Posted: 12/10/2011


Body Puzzle


by Ruben R. Rosario

Now available on DVD from Raro Video U.S.

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A man sits a piano, playing a lovely suite and then we hear “Night on Bald Mountain” play directly over him. This is the introduction to our murderer in Lamberto Bava’s Body Puzzle and our direct music que for his grizzly murders. The film follows this murderer as he stalks Tracy (Joanna Pacula), a recent widow that finds the murderer’s calling card left in her home, various body parts. Michele (Thomas Arana) is the detective that’s placed on the case of a murder that leads him to the parts left in Tracy’s home. Michele is trying to catch the killer and stumbles upon a link between the killer, Tracy and her recently deceased husband, that make Body Puzzle quite the murder mystery. Raro Video presents Body Puzzle with a new digital restoration and a nice booklet, containing an analysis of the film with Chris Alexander from Fangoria.

Lamberto Bava has learned quite a bit from his father, the creator of the giallo film, Mario Bava. Body Puzzle was released in 1992 and by this time, the genre had already worn out fans and creators alike. Bava manages to show the abilities and the strengths of the genre by the use of insane gore, inventive camera work and awkward score within the film to set an example. There’s a scene where the murderer traps a woman in the restroom, to retrieve a new body part. Each shot is so effectively, along with the editing, show the vitality of what makes the giallo film unique. Bava’s camera work and the use of Mussorgsky’s epic music give the murders the right amount of tension for Body Puzzle. While the plot holes get larger as the film carries on, especially with Michele being a complete dunce most of the time, Bava uses Body Puzzle’s strengths to carry the film up until the final frames.

Raro Video has done a really great job with the quality of this edition of Body Puzzle. Before, the film was released in the U.S. with severe cuts that ruined the film. It is now presented in its original cut, as well as a very nice looking digital remastering of the video. The booklet containing Chris Alexander appreciation and analysis is very detailed on the film itself, including a brief history of the giallo film, Bava’s history working with his father and being an apprentice of Dario Argento.

Overall, If your a fan of slasher films, great types of gore or horror films in general, you can’t go wrong with Lamberto Bava’s Body Puzzle. Recommended.

Ruben R. Rosario is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He’s an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.

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