The blockbuster horror series SAW presents viewers with a front row seat to some of the most twisted deathtraps ever to be dreamt up. As avid viewers know, most people do not escape Jigsaw’s contraptions. But the game is designed that they should be able to. Even escaping these deathly designs would create significant medical issues for victims. So could they really survive?
Most of Jigsaw’s games are set in abandoned industrial buildings, filled with ancient machinery. Such settings present significant health concerns even without Jigsaw’s participation. Old buildings often contain materials that were used in early industry but have since been outlawed. Asbestos and lead paint are common in older buildings and can cause cancer and neurological issues respectively. Anthrax, although known as a terroristic agent, is naturally occurring and can be found in old insulation common to old buildings. This insulation and the abandoned nature of these buildings is particularly appealing to rodents who can transmit many disease including leptospirosis and the causative agent of the bubonic plague.
Within these industrial locations, the engineering genius behind Jigsaw has constructed intricate mechanical traps, most of metal. Should a victim survive a trap, such as the reverse bear trap or an impaling device, there are incredible risks associated with recovery. Infection is the number threat to such victims as the instrument breaking skin can be assumed to be dirty. Serious infections from impalement, razor lacerations, puncture wounds, and amputations could result. Normal flora such as staphylococcus or streptococcus could spiral out of control and become a resistant strain or a flesh eating bacteria. Gangrene, sepsis and the possible need for additional amputation is also a concern. Considering the use of metal implements in the contraptions tetanus is another concern. Long term hospitalization and strong antibiotics would be assumed as treatment for any of the lucky survivors of a Jigsaw game.
Cosmetic injuries are almost a given for victims. Many wind up as amputees. More so many have extensive scarring from their battle against the machines. This scarring would likely have to be dealt with by a plastic surgeon who could perform the necessary procedures such as skin grafts to improve the appearance of incurred scars.
Most likely the deepest scarring is obviously the emotional scars of surviving such a harrowing experience. Post traumatic stress disorder is likely experienced by all victims of these plots. Associated effects could also include depression and anxiety. Eating disorders and addictions could also appear as coping mechanisms for the intense feelings created by the experience. These would be the most severe wounds and would require lifelong professional help to manage these injuries.
The design of Jigsaw’s tests allow for escape and survival by victims. In fact, there are a handful of Jigsaw survivors. But beyond the immediate physical danger presented by the traps, few consider the longterm health effects that survivors may face once they have made their choice.
Asbestos Dangers- A Homeowner’s Field Guide. http://www.chiff.co/a/asbestos-disease.htm. Accessed October 31, 2010.
Lead Paint. http://www.epa.gov/lead/. Accessed October 31, 2010.
SAW, DVD, directed by James Wan (2004; Twisted Pictures)
SAW II, DVD, directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (2005; Twisted Pictures)
SAW III, DVD, directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (2006; Twisted Pictures)
SAW IV, DVD, directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (2007; Twisted Pictures)
SAW V, DVD, directed by David Hackl (2008; Twisted Pictures)
SAW VI, DVD, directed by Kevin Greutert (2009; Twisted Pictures)
SAW VII, DVD, directed by Kevin Greutert (2010; Twisted Pictures)