shackle to go and die anydamnways. I had no faith in the thing, and that is why I disrespected it so. I mean, face it: horror movies suck these days and have sucked for a looooonnnng time. Modern horror films are slutty. Like diseased slutty. Like the kind of slutty that is not enjoyable and you need to take an introspective shower afterwards slutty. The kind of slutty that makes you go to the clinic. The kind of slutty that makes you wonder if you cinched up the condom high enough. Give me DePalma's Sisters. Give me Friedkin's Exorcist. Give me the Raimie Evil Dead. But this Ring/Feardotcom/Grudge/Hostel/Texas Chainsaw Massacre/House of the Dead whorish horror zone isn't worthy of anyone's respect. Yes, 28 Days Later. Yes Shaun of the Dead. Yes, the new Dawn of the Dead. Yes to Rob Zombie's attempts at making a horror show what it used to be...but by and large, Hollywood is weak, and splatter is their solution for horror. Truth in film? Perhaps. Truth in horror films? NOT A CHANCE.

Saw 1 was a step away from that. Gore was offscreen.
I had this conversation with my father the other day. I was explaining to him why I thought Tarantino is a bitch. The reason why is that Tarantino thinks I am an idiot. He has to get the camera right into the middle of the gore and show me with painstaking details what I am experiencing. I fully believe in the creatures of the Id however. If the camera backs off, then I am left with my mind to connect the dots. My mind is a brutal organ for a filmmaker to employ, lemme tellyuh. Here is my deathblow to Tarantino: Rez Dogs. The camera pulls away when the ear gets sliced. We go back to see Marvin the cop with a messed up head. We don't get to see Mr. Blonde putting in the work. However, Tarantino filmed the actual pulling of the ear...he just couldn't nail the special effect, so he covered his pretentious ass by pulling the camera away and then back in. I personally think that the scene is gold. But it wouldn't have been gold if Tarantino had been working with a budget.
Back on track:

I went to the theatre with Dave (R.I.P.) last year to see Saw 2. The stuff was dope. It was well thought out. It was a carnival of sadism with some sort of strange redemptive quality underneath it all. I dug on it. Not in the, "I will buy this DVD and watch it all the time like I do with Superfly" dug on it, but a dig nonetheless.

Yesterday, Matt and I loaded the mudguns and went to see Part 3. I went in there prepared to have nothing special happen. I am correct. Nothing special happened. Except for in the first 10 minutes. Donnie Wahlberg (superior to Marky Mark in all respects BTW)is shackled to a wall at the beginning (following right on the heels of the end of Part 2). He figures out that he has a hacksaw and that the only way to get out is to saw his foot off. But he looks around. He finds the lid to the back of a toilet. Donnie proceeds to pound the lid into the shackle. At least that is what I thought he was doing. But NO, he is breaking his foot so that he can get out of the shackle. And he does. This was one of the most badass moves I have seen in a Saw movie PERIOD.

The rest? It was alright. The gore is front and center. Gratuitous. You see bones popping. You see pig guts splashing:
You see the stump of a blown off head. You see open brain surgery. You see what you want to see, and you see it done well. You also get the cliffhanger that should drag your ass back next year. The twists are solid enough for a horror film of this type budget. Lion's Gate is known for making slutty films, and this one is much more of the "I haven't gone all out and become a full-blown whore" slutty type film, but it does have "easy" written all over it. She is easy, but she is also a good time...and you don't need to have an AIDS test afterward.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere, really. Saw 1 and 2 seemed to be more about Jigsaw's twisted way of having people face their shortcomings with some sort of torture device. How bad do you want to survive? This sort of thing. The permeating theme underneath this year's installation however, is forgiveness.

Forgiveness in a horror film? NO WAY, you say. I am serious. And Jigsaw isn't looking for the kind of forgiveness for someone taking your lunch money. He is asking for the forgiveness that you must bestow on someone who has given you a SOULWOUND. This is the truth. This is what lifts the Saw franchise above WRONG TURN or THE HILLS HAVE EYES.

If forgiveness isn't hard, then what is?

I wasn't even going to blog about this sub-par film that won't even show up if our society gets nuked and people go through the ashes in a thousand years. I wasn't going to give this film any credence, besides the fact that I was going to mention in conversation that NKOTB fokking owned this film. But then I was on Rotten Tomatoes this morning and I read a post from some religious zealot. The truth. We all want the truth. And I saw the TRUTH play out in this thread. The responses to this guy really hit home in my mind. So, into the didactic whirlpool you must go:

username999999 says:

Please understand the question. I am not asking if a Christian SHOULD see SAW III. I am not calling for a boycott.

My question is if a true Christian would be able to spend God's money and see such a horrific movie based on watching people suffering unbelievable pain and torment.

I believe some professing Christians are seeing this movie. Please post your opinion here and on our "Share Opinions and Ideas" topic. Also cast your vote on this topics poll at...

Bible Fourm

This is a standard question from a standard sterotypical Christian. WTF is a true Christian? I have no idea. But I like the way this bastard gets taken apart.

Noggy3230 responds with the blistering:

Yeah I am going to argue that Passion of Christ was a movie about torture simlar to Saw. I love the Saw series. They have been the most creative horror movies released in decades other than J-Horror films. It suppose to be entertaining thats it but if you want to bring religion into then I will.

Jigsaw only tortures people in order to help them in a sick way. He picks people have sinned so couldn't that be considered doing God's work? In the first movie, the girl that survived said that Jigsaw saved her life so you could say what that the tortures are justified.

Just don't look down on people that enjoy horror movies because they find them entertaining.

Finisher from the Bounty Hunter:

While SAW III is filled with violence, profanity, and nudity, a major theme of the movie is forgiveness. In that respect I would say that SAW III is morally higher than some of the drug and sex glorifying movies that are out there.

My opinion? If the movie can get this kind of thought and theory behind it,it can't be all bad, que no? I am not saying for one second that SAW 3 ranks up with THE DEPARTED or THE PRESTIGE for that matter...but there is some truth underneath it all, and that is what brings this franchise it's strength.

But on a final note, I think I am done with the franchise. The cliffhanger that was set up seems to me to be a little too tedious. Saw 3 is good. It has family values (err..the valuing of one's family). It has a moral standing (murder is not good). It has the quest for forgiveness. It also has a twisted old man trying to figure out what makes us all do what we do...from his deathbed. Don't take it too seriously, but understand that there is some truth here, folks. The kind of truth that you will not find in Silent Hill, Final Destination 3 or The House of Wax. Horror films. How far you have fallen? Why must I sing the praises of something slightly to the right of mediocre like Saw 3.

I think the truth of the matter here is that Hollywood and its regular consumers all need a serious enema. We are so far off the mark that it hurts. So far off of the mark that when something looks like it might be a nickel glistening on a pile of dogshit, we glom onto it. We are not looking for the diamond in the rough. We really should be looking, but it doesn't exist.