John Kramer, the main character of the ten films in SAW franchise, is one of the most iconic and influential figures in horror cinema. He is a former engineer who became a serial killer after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and losing his unborn child in a car accident. He devised elaborate traps for his victims, whom he deemed unworthy of life, and forced them to play his "games" to test their will to survive. He often used a puppet named Billy to deliver his messages and instructions. In this article, we will explore the life and work of John Kramer, also known as Jigsaw, and examine his philosophy, methods, and impact on the horror genre.
The origin of John Kramer: How he became Jigsaw
The story of John Kramer begins with a tragedy. He was a successful civil engineer who had a loving wife named Jill Tuck, who ran a clinic for drug addicts. They were expecting a baby boy, whom they named Gideon. However, their happiness was shattered when one of Jill's patients, Cecil Adams, robbed her clinic and accidentally slammed a door on her stomach, causing her to miscarry. John was devastated by the loss of his son and blamed Cecil for it.
Soon after, John was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given only a few months to live. He became depressed and suicidal, losing his faith in humanity and himself. He attempted to kill himself by driving his car off a cliff, but he survived the crash. He later described this as his first test, where he realized that he wanted to live after all. He decided to dedicate the rest of his life to testing other people's will to live, hoping to make them appreciate their lives as he did.
He began by targeting Cecil Adams, the man who killed his son. He lured him into a trap where he had to push his face into several knives to escape. Cecil managed to free himself, but he fell into a cage of razor wire and bled to death. John watched from behind a window, wearing a cloak and a pig mask. This was the first time he used the alias "Jigsaw", which was derived from the jigsaw-shaped piece of flesh that he cut from his victims as a symbol of their missing survival instinct.
John continued to set up more traps for people who he deemed unworthy of life, such as drug addicts, criminals, corrupt cops, and selfish individuals. He also recruited several helpers and apprentices along the way, who shared his vision or owed him their lives. He also developed an obsession with the number 6 (the number of letters in "Gideon"), which he incorporated into many of his games.
John's activities eventually attracted the attention of the police, who tried to catch him and stop his killings. However, John always managed to outsmart them and evade capture. He also had a personal rivalry with Detective David Tapp, who became obsessed with finding Jigsaw after losing his partner Steven Sing in one of his traps.
John's final test came when he kidnapped Dr. Lawrence Gordon, an oncologist who had failed to cure him of his cancer. He chained him in a bathroom with another man named Adam Stanheight, a photographer who had been spying on him for Tapp. He gave them instructions via a tape recorder and a puppet named Billy, which he used to communicate with his victims. He told them that they had to kill each other before 6:00 AM or else they would both die. He also revealed that he had kidnapped Gordon's wife Alison and daughter Diana, who would be killed if he failed.
John then pretended to be dead on the floor between them, wearing a fake gunshot wound on his chest and holding a revolver in his hand. He waited for Gordon and Adam to play his game, while secretly holding a remote control that could electrocute them through their chains.
The traps of John Kramer: How he tested his victims
One of the most distinctive and notorious aspects of John Kramer's work as Jigsaw are his traps. These are devices or scenarios that he designed and built to test his victims' will to live and punish them for their sins. His traps are often inspired by his engineering background, his personal experiences, or his knowledge of his victims' lives. They usually involve some form of physical or psychological torture, such as mutilation, electrocution, suffocation, poisoning, or drowning. They also often require the victims to make a difficult choice, such as sacrificing a body part, killing another person, or confessing a secret.
John Kramer's traps are not meant to be escapable, but rather to be survivable. He always provides a way out for his victims, but it usually comes at a high cost. He also gives them instructions and clues on how to escape, either through recorded tapes or his puppet Billy. He believes that by putting his victims in life-or-death situations, he can make them appreciate their lives more and change their ways. He also claims that he does not kill anyone directly, but rather gives them a chance to save themselves.
