"Hello Zepp" is the original name of a piece of incidental music that was composed by Charlie Clouser for the first installation in the Saw film series. The piece's appearance in the first film was timed to bring a dramatic tone to the major plot twist in the end of the film, where the antagonist named Zep is revealed to actually be a victim of the actual main antagonist the Jigsaw Killer. As the series continues, the piece is re-used in all the films, often being renamed and remixed to accommodate the changing situations and characters in each film.
In the Saw series
The tune was used in Saw when the identity of Jigsaw was finally revealed to be John Kramer, the cancer patient, instead of Zep Hindle who had been originally thought to be due to his own test. The tune played when Adam Stanheight began to play Zep's tape, which the first words of were "Hello, Mr. Hindle. Or as they called you around the hospital: Zep."
When Darren Lynn Bousman was signed on to direct Saw II, Leigh Whannell, the original screenwriter for Saw who played Adam Stanheight, rewrote Bousman's original script, and included another major plot twist that Bousman and Wan decided "Hello Zepp" should be applied to. The tune was also remixed under the new title of "Don't Forget the Rules". The tune actually appears twice in Saw II. The original version of the tune played when Xavier cornered Amanda Young and Daniel Matthews in the bathroom from the original movie, and began to cut the back of his neck off for part of the combination to the safe upstairs. The remix played when Amanda revealed to Detective Eric Matthews that she had become Jigsaw's apprentice.
In Saw III, it played four times. The first occurrence plays over a flashback sequence which sheds more light on the design of the bathroom trap from the first film. The tune was named "The Shithole Theme" after a line in the original film. The second time it is played is actually the first remix of the piece, "Don't Forget the Rules", and is played as Amanda is wheeling Dr. Lynn Denlon into Jigsaw's room in the warehouse. The third occurrence is entitled "Your Test" and is a remix of the "Don't Forget The Rules" theme, playing as Jigsaw explains his test design to Amanda. The last occurrence is at the very end of the film, and plays over the tape that Jigsaw has prepared for Jeff Denlon. This remix is entitled "The Final Test".
In Saw IV, it played three times. The first was when Detective Mark Hoffman plays the wax tape. The second tune occurs three times during the film, entitled "Help Them". It plays first when Eric Matthews remembers how he survived the fight with Amanda, the second time when Jill Tuck has her miscarriage and the third time when Peter Strahm confronts Jill with various photos. The final version plays during the twist finale. Entitled "Let Go", it plays to a tape Art Blank played for Officer Daniel Rigg, telling him he failed his test. Hoffman then reveals himself to be another Jigsaw apprentice.
In Saw V, the theme once again plays in the final sequence, this time when Strahm is trapped in the Crushing Room. The remix has been given the name "Zepp Five", as it is the fifth remix of the original "Hello Zepp" theme. However, many fans have decided to call this mix "Choice" for unknown reasons. Although this theme sounds similar to the Saw IV theme, "Let Go", it seems more foreboding, implying Strahm's impending doom.
In Saw VI, the theme plays as William Easton finds out that now Tara and Brent Abbott have the choice to let him live or kill him. The theme has been named "Zepp Six". This theme sounds almost completely redone, with small parts of the original "Hello Zepp" theme, albeit, much deeper and slow. This most likely is to show the audience that William will most likely die, as well as get them to think that Hoffman will die as well.
In Saw 3D, the theme is named "Final Zepp", due to it being the last film. The song is a remix of several of the themes from previous movies, most notably Saws 5 and 6. The theme is very long, and slightly resembles the original during the second half. Due to the ending once again taking place in the infamous bathroom, the song was mostly made to resemble the original "Hello Zepp". There is also another mix of "Hello Zepp" which was named "Dr. Gordon Montage", it plays when it is revealed that Dr. Lawrence Gordon is another Jigsaw Accomplice.
In the film series, 31 versions or mixes of "Hello Zepp" have been heard.
- Saw (2003): "Zepp Overture"
- Saw: "Hello Zepp", "Zepp Overture"
- Saw II: "Played Before", "Cut Necks", "Conscious", "Hello, Eric"
- Saw III: "Amanda" "Hello Lynn" , "Tin Box", "Surprised", "Shithole Theme" , "Fix Me" ,"Your Test", "Final Test"
- Saw IV: "Just Begun-Mix1", "Just Begun-Mix2", "Just Begun-Mix3", "Just Begun-Mix4", "Help Them-Mix1", "Help Them-Mix2", "Lesson", "Let Go"
- Saw V: "Trap Attacks", "What it Takes", "Choice", "The Walls are closing"
- Saw VI: "Jill Drives-Mix1", "Jill Drives-Mix2", "Severed Hand-Mix1", "Severed Hand-Mix2", "Zepp Six", "Zepp Six-Alt.", "Hoffman's Zepp"
- Saw 3D: "Cauterize", "Only you", "Suport Group", "Junkyard"; "Autographs", "Dr. Gordon Montage", "The Final Zepp"