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Fuck you! I'm not going to prison!
— Joseph, after being saved by Michael Tapp[src]

Detective Joseph Poltzer is a fictional character from the Saw franchise. He serves as the tertiary antagonist of Saw II: Flesh & Blood.

He was voiced by Mark Carr.


The Cartel

Joseph Poltzer was a detective who worked for the Metropolitan Police Department. As the department's lead vice detective, he mainly investigated crimes involving prostitution and narcotics. However, instead of arresting the dealers, he forced them to work for him. Along with Henry Jacobs, the Chief of Police, he stole drugs from the police station's evidence room to sell them on the streets. The two of them eventually founded a drug cartel with the assistance of Dr. Carla Song, who stole pharmaceuticals from her clinic, and Sarah Blalok, a drug addict who sold drugs on the street and worked for the police as an informant. The cartel's profits and activities were concealed by an accountant named Solomon Bates. Joseph met up with Henry every night after work to give him big cash stacks. Occasionally, the cartel members met in Poltzer's house at 124th Street to plan their next steps. (Saw II: Flesh & Blood)

David Tapp's Death

At some point, the department's homicide division got involved in the investigation of a serial killer case. The first victim was a drug addict named Cecil Adams, who died of blood loss after falling into a cage filled with razor wire. He had eight parallel cuts on his face, and a jigsaw piece had been cut from his shoulder, leading to the killer being nicknamed "Jigsaw" by Henry. (Saw II: Flesh & Blood)

Several months later, David Tapp, the former lead investigator on the case, was abducted by Jigsaw and forced to play one of his games at the abandoned Whitehurst Insane Asylum. Ultimately, Tapp chose to let go of his pursuit of Jigsaw in exchange for the freedom of all the victims trapped in the asylum. Throughout the following days, the press frequently reported the events at Whitehurst and declared Tapp a hero. Nonetheless, Tapp couldn't overcome his obsession with Jigsaw and ultimately committed suicide in his apartment by shooting himself in the head. (Saw: The Video Game, Saw II: Flesh & Blood)


Following his former colleague's suicide, Joseph went to Tapp's flat to investigate the scene, along with Jennings Foster and Chief Jacobs. On this occasion, he briefly met Tapp's son, Michael, and dismissively told him to leave. As Jennings continued his work, and Joseph and Henry tried to find any evidence against the cartel that Tapp might have discovered, Michael went out to have a smoke. Shortly afterward, Joseph was subdued by a mysterious man with a sinister pig mask. When he lost consciousness, the attacker took him to the abandoned Holmes Hotel. (Saw II: Flesh & Blood)

Michael Tapp's Test

Joseph in the trap

When he woke up again, Joseph realized that he had been abducted by Jigsaw, who was, in fact, a civil engineer and terminal cancer patient named John Kramer. In the pool area, he came across Henry Jacobs, who had also been abducted. Henry ordered Joseph to find and eliminate Michael Tapp, who was trapped in the hotel as well, as he was afraid that the latter knew the truth about the drug cartel they were involved in. Although Joseph didn't see him as a threat, as Michael had helped them avoid being discovered, he agreed to obey Henry's orders. However, shortly afterward, he was subdued once more and taken to an abandoned chemical plant right across from the hotel. In a room near the entrance area, his abductor put him in one of Jigsaw's deadly contraptions, which resembled a metal table. Each of his limbs, as well as his head, were held in place by mechanical vises.

Eventually, Michael made his way to the room where Joseph was held captive. As he approached him, a TV turned on in front of them, and a mechanical ventriloquist puppet named Billy appeared on-screen. It confronted Joseph with his crimes and his involvement in the drug cartel, despite his promises to protect the city. Furthermore, it informed him and Michael about the rules of the game, saying that Joseph would die if Michael didn't manage to save him.

Michael tries to save Joseph

Michael spotted four panels around the table, each one with nine dials. He had to turn these dials in the right way to keep the hydraulic pressure low. There were different colors above, below, and on both sides of each dial. The colors between two adjacent dials had to match. Eventually, Michael managed to accomplish his task in time, and Joseph was released from the table. When Joseph got up, he was slightly surprised that Michael had saved him. However, Michael confronted him with his crimes, to which Joseph merely responded that he had to make a living and told Michael to stay out of his way. Michael said to him that he'd put him in prison if they ever escaped the plant. Joseph insulted him, stating that he wouldn't go to jail, and then rode up the elevator and left Michael behind. (Saw II: Flesh & Blood)

Sarah Blalok's Death

Sometime later, he encountered Henry once more. Henry gave his gun to him and told him that Michael mustn't survive as he knew too much about their involvement in the drug cartel. Afterward, they separated, and Joseph made his way to an abandoned railway building nearby. As he walked through a subway tunnel, he came across Sarah Blalok. She spoke to Michael and admitted that she was blackmailed into spying on his father because her accomplices from the cartel were afraid that he might find out about their criminal activities. However, when she wanted to reveal the identity of Pighead to him, Joseph suddenly snuck up on her and shot her in the head. Afterward, he aimed his gun at Michael as he knew too much about the criminal organization. Michael ran from cover to cover to avoid being shot and thereby got closer and closer to Joseph, forcing the latter to retreat. Eventually, Joseph fled to a utility room and closed the door behind him. (Saw II: Flesh & Blood)


Joseph's corpse

Shortly afterward, he encountered Michael once more in the main hall of the building. As before, Michael evaded his gunshots by running from cover to cover. Every time Joseph had to reload his revolver, Michael used the break in the firing to get closer to him. Thereby, he forced him to retreat. While avoiding the shots, Michael pursued Joseph to the upper floor. When he had to reload his gun again, Michael embraced the opportunity and attacked Joseph, causing the two of them to break through a damaged wall. When they found themselves in an alleyway outside the building, they struggled for the gun. During this fight, Joseph was shot in the head and killed by the last bullet in his revolver. (Saw II: Flesh & Blood)


Joseph Poltzer was an arrogant man who tended to overestimate his own abilities. Due to his obtrusive, unfriendly, and annoying attitude, he was generally disliked by most of his colleagues. According to David Tapp, Joseph "always asked stupid questions" or "butted in on conversations." Besides that, he was a dishonest and ruthless individual who betrayed his badge by selling drugs and didn't even hesitate to kill his closest allies in cold blood to protect himself. He felt no remorse for his crimes, justifying them by saying he had to make a living. Even after Michael saved his life, Joseph still attempted to kill him to silence his knowledge of Joseph's drug crimes. The only person he was loyal to was his supervisor and accomplice, Henry Jacobs.

Appearances and References