However, not all of John Kramer's traps are fair or consistent with his philosophy. Some of them are rigged or impossible to escape, either because of his own mistakes, his disciples' interference, or external factors. Some of them are also excessively cruel or sadistic, reflecting his personal anger or resentment towards certain victims. Some of them even contradict his own rules or values, such as killing innocent people or wasting resources.
Some examples of John Kramer's traps are:
- The Reverse Bear Trap: This is one of John's signature traps, which he used several times throughout the series. It consists of a metal device that is attached to the victim's head and mouth. The device has two metal bars that are connected by a hinge at the back of the head and two metal plates that cover the mouth. The device is hooked to a timer that activates when the victim wakes up. The victim has to find a key to unlock the device before the timer runs out, otherwise the device will snap open and rip the victim's jaw apart.
- The Bathroom Trap: This is the first trap that is shown in the series, and one of the most iconic ones. It involves two men who are chained by their ankles to opposite corners of a dirty bathroom. There is a corpse lying on the floor between them, holding a revolver and a tape recorder. The tape recorder contains instructions from John Kramer, who tells them that they have to kill each other before 6:00 AM or else they will both die. He also reveals that he has kidnapped the wife and daughter of one of the men, who is a doctor named Lawrence Gordon. The other man is a photographer named Adam Stanheight, who has been spying on Gordon for a detective named David Tapp. The key to their chains is in the bathtub, which is filled with water and has an electric wire attached to it.
- The Needle Pit: This is one of the most gruesome traps in the series, which was used in the second film. It involves a large pit that is filled with thousands of used syringes. The victim has to jump into the pit and find a key that is hidden among the needles. The key opens a door that leads to the next room in John Kramer's game. The victim has only two minutes to find the key and escape, otherwise the door will lock permanently.
These are just some of the many traps that John Kramer created and used in his games. They demonstrate his creativity, intelligence, and brutality as Jigsaw. They also reflect his twisted sense of justice and morality, as well as his obsession with testing people's will to live.
The philosophy of John Kramer: How he justified his actions
John Kramer, the main character of the ten films in SAW franchise, was not a typical serial killer. He did not kill for pleasure, profit, or revenge. He killed for a purpose: to test his victims' will to live and make them appreciate their lives more. He believed that he was doing them a favor, by giving them a chance to redeem themselves and change their ways. He also believed that he was following a moral code, based on his own experiences and values.
John Kramer's philosophy was influenced by several factors in his life. One of them was his terminal cancer diagnosis, which made him realize how precious life is and how many people take it for granted. He decided to use his remaining time to teach others this lesson, by putting them in situations where they had to fight for their survival. He also wanted to make them face the consequences of their actions, such as harming themselves or others, wasting their potential, or being dishonest or selfish.
Another factor that shaped John Kramer's philosophy was his loss of his unborn son, Gideon, who was killed by a drug addict named Cecil Adams. This event filled him with grief and anger, and made him lose his faith in humanity. He blamed Cecil for his son's death, and decided to target people like him, who he considered unworthy of life. He also named his puppet Billy after his son's nickname, and used it as a symbol of his message.
A third factor that influenced John Kramer's philosophy was his admiration for his mentor, John Erickson, who was an architect and a humanitarian. Erickson taught him the importance of design and engineering, as well as the value of helping others. He also inspired him to create the Jigsaw Foundation, a charity organization that funded projects for developing countries. John Kramer applied these principles to his traps, which he designed and built with precision and care. He also claimed that he was helping his victims by testing them and giving them a choice.
John Kramer's philosophy can be summarized by his famous quote: "Live or die. Make your choice." He believed that life is a gift that should not be wasted or abused. He believed that people should be grateful for what they have and strive to improve themselves and society. He believed that people should be responsible for their actions and face the consequences. He believed that people should be given a chance to change and redeem themselves.
