When a young boy's mother freaks out after catching him doing a jigsaw of a naked lady, he responds by hacking mummy to pieces with an axe. Flash forward several decades and a chainsaw-wielding maniac is slicing his way through the female students at a Boston college. Could these events be linked?
This 1982 Spanish splatter flick exhibits the general lack of quality in writing and acting that afflicts plenty of low-budget movies in the genre. In fact, it takes such ineptitude to another level entirely. The good news is that this incoherent homage to the Italian giallo, directed by Juan Piquer Simón (of Supersonic Man, Slugs and The Rift infamy), overcomes its many deficits by dent of being so downright enjoyable. From its terrible acting (see below for one particularly infamous example) and blatant red herrings, to a random martial arts scene and utterly inexplicable final twist, Pieces is one of the most unintentionally hilarious and ludicrously entertaining slashers around.
Picture: Based on a 4K restoration of the original camera negative, Pieces Blu-ray looks far better than anybody had any right to expect. Completely free from dirt and scratches, the 1.66:1 1080p imagery is packed with bold colours and finely-etched textures. Grain levels are stable, giving this digital image a film-like authenticity.
Image quality remains consistent across both the 85-minute 'US Version' and 87-minute 'Original Spanish Version' that are included on the disc.
Picture rating: 4.5/5
Audio: Both cuts feature a cleaned-up Spanish-language LPCM mono track with Librado Pasor's original score. In addition, the 'US Version' has an English-language LPCM mono track with a score made up of library music, as well as a new LPCM 2.0 re-score by musician Umberto (aka Matt Hill).
Audio rating: 4/5
Extras: As well as its trio of soundtrack options, the 'US Version' is joined by a fan-commentary and a DD 5.1 'audience experience' track recorded at a 2002 screening of the film.
Other bonus goodies in this Limited Edition release are a 15-minute appreciation of the film; interviews with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo, actor Paul Smith, Spanish filmmaker Sergio Balsco (about his friendship with Simón and their unrealised plan for a Pieces sequel) and producer Steve Minasian; four image galleries; two trailers; a 36-page booklet; and the soundtrack CD.
Arrow also offers a £60 Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray that adds a 180g red vinyl album and replica naked lady jigsaw, limited to just 1,000 copies.
Extras rating: 4/5
We say: A far better Blu-ray than this brilliantly bad film deserves. Not that we're complaining…
Pieces: Limited Edition, Arrow Video, Region B BD, £30
HCC VERDICT: 4/5
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