Many people may not know, but I am a fan of bad movies. It took me a little while to gain an appreciation for them, but now I am a sucker for any movie that can be described using words like zombie, evisceration, or “Starring Mila Jovovich” (I keed Mila, I love you, but I want my money back for Ultraviolet). Some people say that these films have no redeeming value, but I think there is some great value in going to a theater just to be scared, or to laugh at how hard the other people are trying to make you scared. Therefore, I was very happy to get a chance to see Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film ahead of it’s premiere this Friday, October 13th (how appropriate!) at 9PM EST as part of Starz Fear Fest 06. And since this is also the time of year for tricks and treats, we also have a great giveaway to go along with it. Read my brief review and details of the contest after the jump.Although I love horror movies, some people really don’t get why anybody would watch them, and most critics try and do their best to keep us away, even though we are always coming back. Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film based on the book of the same name, does a great job of not only giving us a history of the slasher film, and how this particular type of horror film changed cinema, but also does a great job of chronicling how the various eras of the slasher film affected society in general. It pulls this off without every becoming so geeky that casual fans will think they are lost, but has enough new information that people who are deeper in the genre can still appreciate it.
Going To Pieces accomplishes it’s task by splicing together interviews from famous writers, directors, producers, special effects legends, and fans of these movies, following a semi-chronological order from what most would call the “grandaddy” of the slasher film, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, to the modern day favorites like Saw and Hostel. I readily admit that I was terrified of these movies for most of my life, so I like the way they used a lot of file footage from these movies among the interviews, so those of us who watched them through the cracks of the fingers covering our eyes can remember what we were watching. Commentary from the special effects people who worked on these movies that explains how they pulled off all of those gruesome scenes is almost humorous in retrospect. Knowing how everything was done sort of makes it less scary.
Long-time fans of the genre will love seeing such greats as John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and Rob Zombie talk about their films and I think the casual fan will really enjoy seeing how many of the most famous celebrities got their start. The Weinsteins got their start in low budget horror in The Burning, and although people remember Tom Hanks for Splash and Bachelor Party, it was He Knows You’re Alone that got him started in Hollywood. Depending on how old you are, you may not remember Johnny Depp in Nightmare on Elm Street or Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th. And, who knows, maybe you just landed on Earth yesterday had no clue about Jamie Lee Curtis and the Halloween series.
Overall, Going To Pieces does a great job of looking at slasher films, using a high brow style to show how serious they are to the art, but leaving plenty of insider pieces, and gory highlights to keep you on the edge of your seat.
I do need to get all of the PR-type stuff out of the way, so: What makes you squirm? A delicate, razor-pointed stiletto plunged to the hilt? The relentless assault of a shrieking chain saw? Perhaps a slash-by-slash filleting by Freddy’s deadly fingers? Whatever gives you the creeps, catch the architects of creepiness in Starz’ original production, Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film featuring interviews with Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Rob Zombie, Tom Savini and more. Catch Going To Pieces Friday the 13th, with encores Oct 14th and 31st at 9PM/ET. Plus, Starz will be showing some of your favorite horror films all month. Tune in. Freak out! Play Picture Asylum at Starz Fear Fest
So, now that you have read what I had to say about the movie and what Starz wants me to say about the movie, or just skimmed until your read free giveaway in bold letters, how about those free gifts? As part of Fear Fest 06, we are giving second and third place winners a prize package of (1) Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leather Wallet and (1) “Friday the 13th & A Nightmare On Elm Street Killer Trivia” Game. Our first place winner will win the wallet AND the game AND a movie package consisting of Freedomland, Underworld: Evolution (J-Unit, Kate Beckinsale, and Scott Speedman approved), and When A Stranger Calls.
That all sounds great, but how do you win? It’s easy! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Fear Fest 06 on Starz. In the body of the message, tell us about your favorite television or movie death and why. We’ll be taking entries until Friday, October 20th and winners will be chosen at random. Good luck!