Just the Features: Pieces (Grindhouse Releasing) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots


Disc 1

Two Versions of the Film

-U.S. Theatrical (Unrated) (1hr 23m, HD)

-Mil Gritos Tiene La Noche (1h 26m, HD) Director's Cut, Dubbed in Spanish with Original Score by Librado Pator

Commentary: Actor Jack Taylor, moderated by Calum Waddell. This is a really good commentary. Taylor recounts his days on the set of Pieces as well as stories from his long career. Waddell does a good job moderating, asking questions to keep the commentary going and to help Taylor along.

Music Rescore by Umberto (1h 25m) This is newly composed score for the film. It is a different take on the film.

The Vine Theatrical Experience (1hr 25m) Audio was recorded at a screening at the Vine Theater in 2002 of the audience. It was then added here as an alternate audio option. It is almost like being there. I have never been a big fan of these audience reaction tracks. I would rather be there, but I guess this is a decent alternative. The audience is pretty good here though. They laugh at the right moments and get loud during the insane kills.

Theatrical Trailer (32s)

Still Galleries: There are five still galleries here:
-Production Sills
-Publicity Stills
-Video Releases
-Bits and Pieces
-Juan Piquer's Still Show

Disc 2

Interviews; There are two feature length interviews and one short interview

-Pieces of Juan (55m25s, SD) The director of Pieces, Juan Piquer, is interviewed in a screening room with a skeleton looking over his shoulder. Piquer talks about how he was offered the sequel to The Last House on the Left, but hated the script so much that he decided to write his own slasher movie. He also talks about directing Pieces and how it has influenced horror movies today. In Spanish with English subtitles

-The Reddest Herring (57m 46s SD) Paul Smith talks about his own history, including a stint in the Israeli army as well as his start in acting and his roles throughout his career. He also talks about how he doesn't like violence in film, but stars in action movies. A really good interview with some insight about the media.

-Producer (2m 59s) This is an short audio only interview where producer Steve Minasian talks about releasing the movie in the U.S. and the marketing. He also talks about how he lost money after some of the prints were stolen and the video company that held the rights (Vistron) went out of business. Short but good.

Bios and Filmographies text based info about the following cast and crew:

-Juan Piquer (with video of him being asked what his favorite movies are; 3m, SD)
-Dick Randall (trailer for Primitive Love: 3m 59s, SD and Ecco aka This Shocking World: 3m 57s, SD)
-Steve Minasian (with video: 2m 56s)
-Christopher George (trailer for Paura Nella Citta dei Morti Vivendi aka Gates of Hell aka City of the Living Dead: 3m 2s, SD)
-Linda Day George (trailer for Day of the Animals: 57s, SD)
-Edmund Purdon (trailer for Angeli Bianchi...Angeli Nero aka Witchcraft '70 aka The Occult Experience: 2m 24s, SD)
-Paul Smith (with video of Smith talking about working of Maverick (1994): 2m 1s, SD)

42nd Street Memories (1h 21m, HD) Outside of the film itself, this is the best feature in this set. 42nd Street is a famous block long stretch of street in New York City were anything and everything was shown on the dozen or so screens that the various theaters had there. Not only were there a slew of movie theaters but there were also sex shops and sex shows. This doc skewers towards the stories about things that would happen on 42nd Street and not so much a history of the places. If you have ever seen Taxi Driver, Basket Case, or Q: The Winged Serpent knows 42nd Street probably without even knowing it. Bill Lustig, Frank Henenlotter, Terry Levene, Larry Cohen, 42nd Street Pete, Joe Dante, Matt Cimber, Lloyd Kaufman, Lynn Lowry, Veronica Hart, Buddy Giovinazzo, and so many others. This is such a fascinating documentary that it deserves it's own blu-ray release.

Grindhouse Releasing Prevues (all in HD)
-Corruption (2m 6s)
-I Drink Your Blood (2m 46s)
-The Beyond (3m 26s)
-Cat in the Brain (1m 58s)
-Cannibal Holocaust (1m 25s)
-Cannibal Ferox (2m 45s)
-Massacre Mafia Style (2m 18s)
-Gone with the Pope (2m)
-The Tough Ones (3m 30s)
-The Swimmer (2m 43s)
-The Big Gundown (2m 14s)
-Ice House (1m 39s)
-Scum of the Earth (2m 13s)
-An American Hippie in Israel (3m 2s)
-Pieces Re-Release (37s)

The Packaging: Grindhouse Releasing went all out for Pieces. The 2 blu-rays are house inside the same type of clear case that the Criterion Collection uses for their blu-rays. There is some artwork included on the inside of the case.

We also get a booklet that includes essays by Chas. Balun and Rick Sullivan. There is also a chapter listing on the back on the booklet.

Next we get a copy of the film's soundtrack with sixteen tracks.

The next item is a controversial one. Grindhouse Releasing, in their press release, said that a replica of the nudie puzzle that the killer puts together throughout the movie would be included in the first 3000 copies that go to market. Diabolikdvd.com put a message on their Facebook page that stated that anyone who ordered the movie before a certain date would be guaranteed a puzzle as well as early shipping. This caused people to think that Diabolik would be the only company getting the puzzle. Diabolik and Grindhouse Releasing both said that this was not the case. It was just Diabolik giving people who preordered a bonus. When the blu-ray hit shelves on Mar 1st, 2016, people were reporting that they did not get a puzzle even though they preordered it. Others were saying that they got a puzzle and that they preordered the same day as those who didn't get the puzzle. There were also those who didn't preorder and got a puzzle. The whole thing was very confusing as the packaging itself did not have any indication whether their was the puzzle inside or not. i think that there were people, like the guy who runs VHSCollector.com, who thought he could bitch and moan and get his way. He even went on a rant about a theory that Diabolik and Grindhouse Releasing were holding back the puzzles in order to increase their value on eBay. I have found no truth to his claims and think that he is just a sore loser.

Finally all of this fits inside a very nice slipcover.

Overall: I love Pieces. From the first time I saw the movie, I knew that this was a special movie. Grindhouse Releasing has gone out of their way to give us everything that they can. The films looks amazing and all the different audio tracks they gave us are good. I love the commentary by Jack Taylor. I was a little bit apprehensive about the track as Taylor isn't getting any younger. I thought that there would be a lot of dead spots, but Gridnhouse Releasing were smart and included a moderator. The commentary stands as one of the best special features of this package due to the respect between Taylor and the moderator. The interviews are pretty good, but grow a little long winded. The centerpiece, as I stated before, is 42nd Street Memories. What a documentary. So many stories that they could make a second documentary about the same subject. To have it included here was the icing to an already great cake, I love here old stories and there are plenty here. If any thing was missing it would be a documentary about the film and its impact. I know that some of the cast and crew are dead, but it could be done. I am sure that there are a lot more stories about Pieces out there. Arrow Video released Pieces on dvd a few years back and there are some features that are not present here. Even though I think that this set is damn near perfect, if you are region free then get that set as well.

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