Pieces (1982) | There are a lot of slashers about, but none quite as sleazy as this hatchet job
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]’.
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 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.
Posted on April 7, 2014, in Exploitation, Horror, Might See, Might See, Might-See and tagged 1980s slasher, Arrow Video, Christopher George, Juan Piquer Simón, Linda Day, Mil gritos tiene la noche, Pieces, The Horror Channel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.