|“||Do you know anything about the Chinese Zodiac?||”|
— Jill tells Strahm about Gideon[src]
The original pig mask Jigsaw used to abduct his first victim, which he found on a Chinese street festival, was presumably made of rather cheap materials. It had big white eyes with long lashes, two red circles on its cheeks and white lips forming a cheerful grin. Additionally it had a shock of pink, fuzzy hair.
Shortly after his first game, Jigsaw started to use more sinister looking masks that were made of realistic looking latex. Usually the mask was topped with long, black, messy hair. Additionally runlets of blood and pus surrounded the eyeholes and nostrils, which was suggested to be a symbol of guilt. These masks soon became one of his trademarks.
When John Kramer was still married to his wife, Jill Tuck, the two of them were expecting a child which John had already meticulously planned to be born during the year of the pig in the Chinese zodiac. John was as devoted to his unborn son as he was to his wife and it was also him who gave him his name, Gideon. Unfortunately Jill, who ran the Homeward Bound Clinic, a recovery clinic for drug addicts, was robbed by one of her patients, Cecil Adams, during her seventh month of pregnancy. When he tried to flee, Cecil accidently slammed a doorknob into Jill's stomach. John found her shortly afterward and took her to the Angel of Mercy Hospital. However despite all their efforts, the doctors were unable to save Gideon.
When John eventually became the Jigsaw Killer, he started his self-imposed mission of testing other peoples' will to survive in order to make them appreciate their lives. His first test subject was Cecil Adams. For several weeks John observed him and felt vindicated in his belief that only those who were close to death were able to value their life, as he saw that Cecil just continued his life after Gideon's death and didn't change in the slightest. John spent much of his time following Cecil and preparing himself emotionally for the first part of his mission. When the time had come, he followed Cecil to a Chinese festival in celebration of the year of the pig. While doing so, he saw how Cecil spoke to a saleswoman. After distracting her, he quickly stole one of the small terracotta figures from her booth before vanishing. Using a pig mask filled with chloroform for Cecil and a second one to conceal his own identity, John sedated and abducted Cecil, took him to his workshop and placed him in his first trap, the Knife Chair. (Saw IV)
Early on in his murder series, John recruited Detective Mark Hoffman and made him his apprentice after the latter had killed Seth Baxter, the murderer of his sister, in a self-made trap to throw his colleagues' suspicion on Jigsaw. To convince Hoffman of his moral beliefs and to show him that his work was necessary, John targeted Paul Leahy, a man who had tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists.
One night during the month after is failed suicide attempt Paul sat in his car. While he was drunk he tried to commit suicide again by cutting his wrists with a glass shard from his broken liquor bottle but was interrupted when someone bumped the rear of his car. When he got out to see what happened he was suddenly attacked by John and Hoffman, who covered their faces with pig masks. Paul tried to fight them off and nearly managed to do so by almost strangling Hoffman but was ultimately sedated by John Kramer with a syringe. After he lost consciousness John and Hoffman took him to a basement where they had prepared a test for him to see if he truly wanted to die. (Saw V)
A few weeks after Paul's death, Detective David Tapp and Detective Steven Sing managed to deduce the location of Jigsaw's hideout in an abandoned mannequin factory. Minutes later they arrived at the factory. Armed with a shotgun, Sing broke through the front door and entered the building, followed by Tapp who gave him cover. When they searched the hideout, they found a box with little figures resembling another deadly game Jigsaw had already planned for the future. Furthermore, they found one of the pig masks he used for his abductions as well as a mechanical ventriloquist puppet used by Jigsaw to deliver his instructions to his victims. (Saw)
Five months after the police raid on Jigsaw's hideout, he and his apprentices prepared another game which was going to take place in a grimy industrial bathroom. On the night of his game, John's doctor and renowned oncologist, Lawrence Gordon, went to a hotel where he met his medical student and mistress, Carla. While he was in the hotel room with her, John or one of his apprentices broke into his car and hid on the back seats. Shortly afterwards, Lawrence returned and got into his car but soon found himself trapped in the parking garage. When he tried to call for help, the person on his back seat quietly approached and attacked him while covering their face with one of the masks.
