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Hello Gasmii! P-Baby here for another great start to a Horrorgasm weekend! I had such a good time recapping Candyman last week and got tons of great suggestions for the next serving. Due to my self-imposed laziness, I’m limited to what’s on Netflix Instant Play or already in my movie collection. Unable to make a decision, I took to my book o’crappy movies, closed my eyes and left my doom up to Chester Cheetah. Well, as fate has it, my cheese-covered finger landed on the Cary Elwes masterpiece Saw.
I have very fond memories of this film. I went to see it in the movie theater on a whim since it was close to Halloween 2004 and the other option was a depressing movie about a blind guy. I went in not really knowing what it was supposed to be about, but anything seeming like a low-budget B movie draws me in like a fly to shit. Color me surprised when it turned out to be so bad that it became something completely fucking awesome. Adding to the awesomeness was of course Cary Elwes, though homeslice may want to think about laying off the Twinkies.
The movie opens with a strange, unconcious man waking up suddenly in a filthy bathtub filled with crystal clear water shipped from the exotic coast of New Jersey. Don’t worry, strange man, at least one person is having a worse bath tub experience than you.
He realizes that he is chained to the bathroom pipes by way of his ankle and starts to yell for help. A voice starts talking to him, telling him that yelling is going to do him no good. It belongs to the majestic Cary Elwes, who somehow manages to throw his voice to make it sound like he is talking to the strange man from the bottom of a well even though he is standing approximately 12 feet away. That’s a neat super power, but also a little creepy.
The lights come on suddenly and the strange man sees Cary chained to the other side of the bathroom as well as a dead man laying in a pool of blood in the middle of the floor with a gun in his hand. Mr. P-Baby would like me to point out if that dead blood-soaked man had actually shot himself, he wouldn’t still be hanging onto the gun. Mr. P-Baby fancies himself quite the couch detective.
Strange Man throws up upon seeing the dead guy and starts freaking the fuck out ripping at his chains. Yes, Strange Man, typically when you’ve been knocked out, kidnapped, and chained to a decrepit bathroom by a really pissed off psychopath, it’s a cinch to escape.
Anyway, Cary tells him to calm down repeatedly. I gotta ask, why the hell is Cary so calm? He’s just as fucked as the strange man, and also extraordinarily sweaty.
Cary introduces himself to the Strange Man as Dr. Lawrence Gordon who also just woke up chained in the bathroom and has no idea what’s going on. He starts asking the Strange Man a billion questions such as if he recognizes the dead guy, if he has any idea how he got there, etc. Strange Man doesn’t remember anything. Dr. Gordon makes the astute observation that by the looks of these chains, someone didn’t want them to go very far.
Strange Man starts dancing around lifting up his shirt, asking Dr. Gordon if he can see any scars, as he thinks that maybe a kidney or two has been stolen from him for sale on the black market. Strange Man probably wouldn’t be so mobile if two of his major organs required for staying alive were just harvested from his body. I was out for a week after I had my wisdom teeth pulled and those don’t even have anything to do with filtering pee, at least I’m pretty sure they don’t. I can’t say with utmost certainty, as I’m not a surgeon like Dr. Gordon, who informs the Strange Man that he would be in terrible agony or dead by now, trust me. Thanks Dr. Gordon, for your expert opinion.
Strange Man finally tells Dr. Gordon that his name is Adam. Since Dr. Gordon is apparently not rattled at all by his kidnapping and chaining, he tells Adam they need to start thinking about why they are there, since they’d already be dead if that was the goal. Dr. Gordon notices the clock on the wall is brand new and deduces that their kidnapper wanted them to be aware of the time.
Dr. Gordon and Adam both find little cassette tapes in their pocket, along with a tiny key. Immediately they both try to undo their chains with this key. No surprise here when the key fails to open either set of chains. While I admittedly would attempt the same, my rational inner voice would be saying, “Damn it P-Baby, you know that key isn’t going to open your dungeon chains. Pull your head out of your ass and hang on to they key for later when it will inevitably become a crucial plot point in the movie.”
Anyway, once they manage to snag the tape recorder in the middle of the room with a little MacGyver action, they find out that Adam has to figure out a way to escape the bathroom while Dr. Gordon must kill Adam by 6 pm or face losing his wife and daughter and be left to die. That really sucks for those guys.
