BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Pieces (1983) - Blu-ray Review

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Pieces (1983) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersUgly, wildly unique and completely ridiculous in all its cheesy glory, Pieces, “directed” by Spanish filmmaker Juan Piquer Simon (Slugs: The Movie), is an exploitation slasher film that is as disturbing as it is obvious.  The dialogue is of an Ed Wood quality and the edits are as random as they come.  Compared to other ham-fisted horror flicks, it’s pretty laughable BUT, upon entering the gates of the horror underground (where the finest of the fine creep and crawl), you soon realize that Pieces is a pretty BIG deal.

I first “discovered” this trashy flick in the late 90s.  A freak with a chainsaw hunting students – well, scantily clad females who have only one thing on their minds, that is – on the campus of an unnamed Boston college sounded like a good time to me on a random Friday night.  I wasn’t wrong and shed many tears of laughter as its leading man is dealt a final blow in its closing seconds.    

It features a performance from a former member of television’s “The Rat Patrol”, Christopher George, and another one from Popeye’s Bluto, Paul Smith.  Linda Day, from Mission Impossible, also stars.  None of that matters, though.  These performances – also featuring Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom, Ian Sera, and Jack Taylor – aren’t memorable as high water marks for anyone.  Yet, when this unseen college campus killer starts playing with an old nudie jigsaw puzzle and reassembles his first kill with brand new body parts from his current victims, everyone must put their heads together (or lose them) in order to stop this mysterious black-gloved killer.       

You know, we splatterheads can overlook a lot of shitty things about the movies we watch and still defend them and Pieces, hitting viewers HARD with an unexpected bloody opening, survives because of its cult aspects and quotable lines of lunacy.  Don’t believe me?  Catch one of its many midnight screenings here in the US and see for yourself. 

Pieces is a champion cult classic.  Its sleazy absurdity knows no limit, just ask the girl on a skateboard who crashes into a large window pain and emerges unharmed only to, minutes later, have her head sawed off by the killer.  What???!!

Simon’s film is of a very low quality and yet there’s something to it that makes it all so very memorable.  Is it the all the gratuitous nudity?  Is it the realistic gore?  Is it the fact that a female tennis star goes undercover as a detective?  Or is it the disturbing opening in which a small boy – chastised for putting a puzzle of a naked woman together – chops his mother to bits?

It could be all of this and, frankly, I’m just happy Grindhouse Releasing has given this drive-in favorite a proper dusting and a deluxe blu-ray release, complete with a CD that features the synth-heavy score from Stelvio Cipriani, Carlo Maria Cordio, and Fabio Frizzi to boot.

"The most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed at the same time," claims one female student before coming on to the dean of the school.  Love it.  Rest easy, my friends, because the motherload of bad movies has returned for more.

Pieces is uncut, uncensored, and unbelievable.

Pieces (1983) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime:
89 mins
Director
: Juan Piquer Simón
Writer:
Dick Randall, Joe D'Amato
Cast:
Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña
Genre
: Horror | Mystery
Tagline:
You Don't Have To Go To Texas For A Chainsaw Massacre!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I guess I'm so used to bodies... dead ones... that I'm callous."
Distributor:
Film Ventures International (FVI)
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 23, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 1, 2016
Synopsis: Young co-eds are being cut up by a chainsaw killer on a college campus. The killer is attempting to put together a human jigsaw puzzle made from body parts.

Pieces (1983) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 1, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit); Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; Music: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set (2 BDs, 1 CD)
Region Encoding: A, B

Grindhouse Releasing presents Pieces on blu-ray with a detail-heavy new 1080p transfer direct from a 4K scan involving the original camera negative that is as gloriously crisp as the movie is ridiculous and surreal.  It’s perfect as the flesh tones are natural and the black levels are spot-on.  The company, who previously handled the blu-ray release and remastering of Cannibal Holocaust, continues their much-appreciated streak of treating filth like gold as the textures revealed here are supple.  My only other experience with Pieces is the awful VHS release of it from Vestron.  It was way too dark.  Thankfully, Grindhouse has given us a brand new transfer that corrects the contrast issues.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is a solid.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Thankfully, Jack Taylor has had a long affiliation with these cheesy flicks because here – in his detailed feature-length commentary – the actor describes his involvement with the director and the film and comments upon its lasting legacy of craptastic cult.

Special Features:

Once again, Grindhouse Releasing has outdone themselves.  Spread over two blu-ray discs and a CD are all the versions of the movie and all the information you could possibly want to know about Pieces … but were afraid to ask.  Things begin on Disc One with the commentary and two versions of the movie.  On Disc Two you get hour long career interviews – one for the director and one for Bluto – and a feature-length documentary, 42nd Street Memories: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Street, which examines the whole grindhouse phenomenon. There are cast and crew information and lots of cool easter eggs, as well, including a track that plays with the movie allowing you to enjoy the movie alongside an audience – with their real reactions – at one of the midnight screenings.  Also included is a CD featuring the film’s score.  There’s a six-page booklet with essays from Rick Sullivan and Chas. Balun and – if you manage to score one of the first 3.000 copies of the blu-ray – a small replica of the nude puzzle.

  • Pieces of Piquer (55 min)
  • Paul Smith: The Reddest Herring (58 min)
  • Steve Minasian Interview (3 min)
  • 42nd Street: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Street (82 min)
  • Vine Theater Experience
  • Galleries

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