Saw VI might just be the sickest yet

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Starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, and Peter Outerbridge. Rated 18A. Now playing.

Saw VI is the sixth Saw I’ve seen, and maybe the sickest. In the opening scene, a man and a woman are held captive with devices strapped to their heads that can screw bolts into their skulls. They’re told that only one of them will live, the survivor being the person who dumps the most pounds of their own flesh onto a scale in 60 seconds. An array of cutting implements are provided to get the job done, so the guy grabs a knife and starts slicing open his gut, removing vital organs. What a schmuck. He shoulda known that one of the woman’s hacked-off arms would weigh more than his piddly liver and spleen.

Poor judgment and bad decisions are what earned the victims of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) their slow, torturous deaths in the first place. The diabolical sadist died a few Saws ago, but thanks to the multiple flashbacks that the series increasingly relies on, it’s no matter. Saw VI’s second scene is a Saw V clip that reminds us how Det. Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) survived the previous flick by slipping into a glass-doored compartment to watch smugly while another guy got crushed into paste by a moving wall.

Saw VI earns one crummy star for making the focus of its cruelty that most deserving of today’s torture victims: an American health-insurance company CEO (Peter Outerbridge of TV’s ReGenesis). This heartless being prospers well until he’s shown, via yet another flashback, denying the ailing Jigsaw coverage for an experimental cancer treatment. That’s when Hoffman, the torturer’s apprentice, sets up a complex obstacle course of suffering for the executive to run that includes forcing him to play God and decide which four members of his six-person research team—the weasels who troll for reasons to cut off sick people’s benefits—will be systematically shotgunned to hell.

Who says torture porn isn’t a valid art form reflecting the mores and mindset of society?

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