Somehow, Dr. Gordon has the hearing ability of a dog and manages to pick up a hidden message on his tape, which informs Tweedledee and Tweedleduh to follow their heart. Adam sees a cute little heart on the rancid toilet next to him and decides to go deep sea diving in the brown water to find another clue. I’ve seen this movie at least 10 times and that scene makes me puke in my mouth every single time.
This brings me to P-Baby tidbit #4: I hate using public restrooms almost as much as I hate people allergic to turn signals. Almost. I’d rather risk sharting in my drawers all day at work than take a dump there. Diaretics are my enemy, which is unfortunate as I subsist on Diet Pepsi. Thems are the breaks, I guess. Moving on.
The clue is in fact in the back part of the toilet and turns out to be two hacksaws in a bag. Numbnuts #1 and #2 immediately use the tools to start sawing away at their chains. I’m no rocket scientist, but I’d imagine that the average joe on the street would realize that a hand saw is not going to cut through a half inch of steel or iron chain. I’d also expect more from someone who’s been through medical school.
And now for the piece de resistance of this entire mess. My boy Dr. Gordon does the math and comes to a realization.
After making this startling discovery, Dr. Gordon thinks he may know who is behind this predicament. I’d like to interject that this movie was way cooler before these extreme adventure sports people started cutting off their own limbs with pocket knives in order to survive. These loser pale in comparison.
He starts to tell Adam about the Jigsaw Killer as the scene transitions to two detectives, played by Danny Glover and Rad (Random Asian Dude), arriving at the scene of a gruesome death. The nickname for the killer isn’t all that accurate as he never directly kills anyone, rather sets the stage for the victims who undergo either physical or psychological suffering to survive or end up dead. He sounds like a really sweet, compassionate fellow who probably takes in strays and nurses them to health when he’s not busy setting up tortuous traps for unsuspecting victims.
I can’t help but think Nickelodeon Guts would have rocked so much harder if they had Jigsaw at the helm of designing their challenges. Mike O’ Malley would still be chained to the crapper in the back and Moira Quirk would have become his Stockholm Syndrome suffering sex slave.
The first Jigsaw trap we see is known as The Wiretrap. Unbeknownst to Ryan, Jigsaw has been up bright and early tampering with the Nickelodeon soundstage.
Jigsaw leaves a tape at each scene explaining what the person must do in order to stay alive. He cuts a puzzle piece of flesh out of each victim upon their death. We see a second scenario in which some dude is barefoot and naked, covered in flamable stuff in a room full broken glass. He’s got some kind of poison in his system and the antidote is in a safe in front of him. All he’s got to do is walk around, use the lone candle in the room and figure out the combination which is written all over the walls. I saw Home Alone when Marv breaks into the house through the window and steps on all those ornaments and it looked as though it hurt like a bitch. Dude of course fails and catches himself on fire.
We transition to another flashback pre shit and chains where Dr. Gordon is teaching medical students about an quickly declining patient with cancer. Ben from The Others wanders in and apparently beform he was abandoned on the island, he worked as a hospital orderly. He informs the group that the patient’s name is John and he is actually quite an interesting lad when he’s awake. That smug bastard Dr. Gordon blows Ben off, which we all know by now is the wrong fucking answer.
Dr. Gordon is called away from the orderlies and meets with Detective Danny Glover so he can question Dr. Gordon as to his whereabouts the night prior. They want to ask him a few questions at the police station though Dr. Gordon refuses to go. Rad cops a baditude, and Detective Danny wants to know why a pen light of Dr. Gordon’s was found at the scene of Jigsaw’s last crime. After this inquisition. Dr. Gordon agrees to go down to the station for further questioning and we find out that he was having an affair.
At the station, Dr. Gordon talks to the only known survivor of Jigsaw’s traps, a woman named Amanda Young. She is a heroin addict who just barely escaped a reverse bear trap set on her jaw, though she believes her brush with a gruesome death has made her a better person.
After escaping the trap, this cute little fella straight off a bike ride from hell arrives to congratulate Amanda on a job well done.
The investigation of Dr. Gordon took place 5 months prior to the shit and chain scenario and he is certain that he and Adam have fallen victim to Jigsaw. Adam needs a bit more convincing and picks up a piece of glass threatening to cut Dr. Gordon. Seriously Adam, how are you ever going to do that?
