Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pieces (1983, J. Piquer Simón)

Bare with me here, I'm going to reminisce. Picture a skinny 16 year old kid walking into a small hole in the wall video store. As you walk in, you are greeted by a short bald guy with a beard named Morris, the store owner. In the back of the store, a group of kids with wizard hats and dental headgear are playing that role playing card game Magic. You pass by the new releases and the action films and head to the far right of the store. There lies my favorite section: HORROR! I scan the alphabetical titles. Anguish...Basket Case...Carrie....seen 'em. As I make my way to the P's, something catches my eye. Pieces. Haven't seen that one before. Looks like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired whodunit slasher. I'll give it a shot.

Pieces opens with a boy butchering his mother with an axe after she catches him with a puzzle of a naked woman. 40 years later, a series of murders begin at a University in Boston, the same town the boy killed his mother in. Girls are mysteriously being murdered and dismembered. The strange thing though is that after every murder, a piece of the body is missing. Could it be cannibalism like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre? A pair of detectives, a student at the college and an undercover tennis player (wtf?) are all trying to find out the truth, but will they survive...or end up in Pieces?

Like I said above, Pieces was a film I first saw in my teenage years. I remember dubbing a copy of it from two VCRs and watching it several times. It must have been a great movie, right? Well...not exactly. The acting is terrible. The dubbing is terrible. The budget is non-existent. However, the film's story is original and the gore are top notch. Not to mention, Pieces also has oodles of nudity. Even watching it now, I was wincing during some of the killings...and even more so during some of the dramatic scenes (the infamous "Bastard!!" scene instantly comes to mind). Pieces is definitely not for everyone, but if you're looking for a cheesy exploitation/horror film, then this one is perfect. Also, the ending is one of the best in Horror history. It totally creeped me out the first time I saw it.


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