Saw 3 Darren Lynn Bousman

Production designer David Hackl says it all: "Saw 3 is really exciting, in that we’re making sure that people are as grossed out as can be.” And there you have it. Infamous for green-lighting sequels while the current film is still in production, the Saw franchise is a cash cow that has evolved from the original’s clever script into a narrative hanging by a piece of flesh. But it doesn’t matter because hordes of people flock to these films (including my guilty self). While the second one passed by employing a "haunted funhouse” scenario, Saw 3 gets a little too ambitious for its own good with a split storyline that — of course — unites the "victims” in the end. Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is incredibly still alive, clinging to life on a gurney and being cared for by apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith). But he needs a doctor, bad, so they kidnap a sinful surgeon, Lynn (Bahar Soomekh), to save his life. Meanwhile, a grieving father (Angus Macfadyen) is thrown into a series of traps that allow him to either save or ignore the endangered lives of those responsible for his son’s death. The producer, director and writer laugh at how "the MPAA would only allow four smacks” in Donnie Wahlberg’s opening leg-crushing scene (which was actually shot using Scary Movie 4’s lampooning set) and of course, in true fashion, they went so far as to include seven or so "smacks.” The "emotional story underneath the gore and violence” they speak of is barely breathing, but who has time for a deep relationship when there’s blood to shed? We’re better off just admiring the disgusting death traps their sick minds have crafted: the rib-tearing "angel trap” (which is creepily described as "pretty but horrific” in the featurette on props), a shotgun shelled necklace and perhaps the most devastating trap yet, an upright rack that will twist the feet, hands and head of a person 180 degrees if a key isn’t retrieved from a device that involves a guaranteed shotgun wound. Get all that? Whether they’re kidding about Rob Zombie writing and Uwe Boll directing the fourth instalment is beyond me but like the rest of the hordes eager to withstand another bloodbath, I’m shamefully anticipating it, especially if those two notorious minds are behind it. Plus: featurettes, trailers. (Maple)