Pieces (1982)

pieces poster 1982 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 7/10

So bad it is good, solid gore

Really bad

Movie Info

Movie Name: Pieces

Studio:  Almena Films

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  August 23, 1982 (Spain)/September 23, 1983 (US)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

pieces killer kid

Well it is always disappointing when the pieces don’t fit

At Boston university, a killer is stalking women.  The killer is dismembering them and taking body parts for an unknown reason.  With police baffled and trying the keep the situation under wraps, Lt. Bracken (Christopher George) enlists a student named Kendell James (Ian Sera) and a tennis pro turned detective named Mary Riggs (Lynda Day George) to go undercover at the school as the eyes and ears of the police.  The police have suspects:  the groundskeeper Willard (Paul L. Smith), the Dean Foley (Edmund Purdom), and the anatomy teacher Professor Arthur Brown (Jack Taylor).  The killer is getting bolder, and the pieces of project are almost complete!

pieces decapitation body horror

I think the problem here is that someone has taken her head…

Directed by J. Piquer Simon, Pieces (Mil gritos tiene la noche aka The Night Has 1000 Screams) is a low budget horror slasher film.  Made by parties in Spain, Puerto Rico, and the United States, the film received criticism for its gore and violence and gained a cult following over the years.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre made chainsaws a weapon of terror and a standard operating tool for slashers.  Pieces always seemed like it was a simple grab to capitalize on films like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but in its own way, it becomes something entirely different and truly bizarre.

The movie has a lot of slasher elements but it also feels like a giallo film.  The unknown killer stalking women (generally scantily clad or naked) blends the two genres.  This feels like the European element of the film.  The film feels like it is also pieced to together. The dialogue, the operation of the university, and the police work makes you feel like the makers had never watched a movie, gone to college, or even saw a police procedural TV show before writing the script.  It follows no logic (an example is they catch the gardener holding the bloody chainsaw, he attacks them, and then they just let him go because not enough evidence)…not to mention the recruitment of a student and the least likely undercover officer in Mary Riggs…who has a great fight with the college’s “kung-fu professor” Chao (played by Bruce Le…with one e).

pieces bastards lynda day george

BASTARDS! (and an uncomfortable Ian Sera having to stand there as she screams it)

The cast also seems like it isn’t quite sure what it is doing.  Paul L. Smith pretty much just plays his Brutus character from Popeye while Ian Sera knows more about all his professors and the dean than any student normally knows.  The movie even adds the cliché “overweight nerd”, but the star of the movie has to be Linda Day George (married to Christopher George who plays the detective).  She is so over the top and her “BASTARDS” screaming moment is one of the top bad-acting scenes of all time.

The movie is largely a gorefest and that in addition to the weirdness of the acting and story has made it popular.  Despite being low budget, the special effects on the attacks are quite good and generally completely gruesome.  It goes to show the benefit of practical effects in a world where even a chainsaw murder would be CGI in today’s movies…

Pieces is a great bad movie.  It is the type of film you can watch with friends, laugh, and groan about.  I can’t imagine that the filmmakers thought that the movie was going to be “good” and that the actors were trying hard…and if they were giving it their all, I feel really sorry for their acting coaches.  As much as you pan Pieces, Pieces must be watched…it is a bastion of badness that is oh so good.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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