Monday, February 08, 2010

"Saw VI" at least invokes the health care reform debate


Saw VI, (or "Saw 6") the latest in Lionsgate’s enormously popular horror (and “torture porn”) franchise, at least brings in some social issues apropos the health care debate.

When Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) tries to get experimental gene therapy for his cancer, the bean counter at the Umbrella Insurance company denies him on pre-existing conditions. Earlier there is another scene, where a heart patient is denied a claim because of a trivial dental pre-existing condition (periodontal disease causes inflammation, which causes heart disease, you see).

Jigsaw has another mark to go for with his macabre machineries: loan sharks. These “parasites” become the victims in the opening setup. (Anybody notice how the machines and gears set up Lionsgate’s opening trademark?) Jigsaw seems to be obsessed with the abstraction and the ultimate logical consequences of his thought patterns; not only does one need to "deserve" to live, one needs the will to live. Plenty of body parts roll, sometimes at one's own hand as the attempt to win a "staying alive" contest.

The latest film is directed by Kevin Geutert (DGC), and also features Costas Mandylor (“The Cursed”) as Mark Hoffman. The film was shot entirely in Toronto.

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