However, John Kramer's philosophy was also flawed and hypocritical. He did not respect the lives or choices of his victims, but rather imposed his own judgment and rules on them. He did not give them a fair or realistic chance to escape, but rather subjected them to torture and pain. He did not help them to change or improve, but rather traumatized them and left them scarred or dead. He did not follow his own code or values, but rather broke them or twisted them to suit his agenda.
John Kramer's philosophy was also challenged and criticized by many characters in the series, such as the police, the media, the survivors, and even some of his disciples. They questioned his motives, methods, and logic, and exposed his contradictions and lies. They also tried to stop him and end his games, either by arresting him, killing him, or exposing him.
John Kramer's philosophy was the driving force behind his actions as Jigsaw. It was a complex and controversial ideology that reflected his personality, history, and goals. It was also a source of conflict and debate among the characters and the audience of the Saw franchise.
The disciples of John Kramer: How he recruited his followers
John Kramer, the main character of the ten films in SAW franchise, was not a lone wolf. He had several disciples and followers who helped him carry out his games and continued his legacy after his death. These disciples were people who were either former victims or admirers of his work. They shared his vision or owed him their lives. They also had their own motives and agendas, which sometimes conflicted with his.
Some of the most notable disciples of John Kramer are:
- Amanda Young: She was the first and most loyal disciple of John Kramer. She was a drug addict who survived one of his traps, the Reverse Bear Trap. She became grateful to him for saving her life and joined him as his apprentice. She helped him set up many traps and games, and even became his heir after he died. However, she also developed an emotional attachment to him, which made her jealous and unstable. She also twisted his philosophy and made her traps unwinnable, which angered him. She was killed by Jeff Denlon, another victim, who shot her in the neck.
- Mark Hoffman: He was the second and most ruthless disciple of John Kramer. He was a detective who used Jigsaw's methods to kill his sister's murderer, Seth Baxter. He was blackmailed by John Kramer into becoming his apprentice, or else he would expose him to the police. He helped him set up many traps and games, and even tried to take over his role after he died. However, he also betrayed him and killed some of his allies, such as Jill Tuck, John's ex-wife, and Dr. Lawrence Gordon, John's first victim. He was captured by Gordon and his associates, who locked him in the Bathroom Trap.
- Lawrence Gordon: He was the first and most successful victim of John Kramer. He was a surgeon who was chained in the Bathroom Trap with Adam Stanheight, a photographer. He had to cut off his own foot to escape, and cauterized his wound with a hot pipe. He was rescued by John Kramer, who nursed him back to health and recruited him as his doctor and accomplice. He helped him with his medical needs and monitored some of his games. He also became his executor after he died, and carried out his final wishes. He captured Mark Hoffman and locked him in the Bathroom Trap.
- Logan Nelson: He was the newest and most surprising disciple of John Kramer. He was a veteran and a forensic pathologist who worked with the police to investigate Jigsaw's crimes. He was also a former victim of John Kramer, who survived one of his traps, the Bucket Room. He was spared by John Kramer, who realized that he had accidentally chosen him as a target. He became grateful to him for giving him a second chance and joined him as his apprentice. He helped him set up some of his earliest traps and games, before he became known as Jigsaw. He also continued his work after he died, and targeted people who were involved in his wife's death.
- William Schenk: He was the latest and most mysterious disciple of John Kramer. He was a copycat killer who used Jigsaw's methods to kill people who were connected to a cold case that he investigated as a detective. He faked his own death in one of Logan Nelson's traps, the Laser Collar, and posed as one of his victims. He then teamed up with Logan Nelson to continue Jigsaw's legacy and test more people. He also had a personal vendetta against Zeke Banks, another detective who was his former partner.
These are some of the main disciples of John Kramer, who played important roles in the Saw franchise. They demonstrate how John Kramer influenced and manipulated many people with his philosophy and methods. They also show how different people interpreted and applied his teachings in different ways.
