Hollywood Gothique
LA Cinema Gothique

Saw IV press mixer with cast & crew

  • Event: Press mixer for SAW IV
  • Location: Parc Restaurant in Hollywood
  • In Person: Darren Lynn Bousman, Tobin Bell, Mark Burg, Oren Koules

I attended the press mixer in Hollywood for SAW IV last night, and it went pretty well. It was held in a trendy little Hollywod restaurant that I never knew existed, tucked into a quiet little space on Hollywood Blvd, not far from several run-down theatres, a Supply Sargent, and other non-auspicious surroundings.

Director Darren Lynn Bousman joked about his alleged reluctance to return to the franchise: “I told them I’m not coming back unless its rated NC-17.’ They said no. I said, ‘Okay.'”

Tobin Bell, who plays the franchise serial killer, related various tales of being recognized fans, particularly airport security guards, claiming he cannot walk through a metal detector without the guard on the other side identifying him. And the actor admits to inducing the occasional real-life fright, as when he threw on his hood and ran out for a late-night meal at a coffee shop: “The waitress came over and said, ‘What can I get for… [shocked pause] Oh no, it’s you! Now I won’t be able to get to sleep tonight!”

Of course, the major issue of the day is whether the sequel will do well, in the wake of the box office disappointment of HOSTEL PART II.  At this stage of the game, everyone from the film remains relentlessly optimistic. Says Bousman:

“First off, if you look at a lot of movies that went from I to II, whether it be TEXAS CHAINSAW, THE GRUDGE, whatever it is – most times, the sequels drop off,” he notes. “SAW II we raised. So I think we were able to show, right away, there’s something different here with the SAW films. Then with SAW III we did it again. So if I was coming back, and HOSTEL II had done what it had done, and all these films like 28 WEEKS LATER, I think I would be a lot more nervous doing SAW II if it was coming out right now. But I think we’ve proven ourselves. Does that mean that SAW V and VI aren’t going to feel it? No. But I think that SAW IV, right now, we’ve not duped the audience. It’s when we dupe the audience, as the other films have, that we have to worry. But some way we’ve [found] the loophole to sequels dropping off. So I’m not concerned about it right now.”

Asked how the SAW sequels have managed to reverse the usual trend (both Part II and Part III made more money than the original), producer mark Burg insisted it was all due to the scripts and the stories. “Nobody cares who’s in the picture – nobody cares how much it costs – if the scripts are no good. With the second one we proved we weren’t just cashing in. And if Part IV does as well as we hope – knock on wood – I see no reason we can’t do SAW V.”

Needless to say, there was plenty of free booze to put the press reps into a favorable state of mind. The intended effect was achieved: sitting around the bar before the interviews started, at least a few journalists were quietly criticizing the SAW films for declining in quality, but when the questioning began several rounds later, it was one big festival of love and admiration.

I’ll be transcribing the tape later, but you won’t be reading much if any of it here. I’ll be submitting this to ESplatter.Com (update: Esplatter has since gone out of business).