He figures out that they are being watched when the glass he picks up is a two way mirror. He smashes a mirror in the bathroom and they discover a video camera behind it. Adam questions Dr. Gordon as to how he can be so calm in such a dire situation, to which Dr. Gordon lets Adam know he is extremely concerned about his family and can’t stop thinking about the last thing he said to his daughter.
Transition to Dr. Gordon’s daughter sleeping peacefully in her bed. She is woken up by her wind chime blowing in her room and goes to her mom’s bedroom to tell her there is a man in her room. Mom, by the way, is played by Monica Potter. Daughter tells Mom that she wants Dr. Gordon to check her room and get the man, but he is otherwise occupied at his computer. He eventually tucks her in, letting her know she is safe and sound from the man, but is abruptly called away by his pager. We find out that Dr. Gordon and Monica are in the midst of a bit of marriage trouble.
Meanwhile, back at the shitter, Dr. Gordon throws Adam his wallet so he can see a picture of his daughter. Adam asks to see a picture of his wife as well and discovers a polaroid of Wife and Daughter bound and gagged with a clue from Jigsaw about X marking the spot. Adam is a douche and hides the picture from Dr. Gordon.
Back at the Gordon residence, this happens and I shit myself a little.
Monica runs to the bedroom after hearing her daughter’s screams and I shit myself some more.
Unfortunately for Dr. Gordon’s wife and daughter, this is not Casper the friendliest ghost in town, it’s actually Ben the Orderly who is now holding the two hostage. Unbeknownst to Ben, Detective Danny Glover is all over it, observing his hostage antics in an attempt to catch Jigsaw. We see that Detective Danny is more than a little obsessed with catching Jigsaw with his room covered with newsclippings about the killer, though at this point he’s been let go from the force. I love that the go-to psycho giveaway is to show a wallpapered room of random clippings. I used to wallpaper my room with clippings when I was thirteen. Am I a serial killer?
Flashback to the cause of Detective Danny’s firing. We see his growing obsession with Jigsaw while he was still employed. Reviewing videotapes, he recognizes a building to be only about four blocks from his current location. He drags Rad along with him, not bothering to get a warrant. Poor Rad. Clearly he is not going to survive this little outing. These two knuckleheads bust into the warehouse and discover a trapped man with two electric drills pointed at his neck.
Jigsaw arrives at his lair right as Rad and Detective Danny scramble for hiding places. Rad and Detective Danny then burst out and hold Jigsaw at gunpoint, which prompts him to start the drills. Jigsaw catches Detective Danny off guard, slits his throat and escapes down a flight of stairs. Rad flips out and chases Jigsaw down the stairs, shooting the cloaked figure at the end of a hallway. As he makes his way towards the body, he runs into another one of Jigsaw’s booby traps and gets shot in the head.
Though suffering from a gunshot, Saw gets up and escapes. Detective Danny sees his dead partner on the ground and we transition to current day with no longer Detective Danny continuing to observe Ben holding Dr. Gordon’s family hostage. We find out that after his discharge, Danny began stalking Dr. Gordon, which is definitely regular, socially acceptable behavior.
Back at the bathroom death trap, Adam convince Dr. Gordon to turn the lights off, as he knows about the clue that was in Dr. Gordon’s wallet. This shows a glow in the dark X on the wall.
Dr. Gordon busts the X with his hacksaw and finds a locked box. Insert little key from about 45 minutes ago. This unlocks the box, revealing a cell phone, a cigarette, a lighter and a note to Dr. Gordon. The note prompts Dr. Gordon to lace the cigarette with the dead man’s poison blood, which would in turn poison Adam after he smokes it. Also, the phone only can receive calls, not make them.
Dr. Gordon then starts remembering events from the night before. He finds himself in a parking garage (What the hell did I tell you Helen, about parking garages? Listen to P-Baby!) He remembers attempting to make a phone call on his cell phone when he gets attacked by a guy wearing this.
Dr. Gordon questions Adam as to how he knew to turn the lights off and Adam says instinct, which Dr. Gordon doesn’t buy at all. Adam finally shows Dr. Gordon the picture he’s been hiding and he completely becomes unglued. Not so calm anymore, huh Gordy?
