Saw III: Director’s Cut (DVD)

Saw 3 Director's Cut DVD (click for larger image)Starring Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfadyen, Bahar Soomekh, Dina Meyer, Leigh Whannell, Donnie Wahlberg, Billy the Puppet

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment

“Even though this is the unrated cut of the film, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a 6-DVD set of the series with never seen before special bonus features somewhere down the road. Sigh.”

That’s how I began to close up my review for last years unrated cut of Saw III on DVD. While we didn’t get that six DVD set (yet) I still nailed the fact that we’d be double dipping again. So what’s the difference between an unrated cut and an unrated director’s cut? Is there a reason to get this? Well, yes and no.

For those of you not following along, let me first reiterate the plot line —

Saw III starts mere seconds after the ending of Part II with Donnie Wahlberg as Detective Eric Matthews crawling around in the dark trying to free himself of his bindings. After that, one by one we’re introduced to this session’s players — the gruesome killer combo of Jigsaw (Bell) and Amanda (Smith) and their two prizes, Jeff (Macfadyen) and Dr. Lynn Denlon (Soomekh).

Saw 3 Director's Cut DVD (click for larger image)Jigsaw is in bad shape. His brain cancer is moments away from killing him, but before he goes, he’s decided with Amanda’s help that there is one last game to play. As a means to ensure that he is around to see his final endeavor through to the end, Amanda captures Dr. Denlon to keep him alive while their latest subject Jeff goes through his tests. The rules have changed a bit this go-around. Jeff isn’t the one who is in danger of being killed. Instead he has the fate of a few others who have horribly wronged him in his hands. Life or death, murder or redemption, it’s all for him to decide.

YAY! I got to double dip from my own review! Only with the Saw franchise and Lionsgate is this possible, I tell ya! Now where was I? Oh, yeah. The differences between the two versions of the film.

The changes to this director’s cut aren’t very noticeable at first. The start of the extra footage comes in the fashion of extending the kills of the film. A corkscrew twist here, a chain yank there, more pig guts piled on, and a lot more screaming for our frozen lady. If the footage only boiled down to this I’d be a little pissed. Interestingly enough there’s some more good stuff to be found! In this version we get to learn a little bit more about Amanda, her apprenticeship, and her tendency to be a cutter via flashback. This is cool, but it’s the film’s finale that contains the bulk of the added scenes. After his wife’s head goes kaboom, there’s an added sequence in which Jeff listens to Jigsaw’s tape as the devious killer (or is he a killer?) explains everything Jeff didn’t get to begin with. We also get the facts on his daughters fate. Clocking in at around two full hours, this cut of Saw III is without question the best I have seen.

Saw 3 Director's Cut DVD (click for larger image)To further sweeten the pot there’s a whole lot of new supplemental material to sift through on this two-DVD set. First up, disc one’s three(!) commentaries. One with executive producer and co-writer Leigh Whannel, one with director Bousman and actor J Larose, and finally a villains commentary with Shawnee and Tobin. Honestly, you cannot miss with either of these. Each offers their fair share of insight and quick wit, and all are thoroughly entertaining. Things are off to a good start! On to disc two.

Things kick off with a trivia game entitled Jigsaw’s Plan. Basically this is your standard go through it one time and you’re done point and click endeavor. Nothing special at all. From there we get a music video for the song “Killer Inside — Messed up World” by Hydrovibe, followed by the best Choose Your Death extra I’ve ever seen. In Choose Your Death blood hungry viewers get to sample select kills from Saw II and Saw III. Each is accompanied by a commentary, storyboards, and of course film footage. Nice! Next up is a little featurette called Looking Tortured which basically gives you instructions on how you can quickly make yourself up like your favorite Saw characters, several text based filmmaker favs interviews, and finally things are capped off with a scene (played at Comic-Con) from Saw IV. I’m not gonna spoil it for you, but holy shit is it nuts!

And there you have it, folks! Is there a reason to double dip yet again? Well, that really depends on how much of a Saw fan you are. I’d say this release is best suited for the uber-fan or completest who must have everything. Everyone else may want to hang on for that Super Extended Unrated Director’s Cut Extreme Six-DVD Box Set that I have predicted. I’m telling ya, man! It’s gonna happen!

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with executive producer and co-writer Leigh Whannel
  • Audio commentary with director Bousman and actor J Larose
  • Audio commentary with Shawnee Smith and Tobin Bell
  • Jigsaw’s Plan trivia game
  • Music video: “Killer Inside — Messed up World” by Hydrovibe
  • Choose Your Death access
  • Looking Tortured: Make-up F/X How-to featurette
  • Filmmaker Favs text based interviews
  • A scene from Saw IV


    4 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    4 out of 5

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    Steve Barton

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