Shortly afterwards, Amanda Young, Jigsaw's second apprentice, invaded the apartment of Adam Stanheight, a freelance photographer who had been hired by discharged detective Tapp to observe Gordon. After Adam fell asleep in his darkroom, Amanda removed the fuse for his apartment as well as the batteries from his flash lamp. Then she placed one of John's ventriloquist puppets in the living room and went into hiding in Adam's closet. When Adam woke up and found his entire apartment without light he quickly realized someone else was in his apartment and used his camera flash to locate the invader. Upon entering his living room he found the puppet sitting on his couch and maniacally laughing at him. Adam used a baseball bat to destroy the puppet when he realized that the invader was hiding in his closet. However when he eventually searched the closet he was attacked by Amanda, who had covered her face with a pig mask, and after a brief struggle he ultimately passed out. (Saw, III)
Several months later the mask was used again by Amanda. While John played a game with Detective Eric Matthews, a corrupt cop who had innocently framed Amanda for drug possession by faking the evidence in the case, Amanda returned to the bathroom, where Adam and Gordon's game had taken place. Disguised in a black cloak and a pig mask she lay down in the empty bathtub. Some time later Eric finally arrived at the house to search for his son, Daniel Matthews, who had been abducted by Jigsaw as well. When he entered the bathroom and saw Amanda's lifeless body covered in the cloak he initially believed it to be Daniel. However when he approached her she took him by surprise and injected him with an anesthetic. Eric tried to shoot her but due to the narcotic ultimately lost his consciousness.
When Eric lay on the floor before her Amanda took of her mask and shackled him by the ankle to the same pipe as Adam. Afterwards she took the magazine from his gun and disappeared, leaving only the empty gun, a flashlight, the hacksaw and an audio tape in the room. Once Eric woke up he was disorientated at first but eventually found the tape lying next to him. When he started the tape he realized that it was recorded by Amanda and that she had merely pretended to be a victim of Jigsaw all the time during the game. She revealed to him that she was going to be John's successor once he died and that Eric was her first test subject. Seconds later Amanda appeared. Eric angrily shouted at her and threw the tape after her but she closed the door with the words "Game Over", leaving Eric alone in the darkness. (Saw II)
Throughout the next six months, John's physical condition worsened drastically due to his cancer, causing him to meet the arrangements for his last game. Therefore sent Amanda to go after Dr. Lynn Denlon, another test subject and renowned surgeon, and bring her to their new hideout at the Gideon Meatpacking Plant. Eager to fulfill his orders Amanda left the building and went to the Angel of Mercy Hospital. Disguised with a pig mask Amanda entered the hospital undetected and waited for Lynn Denlon. When the doctor came back from the accident and emergency department and entered the changing room Amanda followed her and locked the door. When Lynn was about to leave and realized she was trapped she tried to call for help on her mobile. However before she could do so she was attacked and subdued by Amanda who took her to the Gideon Plant and strapped her to a wheelchair. (Saw III, VI)
At about the same time, Hoffman abducted the final test subject, Jeff Denlon, Lynn's husband. Disguised with a pig mask, he invaded Jeff's house where he lived with his daughter, Corbett Denlon. Unbeknown to them, he went into hiding in the bedroom of Dylan Denlon, Jeff's 8-year-old son, who had been killed during a car accident by drunk driver Timothy Young. When he saw the right opportunity, Hoffman subdued and took Jeff and his daughter, as well as all of Dylan's possessions to the Gideon Plant, where he locked Corbett up in a room and trapped Jeff inside a large wooden crate located in a storage area near the building's delivery entrance. (Saw III)
At the same time, another game played out which focussed on Officer Daniel Rigg. As part of the game's preparations, Hoffman disguised himself with one of the masks and went to a cell in which Eric Matthews, who was still alive, had spent the last six months. He sedated him and took him to the Gideon Plant where he placed him in a trap before tying himself to a chair next to him, pretending to be a victim as well. At the same night, Rigg was attacked by Art Blank, another victim connected to his test, who placed him in his bathtub. While Rigg was unconscious, Art set up a trap in his living room and then left the apartment. When Rigg eventually woke up and left his bathroom, he immediately realized that he had become a subject of one of Jigsaw's games. Upon entering the living room, Rigg found the trap set up by Art Blank as well as a woman, Brenda, who was chained to the device. Brenda's face was covered with a pig mask. When Rigg approached her, a TV turned on in front of them. A video left by Jigsaw told Rigg to go away and abandon Brenda to her fate. However Rigg refused and took the mask from her face. Unbeknown to him, the mask was connected to a metal pin which was subsequently pulled out of the trap and activated it, causing Brenda's scalp to be pulled off. However Rigg eventually managed to free her by opening the combination lock which secured her chains.
