Dir. Juan Piquer Simón
A killer, attempting to piece together a human jigsaw puzzle made from body parts, starts cutting up the young co-eds on a college campus. Bad dialogue, terrible acting, gratuitous nudity, sloppy gore effects, unexpected kung-fu and nubile flesh getting cut the fuck up ensue. Warning: contains guffaws.
Directed by Spanish filmmaker Juan Piquer Simón in his native Valencia (though set in the States), the marvellously trashy and overtly sleazy 1982 extravaganza Pieces is a scuzzy, down ‘n’ dirty slasher that ranks down there with the
Like the tagline indicates – It’s Exactly What You Think It Is - and what with me thinking it was a cheap, sleazy, terrible piece of filmmaking; it wasn’t wrong!
The plot, so to speak, is structured around grisly and splashy deaths, unattractive sex scenes and increasingly ridiculous scenes in which the main characters stand around and indulge in dull expository dialogue. The police investigation - which is carried out by a staggering array of people (some of whom aren’t even cops) including detectives Bracken (Christopher George) and Holden (Frank Brana), the Dean of the university (Edmund Purdom), professor of anatomy Prof. Brown (Jack Taylor), former tennis pro turned undercover detective Mary Riggs (Lynda Day George) and the campus jock turned undercover cop assistant Kendall (Ian Sera) - consists of trawling through files and shuffling papers looking for clues. Tension could have been mustered in a number of stalking sequences, but the direction is so bland and the pacing so devoid of momentum that it just never feels as suspenseful as a good slasher should. Case in point – the killer sneaks into an elevator with one victim who fails to notice the big chainsaw he’s hiding behind his back, while another character, who is fished out of a swimming pool with a small net by the killer, simply reclines by the pool in terror while the killer retrieves his trusty chainsaw from the other side of the pool. The shock ending featuring a body made up of stitched together parts of all the victims is also a depraved delight that would be echoed years later in Lucky McKee’s May – though to much more poetic and chilling effect.
“While we were out here fumbling with that music, that lousy bastard was in there killing her. Bastard! BASTARD! BAAAASSSTAAAARRD!!!”
|Note the 'Friday the 13th' poster behind this clearly vestiphobic young woman...|
If trashy slashers featuring big dollops of gore, boobs, bad dialogue, boobs, hammy acting, boobs, shoddy direction and more boobs are your bag, then uncork something vulgar and cheap and guzzle it while watching Pieces. Sleazy, absurd and ridiculous.