To See the Saw Movies

Essays on Torture Porn and Post–9/11 Horror


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SKU: 9780786470891 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

The Saw films, often derided by critics as “torture porn” and an excuse to show blood and gore, are the highest-grossing horror series in cinema history. In view of their hold on audiences and their controversial content, they deserve study. This first collection of fresh essays by academic authors from Europe, America and Australia addresses the cultural, religious and philosophical facets of the films, investigating how the franchise reflects a post–9/11 shift in U.S. popular culture towards increasing pessimism and how it may be read as a metaphor for the “war on terror”; dissecting how the series explores such issues as freewill and determinism; assessing the films’ representations of the body; and applying a Deleuzian perspective to the franchise.

About the Author(s)

James Aston is director of studies for film at the University of Hull. He lives in Worcester, United Kingdom.
John Walliss is senior lecturer in criminology in the faculty of sciences and social sciences, Liverpool Hope University, UK.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by James Aston and John Walliss
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7089-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0380-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction (James Aston and John Walliss) 1

“I’ve never murdered anyone in my life. The decisions are up to them”: Ethical Guidance and the Turn Toward Cultural Pessimism (James Aston and John Walliss) 13

Body Horror (Ben McCann) 30

The Spectacle of Correction: Video Games, Movies and Control (Evangelos Tziallas) 45

From Jigsaw to Phibes: God, Free Will and Foreknowledge in Conflict (Fernando G. Pagnoni Berns and Amy M. Davis) 73

A Voice and Something More: Jigsaw as Acousmêtre and Existential Guru (Brian H. Collins) 86

Twisted Pictures: Morality, Nihilism and Symbolic Suicide (Steve Jones) 105

The Jigsaw Assemblage (Jacob Huntley) 123

Work Is Hell: Life in the Mannequin Factory (Dean Lockwood) 139

Monstrous Bodies and Gendered Abjection (Madeleine Smith) 157

Hearing the Game: Sound Design (Jeffrey Bullins) 176

About the Contributors 195

Index 197

Book Reviews & Awards

“an expansive, accessible collection of essays, an assembly that will be of significant interest to scholars engaged in the study of the history, philosophy, and criticism of the horror genre”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.