Friday, November 13, 2009



A madman terrorizes three former childhood friends for unknown reasons. The three women are given separate storylines that eventually intersect as the madman traps them within his industrial, SAW-like lair. What is the connection between this madman, these girls, and a seemingly innocent incident from their school days?

I don’t ever recall a discussion on Horrorthon about the “madman’s lair”. With all the ads for the latest SAW installment I started to think about the cost involved in constructing a vast torture chamber. Recent films like Martyrs, SAW, and Amusement all involve complicated, no doubt extremely pricy, implements of pain. Setting aside the real estate necessary for a secret underground lair, I can’t help but mentally calculate the expense of even the smallest things adorning these vast caves of torment including computers, video cameras, etc. The power bill alone would be astronomical. Let’s say for the sake of argument that money is no object, it would still take a large team of mechanical geniuses and a long period of time to construct the extremely complicated torture devices found in these films. The following pictures are from the various SAW films because I couldn’t find suitable examples from Amusement,

What would this room alone cost and how many would it take to put it together?

Just the fish tank alone would cost $150

How much time did it take to design this? How much would a prototype cost?

How much would it cost to rent this place out?

Again, this would take a lot of time and money to develop

Time and money!

For a low budget film Amusement has a few things going for it including stellar production values and a creepy setting – when is a clown theme not creepy? Still the story isn’t all that interesting and the climax could be from any of the (currently) six SAW movies. The madman’s lair would probably cost upwards of 1.5 million dollars.


Jordan said...

My favorite "madman's lair" is Jame Gumb's basement in Silence of the Lambs.

Not the most elaborate, but the scariest (just because the filmmaking is so good).

Catfreeek said...

What irks me with the Saw films is not only the cost but as you touched on, the technical knowledge and planning it would take to rig up those elaborate devices. I'm just not buying it.

Jordan, I couldn't agree more. Just looking at that place I kept thinking that it must smell God awful down there.

Catfreeek said...

How many Gretchens?

Jordan said...

No, it would smell sickly sweet with all the chloroform and the formaldehyde! Not to mention that he must have a stash of perfume for those video "sessions" of his. "So beautiful; so powerful." "Will you fuck me?" :::shudder:::

Catfreeek said...

Add the odor of the victims down the hole urinating all over the place to that mixture and it's enough to make you want to vomit.

Jordan said...

He probably swabs it out between killings...but he misses the fingernails in the wall.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

You two are sick in the head.

JPX, as far as Martyrs goes, there was a clear well-funded organization that could afford such a lair. And regarding Saw, I don't think we're meant to believe that Jigsaw ordered his equipment on eBay. He's a sick genius and I'm satisfied with assuming that he built the devices himself at a super saver cost.

Catfreeek said...

I don't think he'd use any harsh chemicals to clean up the pee since he wouldn't want those chemicals to cause any damage to their precious skin. Hmmmm...I wonder if while he was starving them to loosen the skin any of those girls might have gotten hungry enough to chow on a fingernail or two.

Whirlygirl said...

I really hated Amusement, so I'm glad your review focuses on something other than the plot. The lairs were cool, but it just bothered me way too much that the idiotic villain supposedly had access to these places. It was just too impossible, and made the film lose all credibility for me, not that it had much to begin with.

Octopunk said...

I know there was a short discussion on Horrorthon about Jigsaw's to-do list once, although I don't have the inclination to look for it. Suffice to say I'm with JPX on the Saw thing.

Martyrs is different, because of the financial backing JSP mentions and the simplicity of approach. Jigsaw is something else altogether. As someone who fabricates things for a living, were I asked to estimate the time needed to build, for example, Amanda's jaw ripper-offer, I'd say a minimum of two weeks. Materials would likely be between one or two grand.

I think what's even harder to buy is Jigsaw's knowledge of poisons. He's always motivating people by poisoning them and offering antidotes. Saw II features airborne toxins that can be cured with an injection. That's pretty specialized knowledge, and I get the impression this is stuff he knew before he was diagnosed as terminal and went psycho.

More than that, the timing of everything he does is impossible. You can't guarantee someone's going to react to a poison on your timetable. Even in general, it just doesn't fly that he could get things moving at just the right time for it all to pace out properly. I haven't seen Saws 4 and up, but I understand Jigsaw left behind taped instructions, and when did he have time for that? Isn't this a guy with terminal cancer?