Saw: Uncut Edition (DVD)

Starring Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung

Directed by James Wan

Released by Lions Gate Home Video

What started out as a small film has turned into a horror phenomenon, and finally fans of Jigsaw have the DVD treatment of the first Saw that they have been waiting for.

Lions Gate delivers quite the package, and the package itself happens to be one of my favorite things about this latest offering. While the tag line of Saw II is “Oh yes, there will be blood”, this presentation of the DVD shows you where it is! Seeing the packaging in a photo does it no justice. I’ve watched in fits of horrific glee as both the blood and the saw blade ooze around the film’s cover. This is fun! This is inventive! This is everything the original near bare bones release should have been! I remember taking some flack in our forums for not getting the film’s original DVD artwork. Simply put, there wasn’t anything to get. It was just a clear case with a DVD inside. This more than makes up for that initial disappointment.

Let’s take a quick look at the extras. To my surprise this was a double-disc set, and man, does it ever pile on the extras. First up, Disc One. Here we find the film in its as promised, uncut version. To be honest, I really didn’t notice much of a difference between this cut and its theatrical kin. The gore was a bit more prominent with a few added quick edits of gore photography, and yeah, maybe the camera lingered on what was filmed for a bit longer, but that was it. Maybe I’m just jaded by recent uncut editions of Land of the Dead and The Devil’s Rejects. They both felt a little more complete upon their unrated releases. This isn’t too big of a deal though; Saw is one of the best genre films to come out in a long time and is a welcome addition to my library in any form.

Also included on the first disc is not one, but two, very lively commentaries. The first features director Wan, and writer / star Whannell along with actor Cary Elwes, and the second features the film’s producers. Both are very entertaining. Hearing the excitement in the voices of all those involved really makes you appreciate everything that Saw turned out to be and what it took to get it there.

The second disc in this set is equally exciting. Especially of note is the original short film also titled Saw. When Whannell and Wan came to the United States to shop their film, they wanted to make an impression. They filmed one scene from their script, and it made quite an impression on our soil. The short film definitely captures the visceral mood of the feature, and it is no surprise production started on the theatrical version almost immediately. It’s a great inclusion and yet another reason to warrant a double-dip on this DVD purchase. The second best extra to be found here is a featurette on the making of this film titled Hacking Away at Saw. Clocking in at just under forty-five minutes, Hacking takes a look at just about everything in the Saw universe. From the film’s humble beginnings to its Sundance debut to its legions of fans who populate the House of Jigsaw message boards, everything is covered. Everything you ever wanted to know and then some is here.

I hate buying DVD’s twice. Mainly because rarely is a second purchase warranted for anyone other than extreme completest fans. This is not the case here. There are many reasons for even the casual fan to oust their original copy in exchange for this one. Without question this is (pardon the bad pun) the long awaited missing piece of the puzzle for Saw fans everywhere.

Special Features
On-set preview of Saw 2
Hacking Away at Saw – Behind the Scenes
Exclusive episode of “Full Disclosure Report” – Go inside the real Jigsaw investigation
Alternate storyboard sequence
Jigsaw’s workshop (build a puppet DVD-ROM)
Saw director’s art gallery
Saw: Director’s original short film in 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

4 out of 5

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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