Quite frankly, if you’ve ever witnessed the horror anomaly that is PIECES, I shouldn’t have to come up with 5 reasons for you to add this new Blu-Ray to your horror collection. You should fully understand that it’s already a must-own. It’s the epitome of “cult classic.” It’s not good, it’s not bad. It just is! From the first time I watched it to this most recent viewing to inspect the new disc, it still holds the same WTF bat-shit quality and remains one of my favorite movies to show newbies. Yes, I’ve even had PIECES parties with the tagline on the invite, “it’s exactly what you think it is.”
In the opening of the film, we see a little boy putting together a puzzle board of a naked woman. His mother walks in and immediately scolds and yells at him, Norma Bates style – to which he retorts to by returning to the room with an ax, hacking her up & sawing her into several pieces so he can properly finish his nudie puzzle game in peace!
The movie then cuts 40 years later to a Boston campus where a maniac is murdering female students on campus and collecting various body parts in order to make his own life-size puzzle. For whatever reason, the police Detective relies on a womanizing student named Kendall to lead the investigation and pairs him up with a former tennis pro who apparently is now working undercover with the police. And then there’s also that kung-fu teacher.
I seriously can’t possiblY do this movie justice with any synopsis, you just have to trust me and check it out.
And as always, Grindhouse Releasing has gone above and beyond what’s necessary for a home video release. Here are the 5 things that should convince you this is an absolute must-own.
The presentation of the package itself is beautiful and comes in a slipcase with new original art and includes 3 discs, 2 Blu-Rays, one CD, liner notes and, for those that were savvy enough to order it early, a recreation of the movie’s puzzle! Pre-orders from Diabolik DVD here in the States got the limited edition version with the puzzle, but sadly they have since all sold out. Regardless, you should order the regular edition from them right here. If you hold out, you may be able to find the puzzle edition at an upcoming horror convention or perhaps eBay.
PIECES has been available several times on home video and DVD before. In fact, Grindhouse Releasing’s last version of PIECES as a 2-disc DVD set was excellent. Could it possibly get any better? YES.
This Blu-Ray features a brand new 4K transfer from the original negative. Not only that, but this is the first time that the alternate Spanish cut has been available on Blu. Titled MIL GRITOS TIENE LA NOCHE (which roughly translates to “The Night Has A Thousand Screams”), this version runs 4 minutes longer and is considered the “uncensored director’s cut.” I haven’t watched this version yet, so I don’t know if the movie loses it’s bizarre humor and charm without the English dubbing, but it’s cool that it’s even presented here. Also, it’s just never looked better. These are a few pics I snapped on my iPhone from my couch. Seriously, look at this!
42 STREET MEMORIES!
Yet again, filmmaker Calum Waddell delivers another spectacular full-length documentary focusing primarily on “The Rise And Fall Of America’s Most Notorious Street.” I don’t know why, but I just love stories from filmmakers and fans about the first time they saw some of these wacky movies, and this doc is a celebration of that awe of going to the movies at a time when New York City was freakin’ dangerous and never knowing what you were going to witness; both on the big screen and in the theater! Everyone from 42 Street Pete to William Lustig to Frank Henenlotter to Joe Dante and Tom Holland chime in with their stories about the days of Grindhouse cinema going. I was thoroughly entertained and enthralled by these tales for the whole running time.
One fun tid-bit? Lustig confesses that his exploitation cult classic VIGILANTE once played on a double bill with E.T.! This is a documentary I would’ve gladly purchased on its own, but the fact that it’s a bonus feature here makes it all the more rewarding. Check out the trailer below:
ALL THE SPECIAL FEATURES, NEW & OLD!
Look, Grindhouse Releasing always does it right. If you’ve bought the previous DVD releases, you are going to get all those previously created bonus features and much, much more. I have yet to fully explore all the bonus features, but there’s in depth interviews with director Juan Piquer Simon and star Paul L. Smith. One of the many audio options (from the previous release) is titled “The Vine Theater Experience” where you can enjoy the movie with an audience track. The extensive galleries are amazing and revealing. And I’ve been told there are tons of hidden easter eggs features buried in the menus, something I miss from the early boom of DVD releases!
THE SOUNDTRACK CD!
Last but certainly not least, you get the soundtrack CD as a bonus. And not just the soundtrack, but a complete version of all the music created for the film, even the stuff that didn’t end up in there. If you’re a soundtrack enthusiast like I am, you can’t go wrong with a 16 track bonus CD to add to your collection.
Seriously, if you haven’t seen PIECES, blind buy it, invite over a bunch of friends and enjoy. If you’ve already seen it, make no hesitation. This belongs on your movie shelf!