Friday, January 31, 2014

Chainsaw Exorcism with Author R. Richardsson about his Novel The Rise and Fall of John Rizzerio

Could you tell me about yourself and about your books?

For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge fan of horror. The first horror movie I watched was Evil Dead. The first book, Stephen King’s ‘It’. From then on I was hooked. Very little frightened me, and in fact, I have been searching for twenty years for a movie or book that will do just that. The things that do frighten me are more mundane than monsters; (some) nightmares, personal loss, that sort of thing. I’m married, with four children and as such, I never see more horror than I do in the news.

I am currently finishing the third book in a trilogy simply titled ‘Ballad of John Rizzerio’. Book one, which I see you later ask about, is ‘The Rise and Fall of John Rizzerio’. John, or J.R. to his friends, is a direct descendant of Abraham Van Helsing and though he doesn't yet know it, is about to re-embark on his great-grandfather’s quest. This book takes place in two different time periods, past and present, where we find him respectively coming into his full potential and later falling from grace.

In the second book, ‘The Hunter Reborn’, the story picks up three hours after the closing events in book one. J.R., moments after having defeated an enemy that has long plagued his family, has been incarcerated and is being charged with multiple counts of murder. His friends are gone, his family, taken and he is descending a downward spiral into a dark hole he may or may not be able to return from. Friends, old and new, come together to rescue him from not only the coming tides of darkness, but from the darkness in himself as well. Will they be able to do so before it’s too late?

Book three, which I am in now in the final chapters of writing, will be titled ‘J.R. Van Helsing’. From the second book’s cover and title, we already know that there is a resurrection of sorts. This novel, and epic conclusion to a story twenty years in the making, will see J.R. and his friends coming head-to-head with the Prince of Darkness himself; Vlad Tepes III…or as he is more commonly known; Dracula.

Why do you write?

Writing was the easy choice, after I took into consideration the years of storytelling already behind me. I’ve always been a sucker for a good story, especially of the scary variety. Once I discovered this passion, I began to devour every one that I could get my hands on. Whether it was written, told through film or by other means, I had to be a part of it.

It wasn't long before my school’s library was no longer able to offer me what I was looking for and for a time I simmered. I wasn't yet old enough to get to the town library, and living in a one parent home meant I wouldn't have very many days when said parent wasn't working one job or the other in which I could get a ride there. Yes, I simmered for what seemed like an eternity, (Actually only the length of a summer…), but it wasn't long before I found my way into a type of story I had more control over; table top role playing games.

For the next year, I absorbed the rule books, histories and anything else I could sink my mental teeth into. There were many adventures to be had in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. There were many nights to survive in Vampire: The Masquerade. I was an Elfin Decker in Shadowrun and I loved every minute. But, it just wasn't enough. I had to have more!

So I learned to host the games. I WAS the game master in my group. I created the stories, the adventures and I loved every minute of it. Eventually, I discovered that my friends did as well when I couldn't take back the role of the gamer! *laughs* From then on, and until we parted ways, I continued my new role.

Why am I a writer you ask? I've been too far gone from storytelling. I’m bored with the stories being offered by Hollywood. I don’t have the financial freedom to delve into the newest adventure/rpg game for my gaming systems. I write because I have that need to experience a new story. More importantly, I write because I have a need to share that story with you (the reader).

What characters do you most identify with and why?

I think that J.R. and I have more in common than either of us would care to admit. Here is a man that has all the potential in the world, but he finds himself heavily burdened by his own inner turmoil. Every man has a cross to bear, but not every man is able to do so heroically. Sometimes…sometimes we have to fall before we are able to realize the potential with-in ourselves. Sometimes we fall much further than others.

I see a lot of myself in J.R., but I can’t say that I see all of myself in him. Each of my characters are living entities in their own right. No, I most identify with him because he and I have had to go through similar struggles to get to where we are today. Though our stories are different, the foundation lies true.

What was the writing process like? What inspired you to write your books?

I wish that I could say that it was some magical process, or that I was methodical about what I did, but this wouldn't be true. The story of J.R. came to life two decades ago as a final project for an advanced English course I was taking at the time. When I felt that first spark, I sat down and wrote a brief look into his life as a thirty page document. It took me most of the night. And because I was a huge procrastinator at that time it happened to be the night before the project was due, but it was well worth it. That was the moment.

I wasn't so much as inspired to write, as I was compelled to do so. As I previously mentioned, my passion for stories pushes me not only to read them, but now to write them as well. It was more of me coming across the old manuscript and thinking; “Hmm… I suppose I better finish this.”

