Pieces (1982) Arrow Blu-Ray Review

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Pieces (1982)

While we out fumbling with that music,
the lousy bastard was in there killing her!
BASTARD!
BASTAAARD!
BAAAAASTAAARD!

 

Pieces is a 1982 Spanish film set in America which starts out with a mother walking in on her young son and notices the adult jigsaw he is completing.

She throws a fit claiming if she finds more adult material she will kill him but unfortunately for her, her son decides to act first.

He must love his adult jigsaws.

40 years later on a college campus a mysterious figure starts killing female students using a chainsaw and cutting them up into pieces.

Lets get the classic scene out of the way…

I think we all feel better now.

Overall this is a really fun film to watch that doesn’t hold back on the gore (lots of animal innards and carcass’ used to such good effect you would swear this was Italian) and has more than its fair share of head scratching scenes that make the above clip look like Shakespeare.

But then we wouldn’t have this masterpiece.

As for this Arrow release there has been what seems to be more than the usual amount of care put into this.
First of all it comes with the American theatrical release but better is the included uncensored Spanish original Mil Gritos Tiene La Noche.

The Spanish version has a beautiful high definition picture from a new 4K transfer of the original negative that made the chainsaw scene in the showers catch me by surprise and I have seen this before.

Unfortunately the US version doesn’t receive the same care and attention and while the picture looks good you can tell the difference.
But that is cut so why are you watching it anyway other than it is in English but if subtitles put you off then you are only going to miss out on some of the best horror films ever made.

When it comes to audio this release does have an alternative re-score for the US version with the option to watch the film with only the new re-scored soundtrack playing.
The Spanish version comes only with the original soundtrack but with this release you do also receive a music CD of that same score.
A nice touch though I wouldn’t rate the soundtrack that high and prefer the new updated version.

A nice feature is the 5.1 channel “Vine Theatre Experience” where they took an audio recording of a cinema audience during a special screening and you can watch the film as if you are in a cinema.
While this is novel and hearing the crowd cheering, laughing and audibly recoil in shock can offer a interesting experience it fails due syncing issues.
The microphones used to record the audiences reactions also pick up the audio from the film and there is an obvious delay between the cinema recording and the film on the disc. I’m sure this could have been sorted easily but it wasn’t and leaves the viewer with an annoying echo like effect.

On the disc are interviews with the director Juan Piquer Simón who also directed one of my favourites Slugs (1988) and interviews with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo as well as actor Paul Smith.

Among the features there is a discussion on the plans for a sequel they never made but then could they have come close to recreating the magic of the original?

The sometimes random and ultimately redundant (like the kung-fu scene) parts of this very gloriously gory in places film mix together for a classic and this must be the definitive collection of this film.
One that fans need to buy.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:

 

  • Brand new 4K transfer from the original camera negative
  • Two versions of the feature: Pieces, the US theatrical version, and Mil Gritos Tiene La Noche, the original uncensored director’s cut, presented in Spanish with original score by Librado Pastor [Blu-ray exclusive]
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original English and Spanish Mono Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • 5.1 Vine Theater Experience
  • Alternate Re-score by composer Umberto
  • Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
  • It’s Exactly What You Think It Is! – brand new featurette offering up an appreciation of Pieces by various filmmaker fans
  • Brand new interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo
  • Pieces of Juan – a career-spanning interview with director Juan Piquer Simón
  • The Reddest Herring – extensive interview with actor Paul Smith, including a discussion of Pieces
  • Audio Interview with producer Steve Minasian
  • Image Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Michael Gingold
  • Soundtrack CD featuring the entire original score