Pieces (1982) | There are a lot of slashers about, but none quite as sleazy as this hatchet job

Pieces (1982)

1982’s Pieces is best served as a splatter spoof than an exercise in excessive violence.

A masked psycho (who looks like Vincent Price’s Henry Jarrod armed with a chainsaw) is cutting up college girls and using their body parts to construct his ideal woman. Christopher George, best known as TV’s The Immortal, is the investigating detective, while his real-life wife Lynda Day is the undercover cop who screams one swear word over and over again. Meanwhile, Paul L Smith, who will forever be known as the sadistic warden from Midnight Express, just arches his big caterpillar eyebrows as the film’s red-herring, while genre favourite Jack Taylor gets some wonderfully inept dialogue to recite: “I’m not a pathologist, but even a lay man can see it was done with this [blood soaked chainsaw]’.

Pieces (1982)

When director Juan Piquer Simón‘s film was first released, it caused controversy with regards to its violence against women, but watching it now, it’s more goofy than gory. It’s very ‘no holds barred’, but the film’s more bizarre elements (like a woman impaled by glass a la The Omen while out skating, and the Flashdance-inspired music sequences) throw you off guard. You’ll scream in terror one minute, then with delight at the absurdity of it all the next. Even the soundtrack sounds like a spoof one of Goblin’s Argento film scores.

Pieces (1982)

Pieces is totally crazy (especially the final scene), but also bloody good fun, and the waterbed death scene is a standout. The 2011 Arrow Video DVD release features a vibrant print and comes with some nifty extras for slasher fans, including my favourite: an interview with the deadly serious Jack Taylor ‘an actor is born, not made’, about his long career in Spanish genre films.

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About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on April 7, 2014, in Exploitation, Horror, Might See, Might See, Might-See and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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