Shortly after the events at his apartment, Rigg arrived at the Alexander Motel, where his second game took place. Rigg entered one of the rooms by using a key Art Blank had left in his apartment. On the bed he found a large box with a photo of Rigg's wife, Tracy, lying on top of it. Due to some long, black hair sticking out of the box, Rigg initially thought that Tracy's severed head might be in the box and hesitated to open it. However when he ultimately did it, he was relieved to see that the hair belonged to one of Jigsaw's pig masks. Besides the mask, the box contained a mugshot of the motel proprietor, Ivan Landsness, as well as an audio tape for Rigg which gave him his further instructions. To continue his series of tests, he had to force Ivan to play a game on his own. The tape told him that he had to put on the mask so the cameras in the room wouldn't recognize him. However Rigg decided to use the mask otherwise. While Ivan was busy with getting rid of a drunk vagrant, Rigg attracted the attention of his dog, Chance, and lured it upstairs to the bedrooms. After dealing with the vagrant, Ivan followed Chance who had found the pig mask lying on the floor right before the door of the room where Rigg had found it. When Ivan approached and picked it up, Rigg stepped out and aimed his gun at Ivan, forcing him into the room. (Saw IV)
At the time when Rigg's game ended, Special Agent Peter Strahm entered the Gideon Meatpacking Plant and eventually found the corpses of John Kramer and Amanda Young after their death at the hands of Jeff Denlon as well as the corpse of Jeff's wife, Lynn. However Jeff thought that Strahm was working with Jigsaw as well and aimed his gun on him, causing Strahm to shoot him in self defense. Moments later he was trapped and locked up in the room by Mark Hoffman who was at the Gideon Plant as well. However when the lights were turned off, Strahm found an entrance to a hidden hallway. Upon opening the door, he found an audio tape, which adviced him to stay in the room until the reinforments arrived. Strahm however ignored the warning and entered the hallway which ultimately led him to another room. Only mere seconds after entering the room, he was suddenly attacked by Hoffman, who had covered his face with one of the masks and injected him with an anaesthetic. After subduing him, Hoffman placed Strahm in one of Jigsaw's traps, a glass cube which would be filled with water once the agent woke up. (Saw V)
Following John and Amanda's death, the games were continued by Mark Hoffman, who abducted a number of victims selected by John before his death. One of them was William Easton, manager of the Umbrella Health insurance company and John's former health insurance consultant. On the night of his game, Hoffman cut off the current supply of the Umbrella Health Headquarters, when William was alone in his office. Surprised by the sudden blackout, William was about to leave his office to look for the janitor, Hank, when he saw a dark silhouette behind a milk glass window. Alerted by this, he grabbed a gun from the drawer of his desk and quickly went into hiding. When the person entered, William left his hiding spot and told the invader to freeze. However, the man turned around and was subsequently shot by William. Moments later, William realized that the man was in fact a security guard. While he tried to help him, the guard attempted to warn him of Hoffman who was approaching from behind. Unfortunately, William didn't understand the warning and was subdued by Hoffman, who had disguised himself with one of the pig masks. Afterwards, he was taken to the abandoned Rowan Zoological Institute, where he had to face his series of tests. (Saw VI)
Additionally, Hoffman went after William's sister, the investigative journalist Pamela Jenkins. Shortly before her abduction, Pamela had met him at a hospital and asked him to arrange an interview with Jill Tuck. Remembering her request, Hoffman embraced the opportunity to ambush her and sent her message with Jill's adress at 545 4th Street. Shortly afterwards, she arrived at the apartment of Jill, who wasn't happy to see her. Pamela showed her the blackmailing letter which Hoffman had anonymously written to Amanda, and asked Jill if she understood the meaning of this message. Jill denied this and told her to go. Unsatisfied with her visit, Pamela slided the letter under the door, telling her to call back if she changed her opinion. Afterwards, she left and entered the elevator. However, by unknown means Hoffman had blocked the control panel and thereby deactivated the elevator. When she went back through the hallway, Hoffman attacked her from behind while covering his face with one of his masks and injected her with an anaesthetic, before taking her to the zoo as well, where she had to participate in William's game, who was actually her brother. (Saw VI)
