Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pieces (1982)

Fear 2/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 2/5
T&A Factor: 4/5

Pieces is one of my all-time favorite slasher films. Along with a healthy dosage of 80's sleaze and cheese, it contains some of the most brutal kill scenes that have ever graced the sub-genre (2nd only to The Prowler, IMHO). Throw in four legitimate red herrings for good measure and you have yourself one sweet elixir of gore soaked awesomeness.

Our film starts with a young boy, fascinated by a Playboy centerfold-like jigsaw puzzle he's putting together. Mom interrupts him and flips out, berating the boy and shaming him to no end. The little boy flips out and briefly exits his room. Upon re-entering, he takes an axe he's grabbed to dear ol' mum and pulverizes her. The cops soon show up but our blood soaked kid blames it on an intruder and gets away with it.

Flash forward 40 years and we're introduced to a college dean who's dealing with a recent murder on his campus. The murder is kept under wraps from the kids with the anatomy professor, the lead detective, the college groundskeeper (who always has this look on his facehole....

....) and the dean instantly becoming each the equal suspect. The bodies begin to mount at an alarming rate, each one more viciously sliced than the last. The killer's main weapons of choice are a chainsaw and a large knife. From decapitations to dismemberment, our killer is on one brutal and relentless quest. But it's all for one purpose and one purpose only: he's putting together a real-life puzzle pieced woman, doing his best to match the same likeness he fawned over as a young kid in his room all those years ago. You see, he's taking specific body parts with each kill and sewing together to make a 'real' woman.

A female undercover piece of meat (that's essentially what she is as the lead detective tells her that they need another warm body on campus), soon begins to roam the campus with the goal of getting close to each of our potential suspects. After a news reporter also falls victim, she meets with the one suspect she hasn't met face to face with yet and learns that he's our killer. I'm not going to ruin the surprise if you haven't seen the film although it is fairly obvious who it is around the 3rd act or so. The real fun comes by way of our other red herrings who always seem to arrive on the scene much to quickly after the killings. You know, the kind of just rounding the corner and 'Surprise, I'm here!' and ' Oh by the way, there's a dead body in the locker room.' I know this gets played ad infinitum in slasher films, but I still find it to be a fun aspect, especially in this film.

As mentioned, there is a healthy dose of sleaze and cheese in the film as college kids care about only a handful of things. Namely, getting fucked-up and fucking. Example, this sassy bit of dialogue here:

Lady Student 1: Have you ever been laid on a waterbed?
Lady Student 2: The most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed. At the same time.

Later on in our film, our nosy reporter gets waxed on a waterbed which makes for one of the best slasher kill scenes of all-time.

With lots of the red stuff and gore and eye rolling-ly bad dialogue, Pieces is a shit ton o' fun. Check it out ASAP if you haven't done so already.

Cortez the Killer


Erin said...

I got this in a nine-movie set last weekend but hadn't watched it yet 'til your review reminded me I hadn't. Watching now. Even though I love Pieces, I'll admit it's cheesy. The music, however, is quality.

Matt-suzaka said...

Fucking Pieces is so awesome. I have that shitty release from way back, the one that has interactive menus and scene selection as the special features, and I cherish it with all my heart.

There are SOOOOOO many great scenes in the film, but one of my favs is when the same chick who talks about fucking on the waterbed asks her teacher where the pectoral muscles are. She is such a slut!

The Film Connoisseur said...

Pieces is a pretty cool slasher, with its gory gory moments and non sensical ones as well! What about that karate guy that comes out of nowhere?

That gory bathroom death was awesome as hell though, pretty morbid stuff! This director has gone on to make some of the worst horror films in history: Chuthulhu Mansion for example, wow, so terrible! Yet enjoyable in a TROLL II sort of way. What a train wreck of a movie. Nothing to do with H.P. Lovecraft at all if you can believe it, yet its called H.P. Lovecrafts Chuthulhu Mansion! Its got acting that is so bad, that it will embarass you.

Check it out, Im sure you could have some fun with it.

B.STANK said...

The "bad chop suey" scene is hilarious! So fucking random. This movie is entertaining from first to last shot. Absolute classic!

MarkusWelby1 said...

There aren't enough water bed murders in films these days. Ahhhh....a throwback to better times.

Planet of Terror said...

@Erin, it's off the chains cheesy. But hot damn those are some stellar kill scenes!

@Matt, that chick is one slut-o-rama. That scene is so ridiculous. Especially with the shirt she wore.

@TFC, a truly WTF moment in the film. So bizarre. Chuthulhu Mansion sounds righteous! I'll see if I can track that one down.

@B.Stank, totally. When kung fu professor wakes up and gives the chop suey explanation, it was a total head scratcher. How about the ending? Was it the doll or the killer that reached up and grabbed the kid's crotch? I've always wondered that.

@Markus, you'd think there'd be more. Other than this and ANOES 4 I can't think of any others. Can you?

Geof said...

Haha awesome little retro review! Pieces is one of the first gore sleazy flicks I watched as a youngster. To me back in the day, it was like seeing a true video nasty. Paul Smith FTW!

Jamie said...

This director also made 'Slugs' which is a trash horror masterpiece. As is this.

Great writeup and killer blog.

Planet of Terror said...

Thanks Jamie! i'll have to check out Slugs. Sounds groovy.