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on 10 July 2007
The slasher movie has always been looked upon with much disdain by critics, fans of 'real' film and even some horror fans for many years, which is strange considering its endurance; there are well over 500 in existence from the roots of 'Psycho' all the way up to forthcoming features like 'All the Boys Love Mandy Lane' and a remake of 'April Fool's Day'. As an advocate of the genre with an academic background in film, I was glad that somebody finally took the time to make a serious documentary that didn't spend all its time telling us things we already knew.

'Going to Pieces' is based on Adam Rockoff's book (which restricted itself to covering the years 1974-1986) and goes through the central elements of the genre with interjections from individuals who have contributed landmark productions to it (Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Sean Cunningham, even Amy Holden Jones!) and clips from a large cross-section of films. The only possible flaw is that it focuses much of its time on the well-known franchises. Even through tribute is paid to the likes of 'Happy Birthday to Me', 'Graduation Day', 'The Burning' and the ultra-trashy 'Pieces', where is 'Hell Night'? More importantly, where is the original 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre'? While this is a minor point, it's more than compensated for with some previously banned footage, most notably the pitchfork-shower scene from 'The Prowler', which was heavily scissored by the BBFC.

Time is taken to attempt to defend the genre somewhat, by drawing analogies between 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and Buddhist properties and making a case for (most of) these films really being more than simplistic body count gorefests; slasher movies CAN be cathartic. Genre-haters Ebert and Siskel appear in their famous rant about sleazy horror, which centered around misogyny and the lack of art - I wonder what they'd make of this?

Definitely worth a look for those curious about the genre; even my anti-horror friend was slightly humbled that there could be intellectual thought surrounding these films!
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on 1 September 2007
As the title suggests this is a documentary chronicling the rise of the so called slasher movie in the 1980's with such films as "Friday 13th", "Halloween", "Prom Night" and the "Nightmare on Elm Street" right up to the "Scream" series of the mid 90's.

The film contains some great slasher moments (Jason's 'death' etc) but the highlight is the vast array of interviews with big names from the genre, there's the usual big guns such as Wes Craven and John Carpenter, the genius that is Tom Savini, but you also get loads of lesser known names thrown in the mix with plenty of interesting anecdotes such as Paul Lynch ("Prom Night") and Fred Walton ("When a Stranger Calls", "April Fool's Day").

If you're a fan of the genre, which I am, then you'll love this highly enjoyable documentary
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on 20 December 2012
As someone who has been a horror nut since they were of the tender age of 6 many, many moons ago I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary.
I can't say I learnt anything new however as most of the anecdotes are well worn. However, it is good to here the original protagonists recall them.
For anyone just discovering the movies such as Halloween, Friday The 13th and the like this is invaluable.
I picked this up off Amazon for £6 and it's a bargain at that price.
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on 13 October 2009
being a huge fan of horror films, I've always been on the look out for a feature length docu-DVD because it's been so long since a horror 101 type tv show had lived up to expectations. But this dvd you get to hear sean.s cunningham talk about the making and the first screening of friday the 13th. John Carpenter talks about the process and first screening of Halloween. you hear from big horror producers too, and this release also contains previously banned footage that has just seen the light of day.
In the extras there are movie quizes to test your slasher movie knowledge too.
plus wes craven tells you the story behind the classic nightmere on elm street and it's pretty spooky.
so take a look for yourself you won't be disappointed.
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on 3 March 2014
I had seen some of this before on tv, but needed to get a copy as it is a really great indepth exploration of why and how slasher and horror films were what they were through the 70's, 80's, 90's and up to now. It has dozens of well known directors, actors and make-up FX artists speaking their thoughts and views about many of the most classic films, with many different views and opinions on the popularity, infamy and shocks of these films. Very much worth seeing for all horror film fans.
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on 14 October 2013
I watched mine when it arrived and found it to be worth every penny and more. It touches more on the classics like Halloween and briefly talks about the newer films like scream at the end which I found good because the classics are better anyway.
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on 24 September 2015
Very well made documentary cover the hole genre & the fandom interviews with the director's, producers fans well nearly everyone. the big well know films like halloween, friday 13th etc but also less know like happy birthday to me slumber party massacre, he knows your alone. I can't recommend this enough 5 stars.
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on 26 October 2009
'Going to Pieces' is an okay documentary which chronicles the slasher genre. It features some quite good interviews with key figures but never really gets under the skin of the subject. There are some major holes in the timeline, suggesting Scream was the first Postmodern 'self aware' horror film, for example, whilst ignoring Wes Craven's New Nightmare some 2 years previous. There is also a heavy focus on some lesser known films (which is fine but it's done with a smugness of 'I can name lots of low-key horror examples' therefore I'm an authority on the subject'[?]).

Ultimately it lives in the shadow of the excellent 'American Nightmare' which comes free with the dvd release of the original 'The Hills Have Eyes' - this is what you want if you're interested in why these films developed when and how they did.

Overall dissapointing
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on 13 February 2015
Overall covers all the bases focusing a lot on the obvious franchises and some of the more cult films. Would have been nice to see more about the lesser known films of the genre - maybe the makers had trouble getting material/rights. Just started the commentary which is also interesting.
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on 2 August 2010
If you have spent quite a few years plowing through the many slashers films you've heard of, but have yet to complete your quest, this is a DVD to avoid. Because alas, the makers assume that the viewer has seen just about every American slasher movie made. So what do they go and do? Tell you - and show you the endings of many of these movies. Most of them to be fair, are complete crappo, so you're not missing much. But if don't want to know the endings of Sleep Away Camp for example, just buy the DVD, keep it in it's wrapper until you are ready to watch it.
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