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PIECES (1982) ***1/2 grindhouse classic review by COOP

Posted on December 5th, 2008
Posted on December 5th, 2008


Here’s a hilariously fun and gory slasher flick.

It starts off a lot like “Halloween.” A little boy assembles a naughty jigsaw puzzle in the comfort of his bedroom. His mom catches him in the act, then verbally and physically beats him. How does he retaliate? He takes an axe to her head, saws her body into pieces (pun intended!) and gets away with it scot-free. Flash-forward to present day (1982) where the maniac kid returns all grown up, yet we can’t see his face. As if assembling a jigsaw puzzle, he dismembers coeds at the local university with a chainsaw and sews them together to form the perfect woman.

There are a lot of red herrings skulking about to give the film an Italian “giallo” tone… The creepy tree-trimmer guy, the creepy professor, the creepy student, the creepy… you get the idea. Add an outrageous amount of gore and nudity, even for the discerning grindhouse enthusiast, and you’ve nailed down 1/2 of this film’s notoriety. The other half comes from the unintentionally hilarious camp resulting from a foreign country (Spain) imitating a popular American genre, inserting American actors, dubbing the entire film and taking it to the extreme.

Examples:

1. A coed brazenly beheaded by a chainsaw in broad daylight… in the middle of bustling college campus… with NO WITNESSES!!!

2. A college-level tennis match so poorly shot and edited that it’s obvious the two actresses have never played the game before in their entire lives (They serve from mid-court, lob and miss most of their shots completely).

3. A female character get mugged in the middle of the night by a Bruce Lee lookalike who karate kicks and screams at her until she nails him in the groin. Turns out he was only flirting with her. After failing at his courtship he admits that he probably had “bad chop-suey!” that evening, bows and excuses himself.

4. The female cop shaking her fist at the sky and screaming “BASTARD!!!” over and over again after finding the 4th victim.

5. The hilariously obscene shock ending that makes absolutely NO SENSE.

I remember guys talking about this movie when I was in Jr. High, but it’s been out of print for so long, I kept missing it. “Pieces” has only now arrived on DVD and I’m glad it’s officially made it to cult status. Believe me when I say this is a lost classic. The sleaziest movie I’ve seen since “I Spit on Your Grave,” you can’t miss this one if you’re down with the grindhouse scene.

One of the promotional posters says, “PIECES! It’s exactly what you think it is!” For once, an accurate catch phrase that delivers what it promises.

3 and 1/2 stars

But don’t believe me, check out this video critique of “Pieces” from Weird Michael of Hypostylin Reviews. He shows the funniest clips and confirms all of my outlandish claims about the flick…

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