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August 22, 2011

Movie Review: Pieces (1982, Grindhouse Releasing, Blu-ray)

For nearly twelve years Juan Piquer Simon's (Slugs, The Pod People, Supersonic Man) slasher film Pieces had floated around in public domain DVD hell ; mostly in shoddy unwatchable transfers. A few years ago Arrow Video and Grindhouse Releasing released the notorious bloodbath on special edition DVD. It's 2016, and now Pieces is receiving another release with exclusive extra features from Grindhouse Releasing on this amazing Blu-ray package. Why so much interest in such a gory, sadistic and stupid little film? For starters, it's immensely entertaining.

Pieces begins in 1942 (or is it 1982), where we see a young man putting together a puzzle of a naked woman only to be interrupted by his angry mother. The little fellow does what any disturbed child would do - plant an axe between his mother's cranium and continuing on with his puzzle. Fast-forward to the present day where a killer is on the loose - complete with a trench-coat and chainsaw - mainly targeting the women at a college. His goal : To put together the perfect women, piece by piece.

Christopher George plays Detective Lt. Bracken, a crusty lawman determined to find out who's cutting up the young women on campus. George's then wife, Linda Day, plays Mary Riggs a hot-to-trot tennis teacher who aids the Lieutenant in his search of this "bastard". Red herrings galore folks: Veteran euro-trash actor Jack Taylor (Succubus) plays an oddball professor, Edmund Purdom ( The Fifth Cord, Don't Open Till Christmas) plays the dean of the college and Paul Smith (Midnight Express, Popeye) who manages to bust out the red herring performance to top them all as "Willard" the groundskeeper.

Grindhouses release of Pieces looks to be completely uncut. All the stabbings, eviscerations and decapitations that you've come to know and love are presented here without any noticeable cuts. The murders and Pieces are very graphic and over-the-top. The FX are actually fairly impressive too, but it's so hard to be impacted by the gore because of the horrendous dubbing and the acting. For instance, Jack Taylor (also featured on the superb extras) is dubbed terribly, but in actuality he's a very well-spoken man - hardly in any need of assistance. I will add that it does give him an even more lecherous persona in the film than if he wasn't.

The quality of the transfer is spectacular and the materials used look very good considering how bad the movie has looked on DVD. I didn't notice any damage like splices or emulsion so fans will be very pleased at how it looks in High Def.

Pieces is a landmark trash film that I believe is required viewing for any breathing human who calls themselves a "slasher fan". Grindhouse Releasing's is a nice package that will delight diehards of this wonderful monstrosity. Highly Recommended.

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