Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bookmonkey Saw: Day 25

Before we get to the final Saw film (and a minor rant I'll have about how to number sequels in a franchise - you have been warned), I wanted to spend a little time explaining why I decided to choose the Saw franchise as my focus for the last month.

1) I am a fan of the horror genre - since I was a child I've always loved scary things - it may come from being the only boy growing up in a houseful of women, or maybe because there was always something forbidden about the idea of seeing scary films and books (Stephen King novels were kept behind the librarian's desk in my school library growing up), and therefore when a new series or must-see title comes out, I'm asked by friends for my opinion. As the Saw franchise dominated theatres for seven straight years, I felt that I should take some time to check these films out.

2) I kept coming across references to the franchise throughout my regular non-horror reading and viewing habits.  Three quick examples - a) A character from one of my favourite sitcoms dressed up as the Jigsaw Killers doll (pictured right), b) I came across a reference in a book I was reading about healthy living:

"At the start of my project, I considered a triathlon but dismissed it.  I'd even watched a few YouTube videos on triathlons, including one that purported to be a motivational video.  It featured stumbling runners collapsing on the road and convulsing.  There was a woman on a stretcher.  With an IV in her arm.  That kind of motivation does not work on me.  When I watch Saw III, I don't say to myself, "Hey, I really want to be chained up in a sociopath's basement."  Same idea. (p.250)

3) The fact that the franchise stretches across Television, Comics, Movies and Video games really interested me, and unlike a series like saw Resident Evil, which has six games, almost a dozen novels, a couple animated films, and comic books as well, it seemed possible to explore the franchise in a month.

In the end, Saw has become a short-hand for popular culture to refer to extreme violence in horror films as well as the genres tendency to spawn multiple sequels - like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc., and I believe that any text which gets that degree of reference throughout popular culture deserves a critical view.

Works Cited

Jacobs, A.J. (2012) Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

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