The Art of Torture: a Photographic Tour

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
Shotgun collar
Shotgun collar.
Jaw splitter
Jaw-splitter. This device snaps open jaws, set to a timer.
ice shower torture
Ice shower.
ice shower torture
Ice Shower turned sculpture.
head snapper
Skull Snapper. The victim is supposed to retrieve a key that were surgically planted in one of his eye. A scalpel is provided for amenity.
razor wrist-trap
One-way razor wrist-trap.
body chain torture
Chain thru body. The victim is supposed to free himself by ripping off his punctured flesh.
ribcage ripper
Rib ripper. The victim is supposed to dip her hand into the acid to retrieve the key. Else, the harness that is attached to her ribs will rip her ribs apart.
ripped ribcage
The aftermath.
modern rack torture device
Modern Rack. The victim's limbs will be twisted beyond twistability by a mechanical force, and lastly, the neck as well.

These images are screenshots or photos from the movie series Saw. (Images from

Saw Buy at amazon is a movie made by Americans. Its theme and central attraction, is explicit depiction of artful torture. By artful, it is meant that torture is taken as a art form, where the devices are ingenious, and the victims have to suffer the most possible pain before death, and mostly have to initiate or self-inflict the pain themselves, in the hope of escape. (e.g. sawing off their own leg, gouge their own eye, dipping hand in acid …)

The Saw series, started in 2004, and because of huge profit, has been making a sequel each year. Saw III is released in 2006, again to huge success. Saw IV is planned to release in 2007.

In the USA culture, explicit enjoyment of torture is ok, but nakedness is not ok. For example, Janet Jackson exposed one of her breast on TV for a few seconds, that caused a nation-wide controversy with few millions dollars fine to TV networks and also a change in US law and live broadcast rules. See nakedness — a American crime.

Saw = Demented Morality of US American Justice Obsession

Just watched the torture porn movie Saw VI. Buy at amazon

today. I love the torture scenes, but otherwise despise all other aspect of it. Americans, with their infatuation of justice and human rights, yet still love torture like every other human animal, had to create this twisted theme of justice to subconsciously justify their enjoyment of a graphic torture story. The Saw series is a huge money maker.

This shallow, twisted, theme of justice is very offensive to me. For example, you know how insurance company has a formula to calculate the insurance rates for each person, based on their health, age? That's very rational, fair, and justified. But in Saw VI, it implies such insurance policy is not moral, and the person who “invented” this insurance formula is used as a victum for us to enjoy the torture show. You know how some people are addicted to drugs, who otherwise might have a good life? So, “Saw” makes fun of this. In Saw's theme, it says these people need to be tortured so that they “wake up” and realize the value of life. As another example, another justification to torture people is on those rich or well-to-do who are un-ethical or criminal in business or practices (e.g. Predatory lending). The victums are not always offenders of some crass morality. Some are almost random, playing on human vengeance. Torturers also get tortured, as some sorta vindication that “you need to test yourself, too!”.

In general, the film is about a demented guy who torture others. He considers himself to be some sort of justice giver or teacher in helping his victums. He thinks his victums “deserve” it. His reasons are certain lose pop morality. These brainless moral thoughts are typical of the uneducated masses.

The Saw series of movies insults intelligence, insults education, insults moral philosophy.

Of torture porn films, i rather enjoyed The Devil's Rejects Buy at amazon and Hostel: Part II Buy at amazon

The Devil's Rejects is a cult classic. Featuring a bunch of demented fucks of culturally American “midwest” types, crazy for the sake of it. Weird and funny. The “Hostel: Part II”, is just pure torture porn, without some moral shit. In Hostel II, i particularly like the protagonist chick Beth, who, when facing death, made a choice that transformed herself from a victum to a anti-hero. She is beautiful, intelligent, and courageous. The type of woman i love.