Pieces - Pieces (Blu Ray, DVD, CD) [Arrow Video - 2017]Here's the recent Blu Ray, DVD & CD soundtrack reissue of this sleazy & gore slasher-meets-Giallo movie from the 1980's. This new edition appears on the always quality bond & extra heavy Arrow Video.
The film is a Spanish production, and it appeared in 1982, right in the midst of the golden age of slasher films. And though it's set in the USA( but filmed in Spain), it has a very European feel to it, within its high levels of gore, unbelievable plotting, corny/stilted dialogue, and often quite Giallo leanings.
The film was directed by Juan Piquer Simón- who also directed gory creature-feature Slugs( also recently reissued by arrow), undersea Sci-fi/ horror The Rift, and low budget Alien movie Extra Terrestrial Visitors. Pieces is counted as his most known & respected work, and it's easy to see why- because if you enjoy fast moving, sleazy, fun, and gory 80's slash ‘n' kill films you'll be in nirvana with this, as it neatly wraps up everything you could want & expect from such a film in a trashy exploration whole.
The plot features a black glove & black hat wearing killer, who is stalking a college campus, to dispatching & cut-up (mostly with a chainsaw) the female student's bodies to create the perfect female- hence the title. The film features Christopher George, as the cigar chopping & wisecracking detective investigating the case. We also have his wife, Lynda Day George, as undercover policewomen/ tennis coach(!), and British actor Edmund Purdom as the college dean. Plus of course, a host of largely unknown's younger actress & actors, as the killer's victims.
On the whole, the film is an enjoyable, highly campy affair- that has a fast moving plot, a host of corny dialogue, and bucket loads of blood & gore. As mentioned early on the killer mostly dispatchers & cuts up the victims with a chainsaw- so we get heads & limbs carved off in often very prolonged & red spurting manner- this version of the film is completely uncut. Talking of versions this release actually features two different versions of the film- the US dubbed version, and slightly longer un-dubbed Spanish version.
The first big extra aside from those on the blu ray/ DVD is a sixteen track CD taking in the soundtrack the film's US cut. It's a blend of Goblin like bass guitar & synth scoring, more dark & moody 80's synth-scaping, and the odd more funky & easy- listening moments. Oddly the soundtrack wasn't written for the film, but instead steals it's cues wholesale from other euro-exploitation films of the time, such as Joe D'Amato Absurd & late 70's Italian Rosemary's Baby meets The Exorcist rip-off Ring of Darkness. Though the score does all work well with the context of the film it's self, making for an above average 80's euro horror movie soundtrack.
On the discs themselves exclusives to this set we get the following: A new commentary track from The Hysteria Continues, and as expected it's another informative & funny track from this four piece slash fan collective. You get a new featurette entitled It's Exactly What You Think It Is!- which sees a selection of filmmaking fans discussing their love for the film. And a new interview with the films art-director. On the blu ray an exclusive release of the Spanish cut of the film, with its alternative soundtrack. You also get a good selection of none exclusive extras, brought over from past reissues of the film.
As you'd expect from Arrow Video you get a double sided sleeve, featuring original art on one side & newly commissioned art on the reverse. You also get an inlay booklet taking in new writing on the film by critic Michael Gingold.
And for those who are after a deluxe Ltd edition Arrow are also doing a version featuring the following: 180G red vinly pressing of the soundtrack, a reproduction of the jigsaw puzzle that features prominently in the film, and of course the duel DVD & blu ray edition of the film. This version is Ltd to just a 1000 copies, and as of this review there are only just over 200 copies left.
So all in all Pieces is another nicely presented reissue from the label, that will surely be of interest to anyone who enjoys trashy & gory 80's exploration cinema. Roger Batty