It might just be the weirdest way to spend your summer vacation: setting sail for Canada on a ship packed with fans of — and actors from — one of the grisliest horror movie franchises ever. That's right, there is now a ''Saw'' cruise. But don't worry: You don't have to kill anyone to get on board.
Do you like cruises? Do you like Canada? Do you like watching people get torn to smithereens in mechanical torture devices? Then have we got a vacation for you!
On Aug. 11, the first-ever Saw-themed cruise will leave New York City for a five-night round-trip journey to various scenic points in Canada, where the last six films in the torture-porn series were filmed. In addition to visiting a casino, a spa, and a steak house, horror-loving vacationers who board the good ship Carnival Glory can attend screenings of Saw movies and participate in a Saw tattoo contest. They will also be able to have their photograph taken with such Saw stars as Costas Mandylor, who played the villainous Detective Hoffman in five of the seven movies, and Anne Greene, who got gutted like a fish at the start of 2010’s franchise finale, Saw 3D.
The Saw at Sea Cruise was organized by Raybin Management, which runs the gory series’ official online store and has overseen a number of landlocked Saw events, including a cast reunion at last year’s Texas Frightmare horror convention. ”All these fans kept saying, ‘Why don’t we do a cruise?”’ says the company’s president, John Raybin. ”I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Then I did my research and realized everybody’s doing it. You have the Lynyrd Skynyrd cruise. You have the Kiss cruise. Celebrity events on cruises have become so popular.”
Some Saw aficionados have griped that key franchise stars Cary Elwes, Shawnee Smith, and Tobin Bell (a.k.a. torturer-in-chief Jigsaw) won’t be on board. Raybin admits that he is at the mercy of actors’ schedules, but insists the inaugural cruise has a ”great” lineup of participants — including Dan Yeager, who never appeared in any of the Saw films but does star as Leatherface in the forthcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.
Ticket prices are based on double occupancy and range from $779 for a cabin to $1,695, which bags you a suite and the opportunity to play in a miniature-golf tournament with the actors. Wait, a miniature-golf tournament? That doesn’t sound very torture-porn-y. ”A lot of the ideas came from the actors,” says Raybin. ”They said, ‘Hey, why don’t we play miniature golf? Why don’t we play volleyball?”’
Playing volleyball after a lengthy lunch at the steak house? Now, that does sound like torture. (For more information on the Saw cruise, go to sawatsea.com.)