Pieces/DVD/Deluxe Edition DVD Review

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The Film

Boston, 1942: A young boy is working on something quietly in his room. When his mother comes in, she discovers he is putting together a nudie pin up puzzle! She freaks out and begins berating him and tears up his room looking for other adult materials. She violently smashes his bureau mirror as well. The boy, now shaken, leaves and then returns....with an axe!! He proceeds to butcher his mother with it. Meanwhile, outside, a visitor arrives and can't get in. Before long the police are called and the boy is discovered crying in his closet covered in blood....

40 years later: We are taken to a college campus somewhere in Boston. A pretty young girl is skateboarding around the college happily, until she accidentally runs into a large mirror being moved by some workers. This crash signals the beginning of a murder spree by the chainsaw wielding Jigsaw puzzle killer! The first victim is a beautiful college girl who's quietly studying on the grass. A gardener begins chainsawing some brush...and then the young co-ed!! Her head gets sawed off, creating a gushing wave of red blood. The local police swarm around the school. They are led by Det. Lt. Bracken (Christopher George) who immediately begins setting up a new investigation to find the psychotic killer. Pretty soon, the chainsaw attacks continue and young nubile girls are turning up mutilated all over the place. Det. Bracken decides he needs people on the inside to help him figure out the killer's secret indentity. He employs a sharp young student named Kendall James (Ian Sera) and a tennis coach named Mary Riggs (Lynda Day George) to keep a lookout for any strange happenings on campus. The killer strikes several more times in the most outrageously brutal ways before the shocking climax.

Pieces mixes aspects of the Italian giallo (the black cloaked killer, red herrings, sexy women, offbeat humor) and slasher film (highly gory chainsaw/knife attacks, college setting) with Juan Piquer's own Spanish herbs and spices to create a very entertaining, very nasty horror film. Pieces really doesn't try to be anything but an excuse to string together several gory, well crafted FX heavy murder sequences. And in this case, it works great. There are some draggy parts here and there but as a super bloody Grindhouse era film, it's certainly a classic of its kind. If you're looking for a film to satisfy your gorehound needs, Pieces won't dissapoint!

2 Disc Deluxe Edition Review

Disc 1

PICTURE: As with previous Grindhouse Releasing discs, its a real treat to see Pieces given a new hi-defintion anamorphic digital restoration. Presented in (1:66:1). The transfer looks great, and even though this was my first time viewing the film, I was impressed with how well it played.

AUDIO: Featuring 1) Mono Soundtrack with Library Music Score by CAM. 2) An optional Spanish soundtrack with original score by Librado Pastor. 3) The Vine Theater Hollywood Experience (August 23, 2002): Listen to this special 5.1 Surround Sound audio track recording of audience reactions to the super gory film exploits of the Pieces killer!

EXTRAS: The Spanish Title Sequence. 30 Second US Trailer.

Disc 2

INTERVIEWS: Director Juan Piquer and co-star Paul L. Smith talk at length about working on Pieces and their careers. Film fans may recognize Paul L. Smith from another film called POPEYE (1982)! Yes, he played Bluto in that!

GALLERIES: A live look at Juan Piquer's own collection of production stills & international publicity artwork. Also included are slideshows of International Posters & Video Cover Art.

PREVUES: Grindhouse Releasing Trailer Reels for: Cat in The Brain, The Beyond, Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, I Drink Your Blood, The Tough Ones, Massacre Mafia Style, Gone With The Pope, Scum of The Earth 1974, An American Hippie in Israel, Death Game, Family Enforcer, Ice House, Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell.

CAST & CREW BIOS: Juan Piquer, Dick Randall, Steve Minasian, Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Edmund Purdom, Paul Smith.

EASTER EGG: Galleries --> Left of the "Main Menu" selection: A short, but very good, interview with the Director featuring some cool photos.

THE FINAL WORD: The Pieces Deluxe 2 Disc Edition is a very nicely put together multimedia package for fans of the gore classic. Grindhouse Releasing has been one of the best DVD distributors of both rare and well known Grindhouse films for several years now and each of their titles shows that they truly love the films they're refurbishing and also respect the fans very much. You can add this piece of grindhouse gold to their canon of cult cinema treasures!


Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He holds an AS with Highest Honors in Communications and Interactive Media Design.

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