Year of Release - 2006
Rating – Not Rated
Director – Jeff McQueen
Running Time – 90 Minutes
Studio – Starz Entertainment
Tom Savini, Terror Train, Curtains, The Burning, Jaime Lee Curtis, Slumber Party Massacre, Happy Birthday to Me – what do these words mean to you?
Premiering on the Starz cable channel Oct 13th 2006, Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film is a truly comprehensive look at an often glossed over yet highly influential subgenre of horror. Put aside those common arguments as to what actually constitutes a slasher film for a moment, true fans of the genre know the answer to this one hands down and so does Starz Originals and director Jeff McQueen apparently. Masked killers, twist endings, kitchen knives, hatchets and machetes; staples of the slasher flick and they are fully represented here in all of their gruesome glory.
The standard stalk n’ slash flicks you’d expect to see represented are covered with much love and guts as are a few of the rare overlooked gems (and stinkers) that have surfaced over the years. Through interviews and film clips, the slasher flick is poked and prodded in the exact manner that one would expect, but the real surprise here is in how seriously the subject matter is handled. While these films may be considered by many to be camp or examples of throwaway cinema, they’re discussed within these walls with a certain level of reverence and respect that I never expected to see.
Friday the 13th and Halloween are examples of genre stand outs you’d expect to be included, but discussions pertaining to Pieces, Slumber Party Massacre and Silent Night Deadly Night (among countless others) are the real surprises here. Interviews with genre effect vets like Stan Winston, Tom Savini and directors including John Carpenter along with genre newbies Rob Zombie help to illustrate the evolution of one of the most popular subgenres of horror.
Box office receipts, industry shock waves and effects that these films (may or may not) have had on society are examined as are overseas slasher films (mostly European) along with holiday horrors like Mother’s Day, New Years Evil and the genre fave My Bloody Valentine.
Passionate fans are the core of success for the slasher film and Going to Pieces doesn’t forget this for one second. If nothing else, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see some stand out clips from these films (not since Scream Greats has there been such an outstanding compilation of stalk n’ slash scenes), but more than that, it’s an in depth look at a subgenre of horror that demands respect, and it’s nice to see that it’s finally been given. Whether it’s the genre defining Halloween or late night popcorn flick Splatter University, the slasher film is here and here to stay.