Pieces has caused quite a stir in the Blu-ray community as of late, and not only because of the inclusion of a mini-puzzle featuring a naked woman. Nudity may be one exciting factor to this obscure 80’s horror flick, but the stellar transfer is what will make this release stand out in any collection
The Movie Itself (4.5/5):
In the opening scene of Pieces, we witness a young boy putting together a puzzle of a naked woman. In walks his loving mother, who begins instantly berating him about the sins he is committing. The young child promptly takes an axe to his mother’s head, leaving us to witness the origin story of a sadistic killer.
Several years later at the local college, beautiful young women are turning up dead in the most gruesome way imaginable – the chainsaw. Each kill is sexier and more gory than the last, all leading up to a most uncomfortable encounter that will make your hair stand up and leave an uneasy feeling looming over you for a time.
Pieces was quite the surprise to me. I hadn’t heard of it until I saw the chatter online about Grindhouse putting it out there with a really fantastic looking Limited Edition, complete with a miniature puzzle with a blood splattered naked woman (the same puzzle that we see several times throughout the film as the killer completes his fantasy). What they delivered was far more than a standard horror film upscaling; it is a top shelf offering that belongs in every collection.
While the movie is a little on the ridiculous side, it’s extremely fun to watch and will keep you entertained the entire way through. The kills are satisfying and brutal in a gory, splashy way, and there is just enough tension to keep you anxious and alert. This film has easily been one of the best new watches for me this year. I highly recommend you check it out.
Video Quality (5/5):
For a film that is over thirty years old, the amount of detail in this transfer is nothing short of perfection. Colors remain true, and the picture is crisp and unbelievably clean. Textures and details pop off the screen better than many newer releases. My hat is off to Grindhouse for delivering a near perfect transfer here.
Audio Quality (4.5/5):
For a DTS Master Audio 2.0 track, this Blu-ray sounds really good. You won’t confuse it for a more modern surround channel offering, but for what it has, the mix is handled smartly. Dialog is delivered clear and crisp, with no volume issues over the haunting soundtrack.
This film oozes with that 80s horror look and feel, and does so in such a gripping way. From the very first tone of the opening I was sucked in and along for the ride. There’s nothing quite like a good chainsaw sound as it rips into the victims of a good horror flick!
What’s in the Packaging (5/5)
Pieces goes well above and beyond the standard offerings here. This Blu-ray will definitely stand out in any collection. The only gripe I have is that the puzzle does not fit in the case. Included are:
- Clear case with 2-sided art
- Soundtrack on CD
- Booklet with essays
- Nudie Mini-Puzzle
(Click to enlarge)
Special Features (5/5)
Continuing the theme of going way above and beyond, Grindhouse includes an entire disc full of interesting and unique special features. I wish every distributor would catch on and go to these lengths with their releases.
- Soundtrack on CD (16 tracks)
- 6-page booklet with essays by Rick Sullivan and Chas Balun
- Replica nudie puzzle for first 3,000 copies sold
- Commentary with actor Jack Taylor
- “Vine Theater Experience” (SD) – A screening of the film with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track from 2002. Includes a short introduction of the theater and event.
- Image Galleries – (18) Production Stills, (20) Publicity Images, (37) Video Release images, and (58) “Bits and Pieces” Images.
- “Juan Piquer Still Show (8m, SD) – Director discusses the film and shows off some props.
- Theatrical Trailer (1m, HD)
- “42nd Street Memories (82mins, HD) – Documentary that discusses the legacy and impact that New York’s famous theatres have had on filmmaking. Well worth the watch!
- Interviews – w/producer Steve Minasian (3mins), w/actor Paul Smith (58mins), and w/director Juan Piquer (56mins)
- MPEG-4 AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
- English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
- English: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
- English SDH
- 2 Blu-ray, 1 CD
Final Thoughts (5/5):
Grindhouse has officially hit it out of the park with their release of Pieces. Not only is this film quirky and fun, it also scratches that horror itch and includes a wide array of special features and pack-ins. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this one!