Like before, I simply sat down and began. Only this time, the night lasted three months. When I read through those old college rule pages, it was as if John were calling to me. He reminded me that his story wasn't yet told and being the storyteller that I am, I couldn't just let it lie.

What about writing makes you feel most powerful?

The closest I can come to answering this is in the most obvious; being able to have complete control over the story. But that wouldn't be fair if I used it. It’s not that I have power over my writing. I don’t look at it that way. I think of it as channeling a story that’s already there. It’s not like I am constantly thinking of my next story. It’s already alive up there, somewhere. All it takes is that spark to get my attention. Once it does, I know that I’m in it for the long haul!

Very little changes from thought to paper except for the way it’s worded. My fingers are always flying across the keyboard, desperately fighting to stay even with them (my thoughts), but it doesn't always end up that way. As a result, I may go back and find that I have to expand a paragraph into a page, or that I need to remove a placeholder thought and replace it with the actual description.

I can’t say that I feel powerful when writing, only humble that I’m allowed to do so. It’s a greater feeling still when I hear from a reader who enjoyed my work.

I see that Jesus is on the cover of your book "The Rise and Fall of John Rizzerio." Could you tell me about why you choose the image?

Ah yes, a question I’m all too familiar with, and thank you for asking. One of the things you will immediately notice is that we find the image of Christ contorting in pain. Not only this, but he displays signs of stigmata by the bleeding from his wounds.

This image plays an integral role in my books as it represents the holy relic J.R. wields against the creatures of the night and all of their brethren. The cross, being directly connected to him in a spiritual and emotional state, grows more and more agitated as his condition deteriorates.

Throughout the first book, we see the support characters reacting to its (the cross) condition when they are not able to judge so by J.R.'s appearance alone. While he doesn't mask his pain very well, he is able to keep his spiritual weakening well hidden… You can see this connection implied by the shadow below the cross, which depicts a man wearing a wide-brimmed hat (as J.R. is known to do in the books).

What did you learn about yourself as you were writing? What might your readers learn about themselves?

Wow, what can I say? When I first opened the file that would house book one, I knew that my life was forever going to change. That day, as I wrote the first few lines of ‘The Rise and Fall…” I learned that I was a writer. I had surpassed the threshold of ‘always wanting to’, and entered the realm of ‘finally am’.

I also learned that I had a lot of room to grow as well! As I recorded the story of J.R.’s rise and fall, I realized that my writing style and my writer’s voice would only be heard if I continued past this point. I started this book wondering if I had it in me to write this story but here I sit wondering if I have it in me to finish it!

If there is a lesson to learn from J.R.’s story, I hope that it’s to value friendship.

Let’s just leave it at that for now. J

You mentioned that your first book is a dark horror fantasy. How dark does it get? What was it like writing the dark parts?

To answer this question, we need to look at a definition of dark fantasy. Notice I didn't say ‘the’ definition? That’s because I’m borrowing this next paragraph from Wikipedia. When I was scrolling through the genre selections, I researched those closest to what I thought my work was and this is the definition that I decided upon.

Dark fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy which can refer to literary, artistic and filmic works that combine fantasy with elements of horror. The term can be used broadly to refer to fantastical works that have a dark, gloomy atmosphere or a sense of horror and dread.

There are several things I didn't in this series. First, I didn't want a traditional vampire hunter story. In order for this to happen, it has to have some elements of realism. Even with there being all this spiritual and supernatural power, something has to hit close to home. In order to do that, we need to turn down the lamp and let the darkness creep in a little.

We see J.R. struggling internally throughout the first two books. Even with all of his abilities, he isn't able to protect everyone he loves and this hits him hard. As a result, we have to follow him into a place that most don’t make it out of. Darkness isn't always about the blood and guts. It’s in the choices that are made. It’s the thoughts we have during our darkest hours and it’s certainly about how we feel in said times. I’m not against bringing you there for a little while.

What was it like traveling down that road? I won’t lie. It was hard. I've bared to you some of my darkest fears in a previous answer, and I share them with you through some of my writings as well.

Where can readers go to find out more about your writings? 

I’ve conveniently collected every link for my book, in ebook as well as in print form, and placed them on my website. Why not drop by sometime and pay me a visit Beneath The Headstone at You can also like me on facebook and follow me on twitter.

I’m always looking for new mourners to lament the stories found with-in. There are many things to do Beneath The Headstone, I ensure you. Of course there are the links to my books, but you may also stumble across some hidden gems as well!

