11 years ago today, “Saw” opened in theaters, shocking audiences with its grotesque violence and securing director James Wan's place in the Splat Pack. The Halloween season theatrical release followed a January 2004 premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Starring Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride”), the film was a game-changer, opening up the elevator floodgates to gallons of blood that would pour out from a new level of extremely gory horror movies.
A huge box office success, “Saw” has made over $103 million off of a reported $1.2 million budget. Six sequels continued the legacy of the sadistic madman Jigsaw.
“Saw” was Wan's feature directorial debut. The Australian filmmaker went on to direct “Insidious,” “The Conjuring” and “Furious 7.” He”s also directing the 2018 movie based on the DC Comics character Aquaman.
“Saw,” “Insidious” and “The Conjuring” all are on the Top 200 in HitFix”s Ultimate Horror Poll, for which we polled over 100 luminaries of the genre to determine the greatest horror films of all time. You can browse the full list here.
Also on this day in pop culture history: The original “Got Milk?” commercial was first broadcast on October 29, 1993. Yes, the commercial that inspired all the other “got whatever?” follow-ups and parodies. Below, watch that very first “Got Milk?” commercial, officially titled “Aaron Burr,” directed by none other than Michael Bay.
One homage to that original commercial you have to watch, especially if you”re listening to the soundtrack of Broadway hit “Hamilton” non-stop:
Other notable October 29 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1920: “The Golem: How He Came Into the World” premiered in Germany. It was among the early German Expressionist horror films that would influence many later movies in the horror genre.
• 1966: “The Mighty Heroes” premiered on CBS. The animated TV series lasted 20 episodes but was later syndicated as part of the “Mighty Mouse” package.
• 1967: The musical “Hair” opened off-Broadway.
• 1976: Elvis Presley recorded the last single released before his death, “Way Down,” at his home studio in Graceland.
• 1977: Fleetwood Mac”s “Rumours” began its 15th consecutive week and 25th week overall at the No. 1 spot on Billboard”s album chart.
• 1983: Madonna scored her first hit when her song “Holiday” entered the Billboard Hot 100 at spot No. 88.
• 2003: The first “Call of Duty” game was released.
Birthdays: “The Simpsons” voice actor Dan Castellaneta (58), “Jaws” actor Richard Dreyfuss (68), “General Hospital” actress Finola Hughes (55), “Black-ish” actress Tracee Ellis Ross (43), “Little Women” actress Winona Ryder (44), “Bring It On” actress Gabrielle Union (43)