Billion Dollar Horror


Mind-boggling to think Saw (2004), celebrating its 10th anniversary as being the genesis of the highest-grossing horror franchise in film history ($103 million box office) was, in the beginning, given a small budget ($1.2 million) and shot in less than three weeks.

Since that time, we’ve been lavished with a total of seven Saw films, which have generated nearly $880 million sawbucks worldwide. (Saw VI/2009 made a mere bus change, coming in as the least successful of the batch at $68 million. How embarrassing.)


One of the coolest aspects of the first Saw movie is Jigsaw, the main character for the first few films, never killed his prey, but rather let them decide their own fate via incredibly ingenious traps that would allow you to live if, but with its pound of flesh toll for a reason that put you there in the first place. You might lose an arm or the ability to reproduce. But hey, you’d still be a player if you survived Jigsaw’s traps. (Man, I’m glad Jigsaw didn’t put me in one of those things; I call 9-1-1 whenever I get a paper cut.)


So here’s how nearly one billion dollar’s worth of torture horror began all those years ago…

Two men trapped and chained inside an awesomely filthy warehouse restroom with no anti-bacterial wipes or a way out. There’s also two dull blade hacksaws and a dead dude laying on the floor between ’em.


An eerie tape recorded message explains why they are here and how, if they can successfully “play the game,” can get out.

This is ground zero for one of horror’s most nasty chain of events, and a highly-successful franchise that situates deserving people in brilliantly designed death traps that, if not played by the rules, ends up with body parts being gruesomely penalized in a way I can only describe as exquisite.

The hacksaws should’ve gotten screen credits.


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