Before Saw 5 hits Irish cinemas this Friday, recommends you check out the following titles…

Where does the time go eh? It only seems like yesterday when we were meeting Jigsaw in Saw 1 but this Friday sees the release of the fifth instalment in the series that has brought us such innovative delights as the “Venus Fly Trap” helmet (Saw II), the automated drills (Saw I) and how could we forget the wonderful scalping Pig mask (Saw IV). As we gear up for the next appearance of Jigsaw and some even more ingenious methods of gory goodness, here are some more films to whet your horrific appetite!




Saw (2004)




The original and arguably the best of the Saw series, this was a shot in the arm for the horror genre when it burst onto the screens four years ago. Saw stripped the horror film right back to its bare components; intended to shock and appal the audience and in this it was brutally effective. The set up is refreshingly simple – two men shackled in a grimy bathroom, given the means to escape (even if it does involve having to saw their own feet off with a blunt hacksaw) and watch how they react. What results is an imaginative and unpleasant film (in the best possible way of course!). Just be warned that it’s not the most popcorn friendly of movies!



Hostel (2005)





The film that sent critics into a generic frenzy, Eli Roth’s breakthrough was accused of giving birth to “torture porn.” So arguably Hostel can be seen as misogynistic, xenophobic, nihilistic etc. etc. but none of this is particularly new. Strip away the controversy and you can see Hostel for what it is – a nuts and bolts piece of exploitation, that looks back to the grindhouse movies of the 70’s. This is not to say however, that it is without its grimy charm and what it sets out to do it does extremely effectively. Two American backpackers in an unidentified Eastern European country fall afoul of the locals in a rather spectacular manner as they are captured and used as human pin cushions by some rather peculiar individuals. So it was never going to win any awards for innovation but this is all about the gore and it has that in spades.



Audition (1999)





Feminist statement or exploitation flick? Well, Audition somehow manages to mix both with aplomb, while also being one of the most extreme of the Asian extreme canon. Directed by Takashi Miike, the film tells us the story of lonely widower, Aoyama who is persuaded by his son to hold auditions to find himself a companion. He falls for the beautiful Asami, who turns out to be a little more than he bargained for. The film may contain some of the most stomach churning moments ever committed to celluloid (involving a rather large hypodermic needle) but is also beautifully filmed and deeply atmospheric. This has enough art and enough hide behind the hands moments to please everyone.



The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)




A man lies strapped to a table unable to move, menaced by a demented genius, as above him a swinging blade begins to descend. Yes, madmen fashioning elaborate torture devices for unsuspecting victims is nothing new as this Roger Corman/ Vincent Price classic proves admirably. Loosely based on the Edgar Allen Poe short story, which was set during the Spanish Inquisition (who were extremely gifted in inventing ways to inflict pain – the comfy chair not withstanding), the film is wonderfully dark and gave us perhaps the definitive performance of Price dementia. Proof that Eli Roth didn’t invent nasty cinema folks and anything that has Vincent Price and the use of an Iron Maiden has got to be worth a look!



‘Saw 5’ is in Irish cinemas from Friday, October 31st.