Old traditions are quickly returning just in time for the release of the eighth installment of the Saw franchise. In addition to the gruesome (and intriguing) first trailer we received this summer along several new posters, Lionsgate is bringing back an impactful event that all longtime fans of the series will remember: the Saw blood drives.
During the Saw blood drives, fans are encouraged to donate blood in their local cities to raise awareness of the importance of being a donor while advertising the Horror franchise's latest installment and creating opportunities for donors to win free tickets and prizes.
The release of Jigsaw this Halloween is no different, as the film's producers will be giving away free tickets to any fan who donates at any of the sponsored blood donation mobiles around the United States. The Jigsaw Blood Drive is accepting all blood types and they're not-so-subtly using this year's campaign to call attention to a social issue that is just as important.
In addition to offering free movie tickets to fans to donate, the 2017 Jigsaw Blood Drive is being used as a vessel to raise awareness to the fact that homosexual men are still often restricted from donating blood. Despite a slight policy change by the FDA in 2015, you're still unable to donate blood if you've had any same-sex sexual contact within a year of donating. The campaign features the message "All Types Welcome" to encourage acceptance of homosexual blood donors and hopefully influence further change in the FDA's policies. In addition to an inclusive campaign slogan, some of the nurses (a.k.a., models) chosen for the campaign belong to the LGBTQ community, including transgender nightlife icon Amanda Lepore and openly gay model Shaun Ross.
Seeing producer Mark Burg and Lionsgate's chief brand officer Tim Palen dedicate the Jigsaw marketing campaign to such an important (and overlooked) policy is pretty awesome. Not only does it successfully call awareness to an issue that a lot of people might not know about, but it is further expanding the diversity of different lifestyles and cultures within the horror genre. Plus, it successfully brings attention back to an event that has managed to bring in 120,000 pints of blood and save over 360,000 lives.
Being inclusive and fighting for social issues isn't necessarily a new thing for the Saw franchise. Back in Saw VI, the film's title character of Jigsaw set up a game to challenge unfair insurance policies enacted by faceless corporations. Saw 3D: The Final Chapter challenged sensitive topics such as racism and fraudulent fame. There's no telling what modern issues Jigsaw will tackle, but with a campaign like this leading into the film's release, we might see something we're not expecting.
If you want to take the plunge and donate blood this year, the Jigsaw Blood Drive dates and locations can be found on the blood drive's website here.
Jigsaw when it hits theaters on October 27, 2017.