Schlocktoberfest Day 13: Pieces

Pieces (1982)


*spoilers throughout*

What’s It About: In the beginning of the film, set in 1942, a young boy is working on his jigsaw puzzle. A puzzle of a naked woman. His mother walks in on him, sees the smut and chastises him for it. Moments later he takes a very large axe and splits her head open with it. Flash-forward forty years to a college campus, some more murders, ton of gratuitous T&A and the film is a brilliant sleazy slasher movie. Starring Bluto from that Popeye movie!

Is It Actually Scary: I wouldn’t call this picture scary. Disturbing and macabre are words I would use. The killer’s main weapon of choice is a chainsaw, which for a slasher movie is odd mainly because it’s hard to stalk your prey with such a large and loud weapon. But he doesn’t appear to have any issues.

Scariest Moment: I really don’t want to give too much away for this film but there’s a jump scare that not only will shock the audience because of a sudden jump but also because of the outcome.

How Much Gore: Do you remember that scene in The Shining when the elevator doors open and a river of blood comes pouring out of it; literally gallons and gallons of blood streaming into the hotel’s lobby? Yeah I think this flick has about that much blood shown throughout. It is a bloody mess. Every kill is graphic and over-the-top gory.

Dumbest Moment: This movie has 3 really dumb moments but because of the aforementioned jump scare I will only talk about two. The first is when we flash-forward to 1982 and there’s this girl skateboarding through campus, waving to her friends and having a grand ‘ol time. Suddenly in front of her is a truck with two men carrying out a giant mirror. The girl only notices the mirror just in time to scream for her dear life and shatters it into oblivion. Then that girl is never seen or heard of again in the whole movie. It’s implied she died and that makes sense but if we do see her again it’s in such a way that you can only assume. It’s as if the filmmakers JUST HAD to have a scene where someone dies while skateboarding through a giant sheet of mirror and had no real reason to put it in. This scene happens so fast and suddenly that I was left completely puzzled.

The other dumb moment is so wacky and out-of-nowhere you’d think I was lying. A lady, who’s really a cop posing as a student to bait the chainsaw killer, is walking down the street of the campus when a would-be attacker jumps out at her. But its not the chainsaw killer. Its a kung-fu master! Yeah for no explicable reason there’s a short semi-kung fu fight between a lady defending herself against an Asian martial artist before we find out he’s really just the martial arts professor at the school. He realizes his mistake for attacking her, apologizes and everyone continues on their merry-way. Totally random and out-of-place for a horror movie and according to trivia: Because producer Dick Randall was simultaneously making kung-fu films in Rome, a cameo for a Bruce Lee imitator was written into this film, even though this scene makes no sense in the context of the rest of the film.

Any Nudity: Chock Full O’ Nudes! This is an Italian grindhouse horror flick and I’m surprised most women actually kept their clothes on. In addition, the boy’s puzzle features a pin-up and at various points in the movie the boy, now grown up to the killer, still pieces together the puzzle…slowly, so the old pin-up is on screen for a long period of time.

Overall: A very fun little gore-fest. I thoroughly enjoyed it and even the dumb scenes I mentioned are so-bad-its-good that it adds to the film’s appeal. Since this was an Italian production the over-dubs are laughable but again adds to its greatness. The filmmakers even went out of their way to give the impression that this is set in America with most scenes having a very obvious American flag or a picture of then-president Ronald Reagan. There’s also a very conspicuous scene of some of the actors eating Wendy’s hamburgers and fries. The kills are a hoot and even badly executed at times but again if you go into this film with the right attitude you will have fun. The shock ending will simultaneously leave you dumbfounded, laughing and for some, wincing at the screen.

Score: 8 (out of 10)

3 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest Day 13: Pieces

  1. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest: Recap of Horror! « Hard Ticket to Home Video

  2. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest VIII – Day 11: Cannibal Apocalypse | Hard Ticket to Home Video

  3. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest IX – Day 13: Extraterrestrial Visitors | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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