PIECES (1982) – The Dungeon Review!

I’ve seen this film several times and it never fails to entertain the hell out of me. It’s sleazy, violent and gory fun! ‘Pieces’ opens with one of the most outrageous child trauma scenes in the history of horror cinema! Not to mention, an ending that will have you cheering and laughing! Sure, it has numerous unintentionally funny moments and some of the worst dialog ever, but these things only add to its entertainment value!

We open with a boy putting together a jigsaw puzzle of a naked woman. Mom goes berserk and attempts to destroy the contraband. But our little boy doesn’t like his nude ladies taken away so he puts an axe into mom’s head. He then removes her head with a handsaw. When the police show up the kid’s room is a bloody mess. They find mom’s head in one closet and a seemingly traumatized and blood-soaked boy in another. Fast-forward 40 years to a university campus. We see a girl on a skateboard touring the campus saying hello to people she knows along the way. Two men are taking a big piece of glass out of a truck and she loses control and smashes into it. This scene has no relevance to the film at all. We don’t even see the results of the incident; it just jumps to a scene of a female student doing her homework on the lawn. She is the first of the campus fodder. When she hears a chainsaw start up she asks the man if he will be long, because otherwise she will move elsewhere. He tells her he won’t be very long. And he is just quick as a whip taking her head clean off. It would seem our killer has traded in his handsaw for a more efficient device. Let’s face it. The chainsaw is an efficient device for removing limbs but it’s heavy and awkward and it certainly isn’t very discreet! No matter, our killer is able to make short work of several women on the campus with the noisy device.

The police are on the case and they immediately suspect the killer is someone who works on the campus. There are all sorts of suspects like the creepy Professor Brown who teaches anatomy, the Dean that looks like a ghoul, and Willard, the man who had been recently hired to do some maintenance on the university grounds. It’s not long before another young woman is found chopped into numerous pieces. Willard ends up in the swimming pool area with this latest victim. As the police enter the room, completely unprovoked, he begins beating the hell out of them and tossing them around like rag dolls. Even a beating with a 2 x 4 doesn’t keep him down. Pretty bizarre behaviour for an innocent man! This is where chick magnet Kendall comes in. A male student who was supposed to be meeting swimming pool lady for a bit of the old in and out. A note left for him at the Dean’s office gets him involved. Det. Lt. Bracken trusts Kendall immediately and shares all sorts of information about the case. He tells Kendall about Mary Riggs, ex-tennis pro turned cop, who they plan on putting in the school undercover. He even asks Kendall to keep an eye on Mary. Apparently the police are short staffed. No really, he actually states they don’t have enough manpower.

Another hilariously random event sees Mary prowling around the campus alone at night when she is suddenly attacked by a ninja! Fortunately Kendall spies Mary from his window and comes to her aid on his motorbike. But it turns out it’s just his martial arts professor who apparently had some bad chop suey! Meanwhile another woman is just about to bite it. Mary and Kendall are nowhere to be found of course. When the loan female student gets to the elevator believing she had been followed, she is relieved to find someone she knows. She refers to him only as “sir”. Apparently she missed the giant chainsaw he was hiding behind his back!

Mary and Kendall decide to have a game of tennis the next morning and are taken aback by the loud irritating music playing. They find groundskeeper Willard who turns the music off and then they find another body in a bathroom stall with its legs missing. This is where Mary has her serious drama moment. Seriously funny! Lynda Day George who plays Mary pulls out the big guns for this one! I can’t even hear the word “bastard” without laughing now!

The identity of the killer is kept for the end but we do get to see his black-gloved hand putting together that very same naked lady puzzle he had when he was a kid. Apparently he has also kept mom’s blood-soaked dress. Who is this dastardly bastard and why does he keep a piece of each woman?!! I think I’ve spoiled quite enough for you, so just go out and buy this film. You can pick it up cheap! If you love slashers from the 80’s with unintentional laughs and plenty of blood and gore you won’t be disappointed! Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Juan Piquer Simón

Starring: Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom, Ian Sera, Paul L. Smith, Jack Taylor, Gérard Tichy

3 Responses to “PIECES (1982) – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. That one looks particularly slimy so of course I’ll have to find it. Seriously, stop with all the reviews of great movies! How am I supposed to watch them if I can’t review them.

  2. This one never loses its charm with me! A wonderfully over the top setup and three women are killed in the first 20 or so minutes! The dialog is bad…but pretty damn funny. Linda Day George screaming bastard several times with varying emotion is hysterical! My husband and I always laugh ourselves silly over it!

  3. […] A completely insane story, terrible dialog, iffy acting, but lots and lot’s of unintentional laughs and gore with a bit of nudity thrown in for good measure. Watch for Lynda Day George’s “bastard” scene. I have to rewind it and watch it at least 3 times every time I view Pieces! So bad it is GREAT!! To read my review click here. […]

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