Like the majority of film fans, I’ve grown weary and ambivalent towards the “Saw” franchise. What began as a clever Rube Goldbergian spin on “Seven” has become a convoluted nightmare of hopelessly muddled continuity so confusing that I’m not even sure what the questions were that I originally wanted answers to.
The whole series has become the horror genre’s answer to the monthly major-label comic-book — permanently stuck in Act 2, relying on endless twists and borderline ret-conning to drag its sorry butt into the next derivative chapter.
As far as I can recall, all the series’ semi-interesting characters are worm-food, leaving only Betsy Russell’s boring Mrs. Jigsaw and the ever-greasy Costas Mandylor’s recently-defaced (giggle) Detective Hoffman. Oh, and of course Tobin Bell’s original killer, who rivals Tupac and Elvis for the oh-so-nifty record of “Largest volume of posthumously-released recordings of all time.”
However, possibly the best thing to happen to the franchise — at least since the advent of Darren Lynn Bousman — was part “VI’s” complete and utter lack of impact on the Halloween box-office last October. Yessiree, thanks to the competition-pummelling success of “Paranormal Activity,” Lionsgate isn’t quite as fond of the venerable torture porn series as they used to be and have decided to wrap it up for good. Maybe. Perhaps.
According to Patrick Melton, co-writer of parts “IV” to “VII,” the next instalment, “Saw VII 3D,” may just be the bloody blow-out conclusion that fans were hoping for three movies back.
“I think it’s going to end with Saw VII. I have a very strong feeling it’s going to end with Saw VII. That’s something we’re debating now. You saw in previous interviews or discussions where we thought Saw VIII would be the last one where we had the first trilogy and the second trilogy and then sort of a grand finale wrapped up in two films. But frankly because Saw VI hasn’t performed as well as we anticipated, the idea is well why make two movies when we can make one really excellent movie that wraps up as best we can? And it’s going to be in 3-D which sort of adds to the spectacle. So if you had to ask me, I don’t own the franchise, nor do I run the studio, but I have a feeling, a strong feeling that it’s going to be Saw VII which will be also known as Endgame. And nothing’s official yet, but that’s where we’re hoping things will go.”
My take on this? That if “Saw VII” makes money (and with 3-D factored in, it probably will), there’ll be a “Saw VIII.” Originally, around the time of part “III” or “IV,” series co-creator Leigh Whannell promised that the sixth entry would be the final carnage-dripping denouement. However, money talks and Lionsgate listened. Multiple times. So, my confidence in this next film being the last is about as strong in my faith in “Paranormal Activity 2” actually being good.
It is great to know, though, that the POTENTIAL series capper is being helmed by a guy who’d rather just be at home, as evidenced by the controversy surrounding director Kevin Greutert’s extremely reluctant return to the series. Maybe I’m just an ignorant outsider, but I have a hard time imagining a decent flick resulting from a situation this volatile and bitter. Good show, Lionsgate!
At any rate, to find out which one-note characters and hanging plot threads may re-appear in “Saw VII,” as well as some business regarding the picture’s run-time and a possible future reboot, check out the full-length interview.
Note: Scanning “Saw VII’s” IMDB cast list, I see that Tommy Yong Bosch will be appearing as torture fodder. Not familiar with the name? He played Adam Park, the second Black Ranger, in the original run of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”. I’m going to have to seriously bite my tongue to stop myself from crossing my wrists and screaming “MASTADON!” every time he pops on-screen … Anyone else feel my pain? Hello?
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.