PIECES, Juan Piquer Simon’s hypertitillating 80s slasher feast full of gratuitous nubile nudity and graphic gore, is a shadow run through the id. While, as I said in my recent review of Jess Franco’s “Bloody Moon”, the slasher was monopolized by American filmmakers – though the same can’t be said for horror generally except that America simply turns out more movies per year than most countries – the Europeans were wont to outdo the U.S. at its own game. Franco’s picture is one example. PIECES is another (though I think there was American involvement on the production side of things). It still lacks dimensional characters but abounds with folks who act like idiocy and general dumbassness are the norm (hmmmm) at the university where the murders are going down. Genre regular Christopher George’s presence as the head detective on the case adds points to PIECES power, though the policeman George plays suffers from the same overall dearth of common sense that plagues the campus like e-fucking-bola. At least he’s determined and, believe it or not, likeable. You can’t always count on likeable characters in slasher fare. And George isn’t the only likeable character here; still, they’re in the minority in that regard. But we don’t expect substantiality from the slasher pic – though maybe we should, and maybe not. And while they’re separated from each other by this usual slasher dumbness, the brilliant murder set pieces are incredible works of grotesque art. Downright mesmerizing. The waterbed stabbing is particularly attention-getting, though a number of the chainsaw murders (the M.O. of PIECES’ killer) are yikes-inducing. This is what PIECES is all about. “It’s exactly what you think it is,” as goes the infamous tagline. This is true. The title tells all, except how marvelous the pieces come together – er – apart – er *sigh* … The Euro flavoring helps too, even if this is an American-based plot in an American dominated genre. Watch PIECES, this hybrid of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and Joe D’Amato and then some. Thanks to Grindhouse Releasing, it’s letterboxed and cleaned up finally; the film hasn’t been hard to come by, but it was impossible to get through normal channels in its widescreen, dusted off version until now. And, on GHR’s discs (2 of ‘em), PIECES is palling around with some nice bonus features. GHR loves what they do. Any of their DVDs backs that statement up.
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