Dr. Gordon finally has a fire under his ass and dips the cigarette in the poisoned blood while Adam isn’t looking. He turns off the lights so the camera blacks out, informing Adam to play along as though he’s smoked the poisoned cigarette. Adam smokes and fakes his death so absurdly that absolutely no one on earth would ever believe he was actually dead. Tell me again why this didn’t get any Oscar nods.
Adam is electrocuted by his chain which proves to their watcher that he is still alive. The electrocution jogs Adam’s memory, and he recalls his kidnapping. We flashback to Adam’s kidnapping and see that he is a photographer who has apparently been taking pictures of Dr. Gordon in is spare time. The doll from hell is in Adam’s apartment laughing at him. This motherfucking doll puts Chucky’s ass to shame.
The cell phone rings and it is Dr. Gordon’s wife and daughter on the other end. They are of course upset, and daughter tells Dr. Gordon that they are being held at gunpoint. Wife informs Dr. Gordon that Adam is lying to him and that he knew all about him before that day. Dr. Gordon sure is torn up over his wife when just the night prior he was so willing to go stick it somewhere else.
Adam explains that Danny had paid him to take pictures of Dr. Gordon for the past few days, unveiling a bunch of pictures from the bag containing the hacksaws. He also shows the photographic proof that Dr. Gordon was cheating on his wife.
Adam notices amongst the bunch of pictures that he recognizes a man as his kidnapper. Dr. Gordon also recognizes him to be Ben, the lost hospital orderly. They realize that Ben was Dr. Gordon’s kidnapper as well. I bet Ben could be really successful if he would just stop being such a creep and would get a real job.
Adam points out to Dr. Gordon that the 6 pm deadline has rolled around. Ben decides to take care of business with Mom and daughter, but unbeknownst to him, Mom has managed to break out of her wrist ties. Ben forces Mom to call Dr. Gordon and tell him he’s failed. Dr. Gordon hears a gun shot on the other end of the phone, while Mom has managed to wrestle the gun away from Ben. Why do people in movies never shoot the bad guys when they should? If some crazy guy has just tied me and my offspring up in my house and held me at gunpoint, his ass is going to be dead about 2.5 seconds after I get my hands on a firepoker.
All this activity draws the attention of Danny who arrives in time to save them while Ben escapes into the sewer. Dr. Gordon hears three or four gun shots on the other end of the call and loses his shit completely. To add insult to injury, right at this moment Dr. Gordon gets electrocuted. Finally Dr. Gordon says something that makes sense.
At this point in time, Dr. Gordon has completely lost his fucking mind. He is sobbing, screaming, sweaty mess. Way to hold it together under stress bud. I hear the Army is recruiting, you should think about joining. Anyway, Dr. Gordon decides to take the hit and saws off his foot so he can get to the phone.
Dr. Gordon shoots Adam in the shoulder with the revolver from the dead man’s hand. Meanwhile. Dr. Gordon does not look well.
Ben bursts into the bathroom, intent on killing Dr. Gordon, but ends up getting bludgeoned to death by Adam with the toilet cover. Bye Ben.
Dr. Gordon informs Adam that he is going to crawl and get help. Meanwhile he is losing about a gallon of blood a minute out of that stump of a foot he just hacked off. He’s going to be able to crawl about 3 feet before passing out and dying. Hope Adam is working on an alternative plan while he awaits Dr. Gordon’s return.
Adam searches Ben’s dead body in hopes of finding a key but instead finds yet another tape recorder. He plays it and realizes Ben was in the midst of his own game, playing along to get an antidote to a slow acting poison in his system.
As Adam looks around completely shell-shocked, his last mind-fuck of the day is about to happen. Hold on to your chain, Adam.
The dead body in the center of the room stands up and reveals himself to be the actual Jigsaw Killer. And that’s how you execute a plot twist, my movie loving friends. He informs Adam that the key to his chain was in the bathtub. As Jigsaw turns to leave, Adam attempts to shoot him but fails. He is sealed inside the bathroom, but it’s ok because Dr. Gordon is totally gonna hook him up with a rescue. Not.
(Side note: Ok , I looked for a stupid picture of Dead Adam’s corpse for like 20 minutes. Enough is enough. You all get the idea.)
I will admit the first time I saw this movie, this part completley blew my fucking mind. It was totally aweosme. It gave me goosebumps. I wish all low-budget horror flicks would end like that.
Well, that’s it Gasmii. Tune in next week for another edition of…HORRORGASM!