I’ve resurrected ideas for short stories, and will continue to do so for you to read as we make this journey together. You can also join my current webseries; She Has A Pretty Face Though, & The Box, each of which are nearing the end of their tales.

My short stories and webseries are a way of allowing readers to sample my style and to hear my writer’s voice. These I freely share to you and as they finish, other’s will begin anew!

In the ‘Ballad of John Rizzerio’, you can get copies of books one and two anytime. In fact, I encourage you to do so! It won’t be long before the final installment is released, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be thirsting for what happens next!

Finally, thank you for following me on this Q&A. I also want to thank izombiheartzoey, who was kind enough to host this interview.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Night Of The Living Dead (1968), Subverting White Hegemony, and Racial Performativity.

I have had a close relationship with Night of the Living Dead most of my life. I have vivid memories of a decade of Halloweens waiting for the midnight airing of Night of the Living Dead. It became a Halloween like a ritual for me. Before watching Night I decided to prep myself by reading Night of the Living Dead: Behind the Scenes of the most terrifying ZOMBIE movie ever made by Joe Kane. The book has given me a couple insights into the movie that I'd like to dig into. The book covered an overview of making the film, and the original script for the film.

One of the plethora of things that Night of the Living dead is famous for is casting an African American male in a leading and non-submissive role. While this film did not end racism, it did become a foothold for filmic justice. I did not realize how deep Night of the Living dead subverted the white hegemonic narrative until I read a couple passages in Joe Kane's text describing Duane Jones's experience on the set:
[Russo Said,] "At first he distrusted those of us on the crew, behind the camera. He wondered why we would cast a black man in the lead role of our movie, and he thought we might be out to exploit him in some way." Jones quickly overcame any brief initial reluctance he may have had but did not completely separate his ethnicity from the character: "It never occurred to me that I was hired because I was black. But it did occur to me that because I was black. But it did occur to me that because I was black, it would give a different historical element to the film." (source)
Let's chainsaw into this. 1968 was a pretty wild year for the world. Everything looked like it was falling apart. MLK was assassinated. Peace groups fed up with the lack of political progress gave birth to violence and armed groups. People were setting themselves on fire. Mao Zedong was stirring the pot in China. Environmentalist groups were running amok in the United States. Peaceful protesters were radicalizing a new rage was building. Walls were breaking. The US Ad industry was dominating the minds of the consumer, and TV's were becoming invading our homes and leisure time. Vietnam's blood splattered across every home in the American middle class. Everywhere was nuts. And then the Zombies came.

Subverting White Hegemony

Monday, January 27, 2014

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), the Invasion of Afganistan/Iraq, George Bush II and Obama

Texas Chainsaw Massacre was at the near of the post-9/11 wave of ultra-violent movies that echo the terrors that were beginning to escalate (or rather become more public) the sense of violence and dread that US soldiers brought to Iraq and Afghanistan. Eventually this post modern abysmal dread would enter into some safer genres like superhero movies. I'm thinking about shift between the first, second and third Batman movies. The first was dark, yes, but it only coasted on the edge of nightmares. Joker brought full on chaotic-anarchy, and Bane tricked everyone into thinking that there was some over arching ideology, when the real movement was to enter nihilism head on.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Id, Ego, and Superego Through Psycho and Carrie

Thursday I presented on the Id, Ego, and Superego for my Clinical practice class. My plan was to explain the Id, Ego, and Super ego via psycho. I began by drawing the Bates's House on the whiteboard with a blue dry erase marker. I turned to the class and asked if anyone had scene Psycho. A handful of ladies raised their hands. I called on a couple people to explain the plot. Then I explained that in some psychoanalytic film theory floors of the home are designated by Id, Ego, and Super Ego. I wrote the word Super Ego next to the second floor of the house where I had drawn the silhouette of Norma Bates. Norma is up there overseeing and regulating Norman's moral compass. Pushing guild and savage categorical imperatives to support his disassociation and demonetization of women. This constant pathological voice compelling him via guilt is Normans superego. Norman is most 'normal' when he is on the ground floor of the house, but he is having difficultly managing the pushes and pulls of his Id and Superego. I'm reminded of this scene:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hungry Games (2012) and Hungry Hungry Hippoes

I don't watch TV or follow the radio and miss most of the mass Hysteria, so when the Hunger Games madness swooped in to fill the void left by Twilight and Harry Potter I was surprised. Twilight was a sexual repression exploitation film with a main character who was romantically bipolar. And Harry Potter was a poorly written cesspool of blah blah blah. About a year ago I was super sick with a fever and decided to watch all the Harry Potter films in order. I was sick enough to watch the films out-of-order, and It didn't seem to change anything.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Tall Man (2012), Mother Jones, DCFS, Children and Poverty.

