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!"
At this stage of the game, everyone from the film remains relentlessly optimistic about the latest entry in the franchise in spite of the recent box office disappointment of HOSTEL PART II.
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.