Back of Box:
This bloody slasher film from director Juan Piquer Simón concerns a chain-saw wielding madman who is roaming a college campus
in search of human parts for a ghastly jigsaw puzzle. Stars Christopher George as a police Lieutenant and Lynda Day
George as a police women who goes undercover as a tennis instructor. Cult horror audiences will love this film that
includes plenty of gore, unintentional humor and of course lots of gratuitous nudity. Not for the faint of heart.
Not to be watched on a full stomach.
Plot: A kid goes crazy
and chops up his mother. Forty years later he takes his infatuation with puzzles and bodies to the extreme. I
personally feel the idea for this film was way ahead of it's time. The film's premise would later go on to inspire other
films (May comes to mind), but still stands out, to me, as an innovator of the genre.
Acting: This is the
section that really doesn't stand out. Aside from Christopher George and Lynda Day George's semi-lackluster performances
there really isn't much to mention here. The rest of the cast is made up of untalented drones that spout lines like,
"The most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed at the same time." and, "What if you gag me,
huh? I wouldn't make any noise then." Sad, to say the least.
Gore: Body Count (7)
A decent body count that, considering the budget, really delivers on the gore. The opening ax attack is just a small
taste of what this film brings to the table. As soon as the chainsaw gets involved the film kicks into overdrive.
A beautifully set up decapitation, a brutal arm severance, and a body chopped in half with entrails that would've made Fulci
proud. All of the latter do involve a chainsaw, but my favorite death scene is as simple as a knife to through
the back of the head. This section, alone, makes the film worth watching.
Suspense: I'd like
to mention the very well done P.O.V. stalk sequence involving the dancer. The waterbed scene is also pretty
intense, thanks to some well used slow-motion. However, I'd have to say the best example of suspense in this film comes
during the final struggle. Not bad at all.
Directing: I could
definitely tell that the budget had a big effect on this section. Not in a bad way, mind you, but it was probably
the reason the director made such great use of the "single shot." In fact, a large amount of scenes in this film are
seen predominately from a single angle. Also because of this fact the film is packed with sweeping, well planned
shots that make you feel like you're following the characters around yourself. I was not disappointed here.
Tech: The lighting
was the saving grace of this section. At times it added a sort of padding to the gore and I think it helped cover the
budget as well. The sound was a little quiet. There were exceptions, of course. During the thunderstorm
or one of the many badly placed jump scares, the sound was out of control. The soundtrack was not for me.
It might have been okay when the film came out, but in my eyes it was whack as hell.
nudity, lots of it, throughout the film. Most of it comes from the female cast members, one character even gets
killed after a topless chase scene. There is one guy in the film who had no problem baring it all. Other than
that, chainsaws rule!
Final Word: Offbeat, off-the-wall, and under
appreciated. Those are the three things that come to mind when I think about this film. The gore and the
incredibly bizarre ending should be good enough reasons for any horror fan to see this film, if they haven't already.
It's a true slasher in rare form. They just don't make them like this anymore.