The town of Cold Rock is smothered in poverty. Like many small American town's it was build around exploitation of labor and mining of resources. Long ago, there was a vibrant town. Works woke up early and stumbled to the mind to dig. Most of these workers were children, and some of them were adults. Children were used in cold mines because their tiny bodies allowed them to reach or fit into places that adults couldn't. But in Cold Rock, the mind has closed down, and adults are forced to travel to cities to find work. Children are wandering the streets and there doesn't appear to be a school in the town. The early shots of the town that pan over children and homes remind me of even poorer nations than the United States. This is not to say that there is some patriotic underbelly here, but that poverty isn't just locally systemic but globally systemic. So what do we do when children are trapped in cycles of exploitation and abuse? The great organizer Mother Jones's answer was to organize! I have two vivid memories of reading Mother Jones's autobiography. The first is when she organized the wives of miners with their brooms to chase the scabs out of the mines. The second was when she rallied the miner children and marched them out to Washington DC, where she had them in cages while she gave a speech about the evils of child labor.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chainsaw Exorcism with MsZombiePhotographer

Could you tell us a little about yourself and your Photography?

My name is MsZombiePhotographer. I've been a professional photographer for almost ten years. I used to do lots of model shoots before I was married (lots of artsy/conceptual stuff) but these days I'm focusing more on the lighter side of photography like child portraiture, families, weddings, etc.

Who are your photography and non‐photography influences?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007) Masks, and Conformity

Rob Zombie's Halloween begins with Michael located in a series of dysfunctional social systems. His family is radically dysfunctional. His parents are floating through a failed marriage and his sister is hypersexualized and acting out. Micahel is caught in the middle and he is seeking to fit in and find recognition. At school bully's pick on him about one other than Halloween that he cares about; his mother.

When a dead cat is found in his locker, his mother is called into the office. This is the first instance where she begins to see Michael's darker side. His mother insight into his extracurricular actives challenges the potential to received continued love from his mother. Enraged he takes out his frustrations on bully that picked on him.

Upon being institutionalized Michael is relatively stable, until Dr. Loomis abandons moving therapy. Frustrated, and with without the skills to express his yearnings leads to Michael forks a nurse. Forking the nurse worked on two levels, it allowed him to seek find reparations for the nurses teasing, and refocus Dr. Loomis's attention on Michael. This pushes his mother to realize that her son isn't who she thought he was.

A decade and a half later, Michael has only three people in his life; his sister, Dr. Loomis and one of the caretakers of the asylum. Dr. Loomis again tells Michael that he is going to abandon therapy with him, which is followed by a scene where their caretaker who at this point was the last remaining person that recognizes Michael as human, turns on him by becoming a bystander for the verbal abuse of a second caretaker. Later that night the bully caretaker brings his cousin along with him to abuse a woman in Michael's room. At this point Michael is spiritually being incorporated into the sexualized threat of the originally bully that insulted his mother. Michael snaps, and with nothing left to see him in the asylum goes in search of his sister's recognition.

What is Michael hoping to gain by reconnecting with his sister? Good question. I have no idea. But what I do find interesting is that Laurie Strode's relationships with others, manipulative in a very different way than the ones Michael had in his childhood. They manipulate her on a more subtle level, pushing her to agree with them. Using Laurie's need to be liked against her.
Masks.-- There are women who, however you may search them, prove to have no content but are purely masks. The man who associates with such almost spectral, necessarily unsatisfied beings are to be commiserated with, yet it is precisely they who are able to arouse the desire of the man most strongly: he seeks for her soul -- and goes on seeking. (from Nietzsche's Human, all too Human, s.405, R.J. Hollingdale transl.)
What mask is Laurie wearing? Laurie is introduced to us in a scene where she violates a donut in front of her mother. What is strange about this scene is the obvious cynical distancing from the first scene in the movie. Laurie is sexualized in a raw but naive way. It is almost as if she only knows enough about the subject to bug her parents and relate to her friends. Laurie is caught in a superficial network of relationships where she is reacting to them rather than relating to them. Nietzsche argued that the meaning of life is a set of perpetually shifting masks, that just when we think we get to the bottom of things there is another mask.

