Pieces (1982)
0 comment Monday, March 31, 2014 |
Runtime: 89 minutes
Countries: USA and Spain
Cast and Crew
Directed by Juan Piquer Simon
Written by Dick Randall and Joe D�Amato
Starring Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Ian Sera, Edmund Purdom, Frank Brana, Jack Taylor, and Paul L. Smith
Makeup: Pedro Camacho
Never before have I read a tagline for a movie that is so honest and close to the truth. Right under the jagged letters that pronounce the film�s title it reads: It�s exactly what you think it is! And brother, this movie most certainly is.
The cast and crew list of the film reads almost like a "Who�s Who" in exploitation films. We have Juan Piquer Simon heading the picture, the director who gave the world cinematic masterpieces such as Slugs and Cthulhu Mansion. Producer Dick Randall writes the script along with Anthropophagus and Buio Omega gore boy Joe D�Amato (working under the mysterious pseudonym of "John Shadow." Ooooooh!). And everyone�s favorite gritty, raspy-voiced Christopher George (City of the Living Dead) starring as the intrepid but pretty much useless detective trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. Oh, and the guy who played Bluto in Robert Altman�s Popeye.
The mystery in question is a series of awesomely gory murders that are taking place on a Boston college campus. The heavy-breathing sicko has a nasty habit of stalking nubile young babes and then cutting them to smithereens with his handy dandy chainsaw. A young student gets entangled in the mess when a potential bed buddy (HOW does this guy get laid?!) meets her end when she is netted out of the school pool and made into bite-size hors d�oeuvres. Lieutenant Bracken is on the case and has a whole gallery of unsavory personalities from the suspicious anatomy professor to the hulking gardener to choose from. But will he be able to intervene in time before the deranged maniac strikes again and completes his unholy puzzle of beautiful human flesh?! We sure hope not.
Something I�ve noticed is that there are many, many movies that highlight certain aspects of a film only for the actual movie to fall short of what it was advertising. I would look at the movie Insane Cannibal Biker Maniacs from Hell, for instance, expecting to get what that movie was promising me. A lot of times these movies induce feelings of suicide before the opening credits are finished. But not Pieces. Although it is for movie lovers on a steady diet of sleaze and cheese, Pieces is such an incredibly fun-filled good time that you can't help but love every last grainy frame of it. Pieces gives you exactly what you want. In FULL. And then pays you a nice tip.
I would go so far as to dare anyone to sit through a viewing of this movie and not crack a smile at least once. By all appearances the filmmakers look as if they were taking themselves at least somewhat seriously (the stalking scenes are especially effective with the killer�s shadow chasing the women down), but there are so many comedic elements in the movie that they give you the impression that Simon was laughing to himself behind the camera the whole time. The movie remains infamous amongst horror fans, a truly nasty nugget from the darkest corners of the grindhouse.
Some of the best moments include the historic "Bad Chop Suey" scene (if I described it anymore I would spoil it for the rest of you; suffice it to say that Dick Randall was producing a kung fu film at the time and decided to stick a Bruce Lee impersonator from that film into this movie. Scratching your head? Just watch and enjoy). Not to mention Lynda Day George�s Oscar-nominated scene where she angrily ejaculates "Bastard! Baaaastard! BAAAAAASSSSSTAAAAAARD!" The music score fits the movie perfectly as well. And of course when I say it�s perfect I mean it�s hilariously cheesy. Not to mention a wide variety! In the opening credits and during the murder scenes we get a delicious taste of 80�s synthesizers and some rip-offs of Goblin. If slow and mellow is more your speed, then you�ll certainly enjoy the "sexy" scenes of females undressing set to softcore jazz music reminiscent of the porno you caught your dad watching. But don�t worry. All this is brightened up by the introduction of heart-pumping aerobics music, leg-warmers and all!
The print that I watched was from St. Clair Entertainment in a box set called "Cult Horror Collection." You know, one of those packages that gather a bunch of horror films in the public domain and strings 'em together for the price of $13.99? The picture and sound quality were just fine, giving it the proper filthy tones that fits it so nicely. Grindhouse Releasing/Box Office Spectaculars released an uncut and uncensored version in 2008, complete with interviews with Juan Piquer Simon and so many more goodies to name. If you haven�t been convinced already, I highly encourage you to go out and purchase this ditty. You�ll be doing yourself a GREAT favor.
This movie truly is a horror gem, a blood bath filled with just as much belly laughs as it is with intestines. Eli Roth is known to preview this film during his film festivals, much to the amusement of the horror-crazed (and probably slightly drunk) crowd. Pieces is made for that exact type of viewing. Call up a few friends, fill up the fridge with alcohol, and let the demented charm of this psycho slasher take hold of you by the cajones and give you the ride of your life. If there�s anything you should take into your heart from this movie, it should be this: "The most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed at the same time."


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