Tuesday, March 22, 2011

#228. Going To Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006)

DVD Synopsis: Every fear you've ever felt. Every evil you've witnessed. Every nightmare you've ever known... have come together for the first time in one film. Going To Pieces is the ultimate anthology that takes you on a horrifying journey through your favorite slasher films including Halloween, Psycho, Friday the 13th, Prom Night, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and When A Stranger Calls. Interviews with horror icons John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Tom Savini and many more guide you through a series of gruesome scenes from classic films and recent hits. Watch as the history of the slasher film comes alive... if you dare!

On October 23, 1980, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, two well-known Chicago film critics who hosted a wildly popular TV program called Sneak Previews, dedicated an entire episode of their show to examining the rapidly growing slasher fad, which, at the time, had overrun the nation's movie houses. With utter contempt for this “new” style of horror film, the two tossed around words like “cruel”, “misogynist”, and “sexist”, and even went so far at to criticize the fans who were packing the theaters to see them. Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film is a documentary that takes a long, hard look at both the slasher phenomenon and the artists behind it's success. In it, we get to see some clips from this Sneak Previews episode, which are presented alongside interviews with the stars and directors of these movies, who, at long last, are given an opportunity to plead their case. But the best defense came from the filmmaker behind 1986's April Fool's Day, who actually didn't feel the need to defend the genre at all. Summing up brilliantly what millions of fans have been feeling for the better part of three decades, he said, “If you don't like it...boo-hoo!”.

Going to Pieces presents an in-depth analysis of the history of the slasher craze, which many believe started (at least in it's eventual form) in 1978 with John Carpenter's Halloween. We hear from Carpenter himself, who spins a few yarns about what it took to turn a low-budget horror movie into a cultural icon, but Halloween, as important as it is, was only the beginning of something very, very big. Going to Pieces spends some time reviewing all of the early, influential slashers, such as Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine, films that gave audiences a whole new reason to go to the movies (which they apparently did in droves). Of course, as with any pop culture phenomenon, the marketplace eventually became over-saturated with low-rent knockoffs and sub-par sequels, which tried the patience of even the staunchest fans. Going to Pieces looks at these films as well; it is all-inclusive, and doesn't shy away from any movie, no matter how abysmal it may be.

Going to Pieces is a horror buff's delight, a film filled with fascinating insights from both the legends (John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Savini) and the next generation that's following in their footsteps (including Rob Zombie and a handful of others). It is an exhaustive documentary, containing everything you'd want to know about the slasher genre, and possibly a few things you didn't. If you're a fan, then this is a documentary you simply can't afford to miss.

And if you're not a fan, well...boo hoo!


Anonymous said...

I can tell buy your words that you like this but since it is not a movie and is a doc. do you think it is worthy of a buy is it something rewatchable or once you seen it you got the info.

I will chek bak tom. for your response. You are great at athat doctor thx

Dave Becker said...

Hello, and thanks for stopping by.

I suppose "re-watchability" in this case comes down to how big a fan you are of the slasher genre. I can tell you that I myself have watched GOING TO PIECES four times, and I always have a blast with it. It's actually constructed in such a way (rapid cuts, featuring a ton of interviews and clips) that it might require 2 viewings to take it all in.

It is certainly a documentary, but I find it an enjoyable piece of entertainment as well. It's got clips of a great many kill scenes, encompassing the classics and the near-classics of the genre, which is another reason I believe it's a film worth seeing more than once.

Is it one you'll watch 50-100 times? Definitely not. But I would certainly think you'll go back to it every now and again, just for the points I've laid out above.

Hope this helps! Thanks again for stopping by, and for listening to Planet Macabre.

Anonymous said...

I will check this out Dr., not a big documentary fan but I do like the slasher genre.

House on Haunted Hill was a very good movie, scary at times. Great job by Price.


Dave Becker said...

@Owen: Thanks for stopping by.

If you're a slasher fan, then you'll definitely find a lot to like about GOING TO PIECES.

And I'm glad you enjoyed HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL. Hopefully, I'll have another good one for you on this week's episode.

Thanks again for the comment, and for listening to Planet Macabre.

Klaus said...

I'm generally not a slasher film-fan, but this documentary looks intriguing. I may have to hunt a copy down and see what i've been missing out on.