What does this mean for Michael, who is totalized by his mask? It is almost as if the endless series of masks that Michael created was an attempt to recreate his original mask. The one that allowed him to liberate his anger. Both are wearing masks that juxtapose a sharp contrast. Laurie's mask of social conformity, while Michale wears a mask of social deformity. Where Laurie's mask is a shifting set of social disguises that help her navigate the social terrain, Michael has found and establish his identity in the mask. While, Laurie's mask establishes her as she is what she is not, Michael's mask establishes himself as he is.

At bottom both masks are hiding the same thing. The inaccessibility of the Truth of identity. We can never verify that we are what we are for our self or others. There is no rule that can measure the intersubjective space. Michael's certitude only reflects his psychosis and his incapacity to see that there is no truth in the relation between signifier and signified. Laurie shifting shows us her neurosis and her shifting desire to please others.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Antiviral (2012), Celebrities Are Not Real People and Addiction To Opiates (Like Miley Cyrus)

Celebrities are not real people, in the same way, the folks that deliver the mail and pick up the trash. When celebrities die it is not more important than anyone else. Yet, the internet and Facebook begin buzzing at the slightest hint of their demise. Toting their dedication to entertaining the masses, all the while, another child is shot in south Chicago.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Raze (2013), Pulverizing the Female Body and Transcending Victimhood

Raze has a simple plot. A group of bad ass women is locked in an underground facility and forced to fight to the death to 'protect' their loved ones who are being held hostage by the bad guys. Between fight scenes we are introduced to Sabrina (Zoe Bell) and the other fighters. The fights are brutal. These are not chick fights. They are “I'm going to kill your face” fights. The film portrays the fight scenes lacking the sexualized “mud wrestling" vibe that traditionally is embedded in fights between women. The fights are not spectacle for the easily aroused but fights to the death. I have seen a whole slew of crazy and ridiculous things happen to the female body in a horror film. I think I cringed and squealed more during Raze per-square filmage then I have with any film since Martyrs.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bad Milo (2003), Political Constipation and Excreting Power.

Bad Milo is about Duncan's life as a middle class cubical drone. Everyone he knows wants him to do something. His boss wants him to lay off several of his fellow employees. His wife and mother want him to start a family. Duncan is so busy fulfilling other peoples wishes he has no room to envision his own desire. He is a push over, but something inside him is fighting back. Enter (or rather exit) Milo. The killer poop monster!

Nietzsche argued that our drive towards freedom is the Will to Power. The will to power is that super-drive among competing drives that cuts through the crap to declare an individuals will. Nietzsche viewed the Will to Power as one of most important human qualities. The Will to Power not only clears a path for action it empowers you to become who you are.

For Nietzsche the mind is a collection of competing drives constantly pulling multiple and conflicting directions. For Milo his Will to Power is crippled by his willingness to lay at the alter of other peoples whims. Duncan lacks a strong enough Will to Power to decline the others request. In the process of caving to others he has also represed his desire to say no, and to live with dignity. This repression first takes the form of constipation then materalizes into Milo. A little poop creature that acts like Duncan's Jimmy the Cricket in order to coach Duncan to develop his backbone. In Nietzsche's text Human, All Too Human he argues that what most troubles humankind is their obligations.

Water damage, Fire alarms, Crucifying Obama? and the Society of the Spectacle. (And also On Commonwealth by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri Part II (Page 191-298)

After my first class today I sat down in the student commons on the couch.  There was a guy on the next couch over sitting  almost fetal-ly, sleeping.

It's western suburban winter at Aurora university. A school that in all respects is expanding beyond its capacity. Many of my classes are over crowded, it takes anywhere from 10 -25 minutes to find a parking spot, and the lunch line moves at a snail pace, and even if you are able to fill a plate you may have to wait 5 to 10 minutes to find a seat.

Today, after hurdling these I confronted the most frustrating of them. Finding a quiet place to read and work on homework. Like addressing the parking problem, I am forced to hover around and wait for someone to get up so that I can slide in to their seat. Today, as Lacan would say, I was witness to an intervention of the real. Diagonal from where I was sitting, two individual stood and shouted. Above them the ceiling began jettisoning water from the lightening fixtures.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

On Toad Road (2012) via Only Revolutions or The Toads Are Not What They Seem

Toad Road is an artsy boy meets girl, girl convinces boy to do something dangerous (and stupid), girl disappears, boy mentally breaks story. The boy is James and the girl is Sara. James is an upper middle class 20 something who is economically and socially lost in a community of drug users. The story is told from James's perspective as he adjusts to Sara's transformation from straight edge to drug experimenter to her disappearance. Periodically, through the film he meets with a therapist via his father's ultimatum that he attend therapy or he will stop paying James's rent.

