NO SPOILERS IN ANY WAY! (which would be easy to do by accident here)
I can't even begin to express the excitement I'm feeling, sitting here right now salivating over an Official DVD release of one of my favorite Genre pictures of all time!!! Juan Piquer Simon's PIECES!!!! If you understand as well as have any appreciation for the "Golden age of Gore" films (raw horror movies made between 1981 to 1986) or as what they refer to them now as "Grindhouse Films" this is a MUST OWN. The only print of this wonderfully little sleazy gorefest that has EVER been available was a BADLY TRANFERRED, washed-out and badly side-cropped fullscreen print (Depending on which label was on the VHS you could tell which "side" the film was centered towards in order to avoid showing the "decapitation in the grass" aftermath.BUT, I still get great joy out of even for all it flaws) that's been on DVD for all these years in public domain. This is time to rejoice!!!!
THE FILM: PIECES
Opening in a flashback with what (at the time, and still is) was one of the most taboo, brutalistic & disturbing axe murders ever shot, the movie quickly leaps to the "present" and follows a "typical" Italian (even though it's Spanish)Giallo style approach, with Sexy female college co-eds getting slaughtered on campus by a black gloved killer who likes to keep "trophies" from each girl (Chainsaws are the killer's fave instrument of destruction). Christopher George and wife Linda Day-George co-star as the stereotype, hardboiled gumshoe and the sexy, sweet undercover cop who starts teaching tennis on campus in order to investigate while remaining under the radar of the killer. (Hopefully.....)
The movie is FILLED with GREAT kills, beautiful college girls in various states of undress, hystericaly campy one moment and then sucker punches you the next, Dubbing that's so bad at times it actually ADDS to the fun experience, some lines that you can't help but laugh hysterically at ("BAAAAASTARD!!! BAAAAASTARD!!!"LOL) and quote for days, a few good red-herrings to try and keep you on your toes and a reveal and twist ending that most will have probably figured out by the halfway point, but it stays fun and keeps your attention very easily. There's also the wonderful, surprise at the ending that will have men cringing and women laughing for hours, but will have you thinking "Friday the 13th pt 1".
Not a big budget movie. But not a stinker in the cinematography dpt either. The camera is used effectively and the musical score is at times quite creepy & unnerving and REALLY creates some tense moements,reminding you at times of Fabio Frizzi or Goblin with it's 80's synth pulsing rhythmic themes. The scare stabs sound need to be noted as well. Ranking up there with the "ratchet noise" from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Don't expect 2008 big budget/studio quality here folks. Picture yourself at the filthiest, darkest, scariest movie theater in Manhattan at midnight, with sticky floors and all strangers around you. THAT was the environment you had to go to in order to view this slice of sleaze cinema. It's nasty. It's dark. It's an original taboo breaker. It's gore was not only realistic, but carried impact as well. It actually contains a well thought out "who's doing it?!" pace as the cops try to stop the killer from collecting another one of his "Pieces". A cool twist and completely fantastic double-shock ending, in the vein of the 1st two Friday the 13th film's cap it all off.
A great way to spend a saturday evening if double billed with "The Burning". Ahhhhh......My idea of a perfect night.