When I watched Saw when it came out, and again when I watched it for class, I was annoyed at the (dismal) ambiguous ending that makes us wonder, is Dr. Lawrence Gordon dead? We all know he cut off his foot, which would mean massive bleeding and makes it impossible for him to escape. Even if he didn’t die from his self-inflicted injury, Jigsaw would have been on his tail right after locking Adam in the bathroom.
After doing searches along the lines of “saw movie discussion” and “is dr. gordon alive” it was evident that there is definitely a significant amount of people wondering the same. I found several sites, from an unserious and meandering thread on Fearscene (Saw discussion; is Dr. Gordon dead?) to a concise and straighforward answer list on WikiAnswers (WikiAnswers – Is dr gordon from the saw series still alive).
However, thinking outside the box, what really makes this topic legit? Of course, a Facebook group would be necessary. I stumbled upon this amazing group, DOCTOR LAWRENCE GORDON IS ALIVE | Facebook
The group has 183 members and is very active. The latest post happened yesterday night and the earliest post was in July 2009. I haven’t watched any SAW movie after the first one so I was really intrigued by all the fan theories and discussions on this topic. On the Wall tab, one member was antagonized by the movie spoilers on this topic while another writes “I enjoy this group very much (: I’m going to watch all the Saw movies again soon.” Many posts point out more Dr. Gordon trivia and the discussion is very focused on the film instead of meandering to other topics. The group also brings resolution to the whole debate. Under the News tab, there is a list called “The Proof.” Every instance that Dr. Gordon is mentioned in a SAW film is meticulously labeled. The most recent update states that SAW VII shows that Gordo is alive. In the group’s breaking new, they link an article where a SAW screenwriters says that the Gordon story will be explained in it’s entirety. So, mystery is solved, we’ll finally see what happened to the Doctor.
We mentioned in class that SAW was planned to be a franchise from the very start. What will keep people coming back to watch each one one that comes out? The latest movie SAW VI grossed $62.09 million worldwide, which is amazing considering their $11m budget, but it’s a far cry from the $164.78m of SAW III. It was smart of the producers and writers to retain viewers by playing off of expectations, even if they didn’t plan to make Dr. Gordon an essential character past the first film. This doctor mystery, along with the thrill of seeing blood and gore, kept people coming back to theaters which no doubt keeps this franchise so popular.
Overall, all these discussions are exciting due to the sheer fact that that so many people care. We know when we watch horror films, there’s a slim chance that anyone survives at the end. The viewers are detached from the characters because we have no hope in their survival. Yet this is a rare instance where people have been attached to the same character’s survival for 6 years, which is a long time to obsess over. For me, Dr. Gordon’s survival is a fleeting thought that I might remark on if I ever talked about SAW with a friend. However, to write on threads/discussions shows that people are truly engaged in the idea (or, they have a lot of time on their hands).
Supposedly SAW VII will be the last film, but with horror movies, we never really know when the franchise will end, or whether there will be spinoffs/remakes. Still, fans want their films done right, and the studio gives them what they want.