The legacy of John Kramer: How he influenced other media and culture
John Kramer, the main character of the ten films in SAW franchise, was not only a serial killer, but also a cultural phenomenon. He and his traps became widely recognized and popular among the fans and the public, who were fascinated and horrified by his games and philosophy. He also inspired and influenced many other media and culture, such as movies, TV shows, video games, comic books, music, theme park attractions, and toys.
One of the most obvious and direct influences of John Kramer was on the horror genre. He and his franchise created and popularized a subgenre known as "torture porn" or "gorno", which features graphic violence, gore, and sadism. He also revived and reinvented the slasher genre, which features a masked or hidden killer who stalks and kills a group of people. He also introduced and explored themes such as morality, justice, survival, and choice, which added depth and complexity to the genre.
Some examples of horror movies that were influenced by John Kramer are:
- Hostel (2005): This movie follows a group of backpackers who are kidnapped and tortured by a secret organization that caters to wealthy clients who pay to kill people. The movie features graphic scenes of mutilation, dismemberment, and eye-gouging. It was directed by Eli Roth, who was a fan of the Saw franchise and dedicated the movie to John Kramer's actor Tobin Bell.
- The Collector (2009): This movie follows a burglar who breaks into a house that is rigged with deadly traps by a masked killer who collects his victims. The movie features elaborate and brutal traps, such as bear traps, razor wire, acid, and nails. It was written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who also wrote four of the Saw movies.
- Escape Room (2019): This movie follows a group of strangers who are invited to participate in an escape room game that turns out to be deadly. The movie features complex and creative puzzles, such as a giant oven, an upside-down billiard room, and an icy lake. It was inspired by the popularity of escape rooms and the Saw franchise.
Another influence of John Kramer was on other media and culture, such as TV shows, video games, comic books, music, theme park attractions, and toys. These media and culture either adapted or referenced his franchise or his character in various ways.
Some examples of other media and culture that were influenced by John Kramer are:
- Saw: The Video Game (2009): This is a video game that is based on the Saw franchise. It follows Detective David Tapp, who wakes up in an abandoned asylum that is filled with traps and puzzles set by Jigsaw. The game features voice acting by Tobin Bell as Jigsaw, as well as original characters and storylines.
- Saw: Rebirth (2005): This is a comic book that is a prequel to the Saw franchise. It reveals the origin and backstory of John Kramer as Jigsaw, as well as his first victims and traps. It was written by Kris Oprisko and illustrated by Renato Guedes.
- "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" (2007): This is a song by Radiohead that is inspired by the Saw franchise. It is about a man who is trapped in a cycle of self-destruction and regrets his choices. The title refers to Jigsaw's signature puzzle piece that he cuts from his victims.
- Halloween Horror Nights (2009-2010): This is a theme park attraction that is based on the Saw franchise. It features haunted houses and scare zones that recreate scenes and traps from the movies. It also features actors dressed as Jigsaw and his puppet Billy.
- McFarlane Toys (2004-2010): This is a toy company that produces action figures and collectibles based on the Saw franchise. It features detailed models of Jigsaw, his puppet Billy, his traps, and his victims.
These are some of the many media and culture that were influenced by John Kramer. They demonstrate how John Kramer became a legend and an icon in the horror genre and beyond. They also show how his franchise expanded and diversified into different forms and platforms.
The conclusion of John Kramer: How he died and what he left behind
John Kramer, the main character of the ten films in SAW franchise, was a man who lived and died by his own rules. He was a man who challenged and changed the lives of many people with his games and philosophy. He was a man who left a lasting mark on the world with his legacy and influence. He was a man who was known and feared as Jigsaw.
John Kramer's death was the culmination of his life's work. He died in the third film, after being killed by Jeff Denlon, one of his victims. Jeff was a man who had lost his son in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. He was put in a game where he had to forgive the people who were involved in his son's death, including John Kramer, who had orchestrated the accident. Jeff failed to do so, and instead shot John Kramer in the throat with a revolver.
