Halloween is over, yet Sourpuss Clothing is always serving up awesome B Movie graphic goodness perfect for anytime of the year. Check out the Mutant Bats Cardigan with the shiny teal button details, embroidered bats on the front, and “Invasion of the Mutant Bats” text surrounding a gal in distress on the back. Kitschy and fun, this cardigan will surely be in heavy rotation in your wardrobe. Pair the cardigan sweater up with jeans, a pencil skirt, or wear over a leopard print dress, so many possibilities!
For some unknown reason, among both my critical peers and fellow horror movie aficionados, the Saw series of films is one of the most bemoaned of modern horror franchises. I’ve long been puzzled by this phenomena, and can come up with scant few answers for its existence. I suppose for the critics it’s the contrarian in them that enjoys savaging something that’s popular and successful. I myself have been accused of no less on a handful of occasions. For the horror fan, the symptoms are similar, but the causes, I suspect, run much deeper. Before the original Saw was released, there was a huge buzz among gorehounds surrounding the film, and many were laying in wait to claim it as their own. When Saw finally dropped, it was met with unprecedented mainstream success, and each sequel seemed to drive a bigger wedge between the films and the hardcore horror fan base. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t bring up the series in conversation without fanboys shit-talking you into a coma, then closing with a snicker to confirm their superiority. But never is a valid argument brought to bear, just the whining of a subculture that feels infiltrated and betrayed, which is a fucking riot. Most modern “horror buffs” are too young and willfully ignorant to realize that most of the classic slasher and exploitation films that they cherish were not only their own precious playthings but the nightmare fuel and date-night fodder of an entire generation. It’s a shame that the Saw films don’t get their due, because there’s a lot to admire in them.
The original was the debut film by two first time filmmakers, shot on an unbelievably low-budget of $1.2 million (most films spend roughly that on craft services), built around a tight, smart script. It didn’t skimp on the gore, and managed to get spectacular performances out of near-complete unknowns, while giving birth to, or at least popularizing (along with Eli Roth’s Hostel) the new genre of Torture Porn. Each successive film has delivered on the promise of the original, while maintaining a tradition of using practical special effects (a dying art in today’s Hollywood, with the likes of Romero, Rodriguez and Zombie going digital with their gore) and crafting a labyrinthine story arc that has only deepened as the series has gone on. There have been highs (the intertwined finale of Saw III and the healthcare crisis subtext of Saw VI being excellent examples) and lows (the second and fifth films do not engage one the way the rest of the series does), but Saw has emerged as one of the most consistently intriguing and entertaining horror franchises of all time. And perhaps consistency is one of the main reasons the Saw series is so under appreciated. Perhaps, by comparison, other horror film franchises’ blemishes begin to show. Is Jigsaw in the same league as Freddy or Jason in the horror pantheon? Only time will tell. But has the Saw series yielded one sequel as embarrassing or pitiful as either Freddy’s Dead or Jason Takes Manhattan? I think not.