Even when the final pieces fell in place, Jigsaw left me puzzled


Well, it’s been seven years and seven movies, but the Saw series has supposedly come to an end. Of course, there’s always an opportunity for Part 8: Jigsaw takes Manhattan and Part 9: Jigsaw Goes to Hell, because the ending leaves us open for more massacres…at least I think it does. I never really understood the Saw series past the first movie. I mean, if you’re going to make movies focused mainly on people being mutilated in various ways, you can’t expect me to then actually try to pay attention to and follow the dozens upon dozens of twists, turns, red herrings, and handing off of the mutilating responsibilities. Seriously, this series has given me a headache.

I finally watched Saw 3D—in 2D. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that I saw Piranha 3D in the theaters so when I watched it in 2D it felt so obvious that the film was meant to be in 3D (even though it originally wasn’t, it was merely converted to 3D), but Saw 3D didn’t have that same effect on me (even though it was shot to be 3D). There were no blatant “watch me burp a penis into your face” moments in Saw 3D, so I didn’t get the sense that I was missing out on something visually monumental, even when freaky sharp edged contraptions were moving slowly at the screen. Didn’t that happen in every Saw movie?

Let me get the trivial pleasures that I live for out of the way first. I’ll begin with the biggie. Shame on me for never realizing this until now, but I found out some shocking news when I recently watched the 1983 classic Private School on cable and then went online to research its soundtrack (which I scored on vinyl from Canada! But that’s a whole other blog). Mega hot 80s actress Betsy Russell, who was not only in Private School, but also other 80s flix like Tomboy and Cheerleader Camp, has been portraying Jigsaw’s wife for nearly the entire Saw series! Why didn’t I recognize her? Well, because the brunette beauty I remember now has long blonde hair and fish lips the size of something out of The Housewives of Beverly Hills (thank God for widescreen television). For all I know, Betsy was one of the housewives. Who can tell any of them apart???

Also of note is that not one, but two of the winners from VH1’s Scream Queens appear in this movie. Tanedra, season one winner, is back with some dialogue, and current reigning queen Gabby gets her winning moment—but her prize was even less of a prize than Tanedra’s, her only real dialogue being “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” They call these ‘breakout’ roles? Let’s be real here. They are CAMEOS. This is the kind of shit you can win by answering a question about what kind of hair product Robert Pattinson uses on the Twilight website and then being lucky enough to have your name randomly selected by a computer. I’m telling you, forget about making sure not to blink in order not to miss Gabby. You can be holding your eyes open with toothpicks and you still might miss her, because you can barely see her face.

One face I did recognize, however, belonged to the blond dude who played Ted’s druggy boyfriend on Queer as Folk. Wow. Never thought I’d see him in a major motion picture. One thing I’d like to see more of in a major motion porno is film star Sean Patrick Flannery’s body—without numerous sharp and pointed metal objects sticking out of it. What a hot bod he has in this film! Also showing off his bod—and peeling off more than his clothes—is the lead singer of Linkin Park as a skinhead.

What else to say about a Saw film? There are dozens of new complex traps in undisclosed locations and I still wonder how one person can um…execute so many of them so perfectly, not to mention have electricity in these God-forsaken derelict buildings. This film essentially picks up right after the 6th film, but of course there has to be some sort of new wrench thrown in to make the plot even more convoluted. Not to mention, there are victims that seem so random that they don’t even logically fit into the master Jigsaw plan. Unless I really haven’t been paying enough attention, I’m pretty sure the ultimate goal here was to just up the body count and go out with the guts and the glory.

As the film came to a close, there were some major unanswered questions (one question involving two masked figures, which is apparently answered on the DVD commentary. Big help THAT is), and I seriously did not understand most of the characters’ motives anymore. Especially since this Saw finale was like the Seinfeld finale (Sawfeld, if you will), with familiar faces dating all the way back to the first film returning as puzzle pieces that just didn’t seem to fit. And for that reason, it will be very easy to have this series return—and pretty much anyone can be the killer. So keep your eye out for Saw: the Copycat Killer Years, probably coming to a theater near us, Halloween 2014 or so. After all, if it’s Halloween, then it will be Saw again.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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