However, John Kramer had anticipated this outcome, and had prepared a contingency plan. He revealed that he had implanted a bomb in Jeff's wife's neck, which would explode if he died. He also revealed that he had kidnapped Jeff's daughter, who was locked in a safe somewhere. He then gave Jeff one final choice: to either kill him and lose his family, or to let him live and save them. Jeff chose to kill him, and triggered the bomb that killed his wife. He then realized that the key to the safe was in John Kramer's stomach, which he had cut open with a power saw.
John Kramer's death was not the end of his games. He had left behind several tapes, instructions, and clues for his disciples and victims, who continued his work after he died. He also had hidden some secrets and surprises that were revealed in later films, such as his ex-wife Jill Tuck, who knew about his activities and helped him with some of his traps; his son Gideon, who was still alive and hidden by Jill; his first victim Lawrence Gordon, who became his doctor and accomplice; and his apprentice Logan Nelson, who was one of his earliest survivors.
John Kramer's death was also not the end of his legacy. He became a legend and an icon in the horror genre and beyond. He inspired and influenced many other media and culture, such as movies, TV shows, video games, comic books, music, theme park attractions, and toys. He also sparked debates and discussions among the fans and the public, who were fascinated and horrified by his games and philosophy.
John Kramer's death was the final chapter of his story as Jigsaw. He was a man who lived by his own rules until the end. He was a man who challenged and changed the lives of many people until the end. He was a man who left a lasting mark on the world until the end.
In this article, we have explored the life and work of John Kramer, the main character of the ten films in SAW franchise. We have examined his origin, motives, traps, disciples, and legacy as Jigsaw, the most notorious serial killer in horror cinema. We have also discussed his philosophy, methods, and impact on the horror genre and beyond.
John Kramer was a complex and controversial character, who fascinated and horrified millions of fans and viewers with his games and philosophy. He was a man who lived and died by his own rules, and challenged and changed the lives of many people with his tests. He was a man who left a lasting mark on the world with his legacy and influence.
Whether you love him or hate him, you cannot deny that John Kramer was a legend and an icon in the horror genre and beyond. He was a man who was known and feared as Jigsaw.
- Q: How many films are there in the Saw franchise?
- A: There are ten films in the Saw franchise so far. They are: Saw (2004), Saw II (2005), Saw III (2006), Saw IV (2007), Saw V (2008), Saw VI (2009), Saw 3D (2010), Jigsaw (2017), Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021), and Saw X (2023).
- Q: Who is the actor who plays John Kramer/Jigsaw?
- A: The actor who plays John Kramer/Jigsaw is Tobin Bell. He is an American actor who has appeared in more than 100 films and TV shows. He is best known for his role as Jigsaw, which earned him several awards and nominations.
- Q: What is the meaning of the jigsaw puzzle piece that Jigsaw cuts from his victims?
- A: The jigsaw puzzle piece that Jigsaw cuts from his victims is a symbol of their missing survival instinct. He believes that they are wasting their lives or harming others, and that they need to be tested to prove their worth. He also uses it as a signature to identify himself as Jigsaw.
- Q: What is the name of Jigsaw's puppet?
- A: The name of Jigsaw's puppet is Billy. He is a ventriloquist dummy that Jigsaw uses to communicate with his victims via video or audio recordings. He has white skin, black hair, red eyes, red cheeks, and a red bow tie. He also rides a tricycle.
- Q: What is the name of Jigsaw's ex-wife?
- A: The name of Jigsaw's ex-wife is Jill Tuck. She was a clinic worker who helped drug addicts. She was pregnant with John Kramer's son, Gideon, but she lost him in a robbery by one of her patients, Cecil Adams. She divorced John after he became Jigsaw, but she later helped him with some of his traps. She was killed by Mark Hoffman, one of Jigsaw's disciples, who put her in the Reverse Bear Trap.