I am a big fan of the Saw franchise of films. Like any multi film franchise, some are better then others. In my opinion, the first 3 were the best. That doesn't take away from 4,5,6 at all... i feel like Saw has managed to make sequels that are quality even though they are approaching film #7 in the series. This is definitely not the case in ANY OTHER series of films I have ever seen. Think about it: The Godfather 3 is an abomination, Alien fans hate 3 & 4 and the Alien vs. Predator films, and there are definitely a few Star Wars Prequel haters out there... right Joe Esq? (I love ya kid...) Don't even get me started on the Halloween, Freddy or Jason franchises. Those guys have made some outright shit boxes of films despite being handed a solid main baddie and story. But Saw has done a good job of maintaining a good level of film. The crew does a good job of moving the story forward in different directions while tying up lose ends through reveals and flashbacks that are intriguing. So when I had the opportunity to attend a press only Saw 3-D panel at the 2010 NYC Comic Con, I felt I needed to check it out and report my findings.
First of all, the panel was separated into two rooms. We were instructed that there would be no film or video allowed. Both rooms would get the chance to talk with two sets of people from the movie, one after another. I was in the room that got Cary Elwes and Betsy Russell, who play Dr. Gordon & Jill, two returning characters from the Saw series. Elwes & Russell really towed the company line throughout the whole panel. They praised the Saw production team, praised the whole Saw franchise, and praised Saw 3-D as by far the best film in the series. They avoided giving anybody any real answers, such as when they were asked for their favorite kills (both said... "They are all so good!!!") and when I asked Elwes his favorite film in the series (He immediately said the upcoming Saw 3-D... he didn't even reflect on the other films like I asked).
Russell also walked the line. I asked her where she thinks the Saw franchise sits in the history of film franchise, and she said "Were #1... we got the record for most money made, so that's that." That's not really what I meant... your movies came out years after other franchises when ticket prices were higher and in an era where Horror films are revered and promoted, not regaled to a small amount of screens. Of course you will make more money. I wanted to know how SHE felt about HER FRANCHISE stacked up. Neither would answer ANY QUESTIONS about the upcoming movie. The whole panel was kinda meh... until the press lady called "Last Question". Some kid asked Elwes the question of the day: "Cary... how many times have you been asked about the Princess Bride today?". This brought a smile to Elwes face, and made everyone laugh. He said its an honor to be revered for a film that came out so long ago and he really appreciates all the fans of Wesley and the rest of the Princess Bride crew. The panel concluded, and Russell and Elwes moved into the other room. Next up, Costas Mandylor & director Kevin Greutert.
Mandylor walked in wearing a Yankee jersey and Yankee skully, which automatically scored points in my book. Him and Greutert walked in laughing and smiling, and sat down ready to talk. The 2nd panel went much differently. Mandylor is refreshing to hear talk, as he curses and reveals some cool behind the scenes info. When I asked him his favorite movie in the series and his favorite kill, he was quick to answer and revealed that he loved Saw 5 cause of the direction his character took and the pendulum kill from Saw V as his faves. He also told some cool stories of how he is a jokester on the set and fucks with everybody that is in the traps in between takes. He said he kept tickling the kid on the table with the pendulum on his face, and the kid couldn't defend himself because he was strapped into the table to give the illusion of being cut in half. It was the kind of behind the scenes stuff you want to hear from a panel... not the blah stuff that came out in the first half. Greutert went on to provide lots of insightful tips about the film while at the same time nor revealing much. I especially liked how he described the use of 3-D in the flm and how it was made for a movie like Saw to use. I hope its as intriguing as he made t sound. He assured us that this was it, no more Saw fims... I don't know how I feel about this, since studios are greedy and will probably greenlight another one in the future. All in all, a much better panel than the first. Costas was even nice enough to take a picture with Sam and I. Saw 3-D opens next Friday, October 29th, and I am kinda excited since it was originally given a NC-17 rating and took 6 times to come in as an R. So its sure to be bloody and full of gore. Make sure you check it out, a perfect way to start the Halloween weekend!!!