Shortly after the game of William Easton, Hoffman set up one last series of tests. These tests focussed on Bobby Dagen, who had been targeted by John after he had lied about being a Jigsaw survivor. When Bobby left a meeting of the support group for Jigsaw victims, which had taken place in a local church, he was attacked by Hoffman on the parking area. (Saw 3D)
Mark Hoffman's Abduction
Following Bobby's game and the execution of Jill Tuck, Hoffman returned to his hideout in an abandoned hangar and prepared prepared everything to flee. After providing himself with necessaries such as money and a gun, Hoffman turned on two explosive gas bottles and blew up his hideout and everything inside. However when he was about to leave, he was suddenly attacked by two pig-masked figures. When they took him by surprise, a third masked figure approached and injected Hoffman with an anesthetic, causing him to collaps. The third man then took off the mask, revealing himself to be Dr. Lawrence Gordon, who had become Jigsaw's secret apprentice after surviving the events at the bathroom. Hoffman was initially shocked but quickly passed out due to the anaesthetic and was taken to the bathroom. (Saw 3D)
Use in other Media
The pig mask was also used by the Pighead, an ally of Jigsaw in Saw: The Video Game. Throughout the game he was frequently encountered by the game's protagonist, David Tapp. On one occasion he abducted Amanda Young right before Tapp's eyes only minutes after the latter had managed to save her from a trap. Even though he was Jigsaw's ally, he broke his rules multiple times by killing numerous other test subjects and ultimately also tried to manipulate Tapp's game. This eventually resulted in a fight in an interior courtyard of the Whitehurst Insane Asylum. During that fight Tapp lured him into a fenced off area and turned on a switch, causing the Pighead to be electrocuted and subsequently killed.
Another Pighead appeared in the game's sequel, Saw II: Flesh & Blood. Like his predecessor he killed multiple other test subjects, including the Chief of Police, Henry Jacobs, and possibly Solomon Bates. However he never acted hostile towards the game's protagonist, Michael Tapp, except for his abduction in the beginning of the game. It was hinted by Sarah Blalok that Pighead was an old friend of Michael's father, David Tapp. However she was killed by Detective Joseph Poltzer before she could reveal the Pighead's identity. Depending on the player's decision in the prologue of the game, Michael survived his final test and was offered a final choice: He could go away and clear his father's name or he could become the third Pighead and help Jigsaw.
Behind the Scenes
When working on the original Saw film, writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan wanted their antagonist, Jigsaw, to have some sort of mask. After some discussion, the idea of Jigsaw wearing a rotting pig's head was chosen to symbolize his pessimistic view of the world and the disease that he was "rotting" from.
Nevertheless, the mask given to them from production (a rubber halloween mask) was considered by them to be less than satisfactory. A number of things were added to make it look more gruesome, including long black hair and pus running from its eyes and nostrils. Leigh Whannell has still admitted to be disappointed with its final appearance compared to his intended one, but has admitted that the mask has since become one of the "staples" of the Saw franchise.
- According to the audio commentary of Saw 3D, Brad and Ryan from the beginning of the film were supposed to be the two pig-masked men who assisted Dr. Gordon in the abduction of Hoffman.
Appearances and References
|Saw||Saw II||Saw III||Saw IV||Saw V||Saw VI||Saw 3D|
|Full Disclosure Report||The Scott Tibbs Documentary||Saw: The Video Game||Saw II: Flesh & Blood|