Director:Juan Piquer Simón
Cast:Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom, Ian Sera, Paul Smith, Jack Taylor, Gérard Tichy, May Heatherly, Hilda Fuchs, Isabel Luque
Pieces is one of those movies that's been on my to-watch list for years now. I've heard some horribly phenomenal things about it and could not wait to get my hands on a copy. The DVD goes for a hefty chunk of change on line so imagine my excitement when a friend let me borrow their copy. Excitement filled my brain like it does every time I watch an 80s horror film that has somehow eluded me over the years. Was this the second coming of The House on Sorority Row that knocked my socks off years ago? Or would it be more like my first viewing of Don’t Go in the Woods that left me wanting to bitch slap the shit out of everyone who recommended it. In the end I felt indifferent.
The prologue of the movie is astoundingly absurd and hysterical in the best way possible with a naughty little perverted boy playing with a naked lady puzzle. His curvy mother catches him and forces him to discard all of the contents of his spank bank. He instead discards of her with an axe in an anti Oedipus twist. Now I just have one question about this scene. Where the hell can I get one of those puzzles?!
We cut to about 40 years later or so and the supposed same little boy has now grown up and is dismembering sexy women on a New England college campus. The killer takes different pieces of each girl in a sick live action version of his childhood puzzle. Now he targets the young erection educing new teacher (who's really an undercover cop) of the college and it's up to some police detectives and the pimp mack daddy of the campus to find out who the killer is before he chops off her feet.
I totally dig the concept of the film, but the execution was less than stellar. For one thing, most of the characters that get butchered are introduced merely minutes before their gruesome demises. We have no victims who even remotely care about or identify with. There's no clear lead of the film either as the new teacher isn't really introduced until almost the midpoint. We spend WAY too much screen time with Pimp Mack Daddy. He's not interesting in the least bit and I don't understand how he's able to smash out all these smoke shows because by all accounts he's the definition of an uber goober.
The identity of the killer will come as no shock to anyone who's been paying the least bit attention to the movie. And the direction by Juan Piquer Simón is rather mediocre at best. Although he has set up some interesting shots, there's not enough to find it visually interesting. The movie was made for probably next to nothing and it definitely shows. Let's not even mention the ridiculous ending shot that exists solely to give the audience a last minute Carrie scare.
And can we talk about the script for a second? Sometimes brilliant and sometimes atrocious, it features some of the funniest effing lines which are enhanced to side splitting humor with the delivery by the bad actors. Such doozies include "the most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed at the same time" and "what if you gag me, huh, I wouldn't make any noises then" and of course my absolute favorite "YOU BASTARD!"...you have to see this one yourself to believe it. I also love how the killer gets into an elevator with an intended victim and hides the massive yellow chainsaw behind his back so she can't see it. Genius! If Pieces did anything right it was making the death scenes extremely brutally over the top (for the time).
When you're making a low budget horror movie with bad acting and a laughable script, you have to give the audience some reason to watch. We get a good amount of gore and quite a few tit shots. And for the women and the men of the same sex persuasion there's a blink and you'll miss it side view of Pimp Mack Daddy's magic stick. I also get a good chuckle out of the tagline for the movie "Pieces...it's exactly what you think it is". Yup...it was about pieces. I was tempted to give the movie a lower rating, but despite its failures, I still rather enjoyed it for it due in most part to the unintentional humor.
Even with a great concept, Pieces ended up being just an average low budget early 80s slasher. Worth a watch for its saving graces of ample nudity, great gore moments, and unintentionally hilarious script. It's not a good movie by any means, but it was entertaining and you could do a lot worse.
|Posted on September 4, 2010 - 6:06pm | Johnny D|