These 15 little-known facts about the making of Saw III will help you see the movie in a whole new light—if, that is, you’re brave enough to un-shield your eyes.
1. Director Darren Lynn Bousman changed the film’s chronology in the editing room.
In the original script, the scene with Donny Wahlberg in the bathroom was supposed to appear midway through Saw III. Bousman changed it to the film’s first scene in order to pick up exactly where Saw II left off.
2. Saw III screenwriter and Saw franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell appears in the first three Saw movies.
His character, Adam (the man we find chained in the bathroom in Saw), is seen in flashbacks in Saw III.
3. The first cut of Saw III was 3½ hours long.
It was ultimately slimmed down to 121 minutes.
4. The film’s medical jargon is accurate.
Whannell interviewed real surgeons from the UCLA Medical Center to make sure everything was copacetic.
5. The MPAA originally gave Saw III an NC-17 rating because of all the gratuitous gore.
Certain scenes, like the one in which a man is stuck in the twisting limbs trap, had to be re-edited and re-submitted as many as seven separate times before the film was able to receive an R rating.
6. Director and musician Rob Zombie lent a hand in editing the film.
The Saw III filmmakers asked Zombie, a friend, to help edit the film so as to receive a lower rating from the MPAA. Zombie had dealt with similar restrictions on gore from the MPAA on his horror films House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Zombie’s contributions are uncredited in the final film.
7. Saw III is the first film in the Saw franchise to feature nudity.
Unsurprisingly, the previous films earned their mature ratings on gore alone.
8. All of Saw III was shot on set in a giant warehouse studio in Toronto.
There is no on-location footage in the movie whatsoever.
9. Saw III was filmed in only 28 days, and shot in chronological order.
At $10 million, its budget was the highest in the Saw franchise at the time.
10. Shooting began without a complete script.
Much of the dialogue—and even whole scenes—were thought up or improvised on the day of shooting.
11. J. Larose, who plays Troy (the victim forced to rip chains from his chest to escape a bomb), has appeared in all of Darren Lynn Bousman’s movies.
He even appears in the student films Bousman made in college.
12. The creepy doll that Jigsaw uses to tease his victims is named “Billy.”
While the doll’s name is never mentioned in the films, it is designated as such in the script.
13. Tobin Bell, who plays Jigsaw, helped design Jigsaw’s lair.
Bell worked with the film’s production designer to decide what should go on the walls and which torture devices would be found there.
14. The rotten pigs in one of the torture scenes were made from foam rubber latex.
Only four were made, and editing tricks were used in the final film to make it seem like there were more.
15. The bathroom set used in Saw III was actually borrowed and redressed from the production of Scary Movie 4.
How’s this for meta? Scary Movie 4 created the set (modeling it after the bathroom in the first Saw movie) specifically to spoof the Saw movies.