Ready to look at another cult film, this one’s a slasher film from 1982. Is it any good and how well has it been restored? Let’s find out, so without further ado here’s my Pieces Blu-ray review.
- Pieces Blu-ray Review (1982)
- Genre: Horror
- Directed by Juan Piquer Simón
- Written by Dick Randall & John W. Shadow
- Music by CAM / Librado Pastor
- Cinematography by Juan Mariné
- Running Time: 86/87 Mins (US/Spanish Version)
- UK Rating 18
- Discs: 3
- Released By Arrow Video
- Starring Christopher George, Paul Smith, Ian Sera, Edmund Purdom, Linda Day
A young boy is playing with a jigsaw puzzle of a nude woman when his mother enters the room. Predictably she flies off the handle, screaming and shouting at him, and then she begins to throw out his things. She tells him to get a plastic bag but he decides to bring an axe and proceeds to murder his mother, chopping her into pieces.
Next the phone rings and goes unanswered and then the door bell, he decides to hide in the closet. When the police enter the house he makes out some crazed killer has attacked his mother.
Skip forward 40 years and a student is killed, having her head chopped off with a chainsaw whilst studying in broad daylight in the grounds of the college. The police are baffled but as the murder count increases they become aware the killer is taking pieces of each victim.
The police and the Dean of the college try to keep the murders quiet but a female reporter becomes aware that all is not well at the college.
Style / Direction
This is a slasher film with the choice of weapon being a chainsaw for the most part. If you are one for a slow build up then Pieces is probably not for you. It starts off just a few minutes in with the first killing and then they continue at regular intervals, you can expect plenty of blood spurting around.
Music / Audio Effects
The original Spanish version has a better soundtrack so I recommend going for that one. The overall main theme on both versions is pretty good giving that feeling of someone watching, a rather uncomfortable and creepy vibe.
Acting / Characters
If you watch the US dubbed version the acting stands out as being particularly poor, however go with the Spanish original version and it improves somewhat.
One of the key characters is Kendall James a student played by Ian Sera. He becomes involved when one of his girlfriends meets a rather nasty end courtesy of a chainsaw. In many ways he is the main character other than the chainsaw killer or are they one in the same?
Christopher George plays Lt. Bracken the cop who seemingly wants to catch the killer but doesn’t seem to allocate much in the way of resources to the case and even has to enlist the help of student Kendall.
Then we have Lt. Bracken’s sidekick Sgt. Holden (Frank Braña) who again seems unfazed by the body count.
The police decide to send in Mary Riggs (Linda Day) undercover where she teams up with Kendall to see if they can figure out what the hell is going on.
This is instead of sending the entire police force along with forensics to check the college over for clues.
Two main characters remain, the Dean of the college played by Edmund Purdom. He seems unconcerned by the murders and more interested in keeping it all quiet. Then there is Professor Brown a strange fellow whom the students mock.
Overall the acting is passable when viewed in the original language but feels rather comical when dubbed.
Conclusion – Pieces Film Review
I’ll get straight to the point, the plot utterly unbelievable; the police don’t have a clue how to run an investigation. Despite the rising body count none of the victim’s parents are ever seen. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.
So I’ll put the plot flaws to one side and concentrate on the films strengths. The main one being it’s a slasher film that simply gets on with killing as people as possible, only broken up by scenes with the police or Kendall whom is helping with the investigation.
If you can get past all of that you will eventually piece together just what lies behind these strange killings.
Make no mistake this not a classic but it was a film that in 1982 really shocked and proved extremely controversial. Viewing it now it still has the ability to shock but with the current crop of modern films such as Saw and Hostel it’s certainly been lessened a little. I would add that I actually think Pieces looks and feels a far better film than the likes of Saw and Hostel.
That said there is no doubt it’s more of a poor imitation of a Dario Argento film.
I would certainly say it’s worth a look to any film fan of horror/slasher films just don’t expect it to be a classic. If you do opt to watch it I strongly recommend going for the subtitled original version as it feels better acted and has a more serious tone than the awfully dubbed US version.
Pieces Blu-ray Review
Overall the Blu-ray version has excellent picture quality no signs of any annoying flickers, just a nice clean image the way it should be. It’s claimed to be a brand new 4K transfer from the original camera negative and I have no complaints whatsoever.
More restorations like this one please!
- Two Versions of the feature
- CD Soundtrack
- The Vine Theater Experience
- Alternate Rescore
- It’s Exactly What You Think it us!
- A Thousand Screams – Interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzaolo
- Falling to Pieces – Sergio Blasco
- Pieces of Juan: Interview Juan Piquer Simon
- The Reddest Herring – Interview with actor Paul Smith
- Archive audio interview with producer Steve Minasian
- Image Galleries
- Reversible Sleeve
- Collector’s booklet
Another excellent set of extras courtesy of Arrow Video, perfect for any film lover.
On to my movie rating for Pieces (1982)
- Movie Rating: WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Pieces (1982) is available now on Blu-ray priced £19.99 from Amazon (as of date of review)
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
If you like my Pieces Blu-ray Review you may want to check out these films:
- The Cat O’Nine Tails (1971)
- Four Flies On Grey Velvet (1971)
- Deep Red (1975)
- Suspiria (1977)
- Inferno (1980)
- Tenebrae (1982)
- Seven Deaths In The Cat’s Eye (1973)
- The City of the Dead (1960)
That’s my Pieces Blu-ray Review, if you have any thoughts on this film leave them in the comment section below:
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Pieces Blu-ray Review (1982)
Director(s): Juan Piquer Simón
Actor(s): Christopher George, Paul Smith, Edmund Purdom, Linda Day
Genre: Slasher, Horror,
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
A chainsaw massacre of a slasher film that looks outstanding on Blu-ray.