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The Jigsaw Murders (1989)

A dedicated middle-aged cop must find the serial killer that preys on erotic models before his estranged daughter who's also in the photo shoot business becomes the killer's next victim.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Detective Sergeant Joe DaVonzo
Kathy DaVonzo
Michael Sabatino ...
Detective Elliot Greenfield
Doctor Fillmore
Dr. Louise Lester
Eli Rich ...
Ace Mosley
Paul Kent ...
Captain Matt Ludwig
Charles Bouvier ...
Detective Bauman
Detective Martinez
Dena Drotar ...
Lori Bellweather
Paul Bruno ...
Scarface Cop
Martin Azarow ...
Leon Murch
Arthur Adams ...
Gwen Seliger ...
Deborah Rose
Assistant District Attorney Durkee


Detective DaVonzo and his young partner Elliott are putting together a murder mystery with the help of a jigsaw puzzle but will all the pieces be together in time to save DaVonzo's daughter? Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 May 1989 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Palapelimurha  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Brand New Start
Performed by Mindy Lee
Written by Bob Mamet and Kevin Klingler and Riba Meryl and Judy Mamet
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User Reviews

Watchable enough.
12 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

This routine Cop vs. Psycho thriller stars handsome veteran Chad Everett ('Medical Center') as Joe DaVonzo, a detective who gets assigned to a murder case. Some cretin has been leaving assorted female body parts strewn around L.A. When Joe realizes that the victim has modeled for a nude jigsaw puzzle, it provides him with his first big lead.

If you watch this, you'll notice that the filmmakers aren't attempting to make their movie a whodunit. It becomes clear early on who our culprit is, and the balance of the movie will have Joe and his young partner Elliot (soap opera actor Michael Sabatino, 'Days of Our Lives') put their efforts into proving that this guy did it. Meanwhile, Joe is an alcoholic (this script does fall back on some clichés), and is having a hard time getting along with his hottie daughter Kathy (Michelle Johnson, "Blame it on Rio"), an aspiring actress.

Some loyal B movie enthusiasts will appreciate this more than others, mainly for an element of sleaze as we see young ladies pay their rent with modeling gigs, and take up with ultra sleazy photographers such as Ace Mosley (Eli Rich). They'll be happy to see such familiar faces as Michelle Bauer, Brinke Stevens, Carla Baron, and Laura Albert.

The movie makes good use of some L.A. locations, and does have a sense of humor: the main running gag is the fact that Joe and Elliot have to park their police car in a shady area to visit Mosley's studio, and it repeatedly gets targeted by local lowlifes. The main value, however, lies in the presence of guest star Yaphet Kotto, cast as a coroner with many witty comments to make.

The performances are basically sound, with Everett making for a reasonably sympathetic flawed hero. Buffs will recognize supporting players such as Jill Jacobson ("Nurse Sherri"), Paul Kent ("Ruby" '77), and David Wells ("Society"). Rich is amusing as a particularly smarmy photographer wearing a toupee that you'll keep wanting to snatch off his head.

At least "The Jigsaw Murders" can boast an unlikely scene where the guys present at a bachelor party put everything else on hold so they can put together a jigsaw puzzle.

Six out of 10.

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