The UK's thrill-capital, THORPE PARK, leading next generation film studio LIONSGATE (NYSE: LGF) and TWISTED PICTURES today announced that they will launch SAW - The Ride, the world's first ever horror movie-themed rollercoaster, in Spring 2009. Based on Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures' 'Saw' franchise, the most profitable horror franchise in movie history, SAW - The Ride is the scariest ride in the world. The latest installment in the series, 'Saw V,' premieres on Friday 24th October, and THORPE PARK will be inviting visitors to 'Face Your Fears' on their new terrifying attraction next year.
Like the films, THORPE PARK's new rollercoaster will test the nerve of all who dare ride it and visitors will be at the mercy of the series' master manipulator, Jigsaw. The ultimate test of SAW - The Ride will be a 'beyond vertical' drop of 100º from a height of 100ft, making it the steepest freefall drop in the world. Riders will also endure three inversions that will add another dimension to a whole new experience of adrenaline-fuelled fun for thrill seekers.
SAW - The Ride continues the growth of the 'Saw' franchise as an international cultural touchstone. The original 2004 'Saw' launched a new wave in horror films and introduced a bona fide icon of terror: Jigsaw, the philosophically inclined psychopath with an exacting moral agenda and a genius for gruesome games of survival, 'played' with those he believes have ceased to value and appreciate the gift of life. Ratcheting up tension and invention with each successive film, the 'Saw' franchise has become a part of the zeitgeist while jangling nerves around the world. To date, the four 'Saw' titles have taken in over $550 million in worldwide theatrical box office and their combined gross DVD sales are nearly 24 million units.
Candy Holland, Creative Director for Merlin Entertainments Resort Theme Parks, is the woman behind the ride and arguably has Britain's scariest and most exciting job. She is an extreme thrill enthusiast and will draw on her extensive background in theme park and theatre set design, working with the project team to make it the scariest ride in the world. Candy was also responsible for the creative development of THORPE PARK's Stealth ride, Se7en maze, and Oblivion and Air at Alton Towers Resort.
Candy Holland comments, "I'm a huge fan of horror films and am utterly relishing creating the scariest ride in the world. Anybody who has sat through a 'Saw' film scared and terrified beyond belief will have some idea of what's in store for them at THORPE PARK. SAW - The Ride is going to be shocking and intense…both physically and psychologically…and is sure to give you nightmares.
"We have worked in close collaboration with Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures on this project to ensure total accuracy of the key elements of the 'Saw' films, which when combined with the latest rollercoaster technology will create a phenomenal ride experience."
Marketing Director of THORPE PARK Carolyn London says, "SAW - The Ride is definitely only for the brave, and will add an element of edge to an already adrenaline packed breadth of thrills on offer. We're certain the 'Saw' theme will set pulses racing and will satisfy the appetite of those in search of the ultimate exhilarating experience."
'Saw' producers and Twisted Pictures principals Mark Burg and Oren Koules remark, "We love scaring people, and SAW - The Ride is a whole new way to do it. The team at THORPE PARK have really impressed us with their grasp of the 'Saw' universe and with their dedication to creating a truly edgy attraction."
Guy Avshalom, Lionsgate COO, and Aubrey McClure, Lionsgate Vice President of Promotions, Licensing & Merchandising, add, "SAW - The Ride is a reflection of how thoroughly the 'Saw' franchise has crossed over into pop culture at large. We are delighted to be working with THORPE PARK to continue that expansion with the scariest ride in the world."
The new ride will be the Park's fourth major rollercoaster, joining an already impressive portfolio of extreme ride experiences, including Stealth - Europe's fastest rollercoaster, Colossus - the world's first ten looping rollercoaster and Nemesis Inferno - the 4.5 G-force experience.
THORPE PARK will open for the full 2009 season on Saturday 14th March but to preview the ride visit www.sawtheride.com. For further information please log onto www.thorpepark.com.