Toad Road begins when James and Sara meet. In a drugged haze, James tells Sara about a mysterious urban myth where if one drops acid and walks on Toad Road and passes through a series of gates one can travel to hell. Sara becomes obsessed with the story and pushes on James to take her on this journey to hell. But James is falling in love and would rather commit to a relationship with Sara. He suggests that they should runaway (and away from their circle of drug using friends) together begin a life in the real world. The couple decides to to have one last adventure - a romantic walk to hell. But the walk did not go according to plan and Sara evaporates as she passes through a wiggily shiny wall of stuff. James becomes unconscious and wakes up, hours later, face down in the dirt. The film implies at this point that James has blacked out for at least a month. His friends and family are curious about where he has been. The police suspect him in Sara's disappearance. As James is reconnecting with family the film cuts to short shots of Sara James covered in blood and looking towards the camera. More exposition, and them boom, the movie is over - no resolution!

Monday, January 6, 2014

On Commonwealth by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri Part I (Page 1 -191)

Commonwealth by Hardt and Negri is the third book in their series following Empire and Multitude. In Empire Hardt and Negri sought to define the state of the world as a complex network that is neither modern or post-modern, but rather Empire.In Multitude they sought to critique the current state of the revolutionary political movments and find theorize new ways of struggle based on defining the world as Empire.  The text Commonweath  is about creating solidarity. First let me define some key terms that are used through the series.

On Nightmare On Elm Street Part II and 80's Slashers.

I woke up and couldn't get to sleep. So, I popped in Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2. When I started watching horror movies I developed a strong animosity to films that were created in the 80's. The early techno/atmospheric music they used bugged the crap out of me. Films would start out with this horrid techno beat that jarred my bones like having my teeth drilled into at the dentist. Over the years I got used to the sounds of the 80's and most of the time I can get through a film with out noticing the whiny electro-tones.  For example:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Night Of The Living Dead (1990), 90's Masculine-Chicks and Post-Racial Delusions

The first film that scared me was Night of the Living Dead (1990). I was a super little monster and I remember flipping between channels on TV and caught the scene where the daughter is walking towards her mother for a snack. It paralyzed me. I couldn't manage to flip the channel until the scene was over. What struck me was the sharp contrast between the little girls white dress and the blood spatters. Afterwards, the scene stuck in my head. I didn't find out the title of the film until years later. By that time I had watch the original several times and was hooked on zombies. There was a theme that bugged me in the original- Barbara's hysteria and how it played off the sexist idea of a woman who became so nuts when confronted with "guy stuff" that they become useless. The opposite presented in the 90’s remake. In the original Barbara’s brother starts the film teasing her. Although, Barbara is obviously annoyed by this, I never got the sense that she hated the guy. Yet, in the remake the tone of the teasing and Barbara’s response is more visceral and hateful. This marks a significant tonal shift between the two films

On Saw (2004), and Republican Bootstraps

To overcome something, you have to understand what a perfect engine it is. That’s how you fight disease.
-Dr. Gordon
Rules. Jigsaw's motive originated from the moment where he painfully survived his attempted car crash suicide. Jigsaw’s hopelessly negative outlook was rooted in his experience of dealing with a bureaucratic health care system that blocks his attempts at pursuing adequate health care. Inspired, by his own struggle Jigsaw (like a proper social worker) launched a cruisade to help one person at at time out their personal drudgery. By creating games to materialize the internal struggle, or lack there of, Jigsaw forced his victims to confront their sins. In the first round picked a drug addict, an overweight suicidal man and a pyromaniac. How do the lives of these individuals measure up against Jigsaws experience? They don’t. The cast of victim’s “sins” fall into two categories; mental disorder and addiction. What is Jigsaw’s sin? Self loathing and hopelessness. Unable to acquire treatment for his cancer and he fell into a downward spiral resulting in a death wish. Devaluing life is was Jigsaws sin. A sin so great he generalized this as the first cause of all manipulative behavior in the world. The junkie, the pyro and the obese are unified by dishonoring the value of  of their lives. But did Jigsaw accurately assess his victims? Adam, for example, doesn't get the same justification as to why he is in the game. The games, especially in the last half of the series, include this collateral damage as part of the system much like Jigsaw was collateral damage in regaurds to the health care system.