pieces poster
1 star  Cheese Rating: 75% Feirce Fondue!


directed by: J. Piquer Simon
starring: Christopher George, Paul Smith, Edmund Purdom, Linda Day

(back of video blurb):       "The year is 1941. A young boy is assembling a jigsaw puzzle of a nude woman, when his mother enters in a rage and tells him to throw the puzzle out. Instead he returns with an axe and hacks his mother to death, tricking the police into believing a maniac has killed her. Forty years later at a Boston college, the terror really begins. A chainsaw-wielding madman is roaming the campus collecting pieces of beautiful co-eds for a ghastly human puzzle he is assembling-and the police haven't a clue to the crazed killer's identity. Christopher George (Mortuary) stars in this horrifying adventure into madness, hysteria and bone-chilling brutality."... (courtesy of Benny)

choice dialogue:

"There are rumours strange things are going on, it seems that some maniac is running loose...or something like that."

slash with panache?

       Hmmmm.....PIECES is described by the Aurum encyclopaedia of Horror as "...(A) sleazy Puerto Rican exploitation movie (which) was filmed in Boston and Madrid by an American producer based in Italy and a Spanish director.". This may go towards explaining why it is such a jumbled mess- an inept, but ferociously gory, marriage of stalk 'n' slash and the more Eurocentric gialli thriller.

       The film starts with a prologue set in Boston, 1942- a scene which is inexplicably missing from many prints. A young boy axes his mother to death pieces video coverbefore decapitating her with a saw, (shades of the same years' NIGHTMARES IN A DAMAGED BRAIN), after she punishes him for playing with a jigsaw of a naked woman. Fast forward to 1981, and someone is dismembering pretty co-eds with a chainsaw, constructing a jigsaw of human body parts. The killer, often seen in silhouette, wears a fedora and black leather gloves, like the murderers in Bava and Argento psycho-thrillers, but stalks and heavy breathes like Michael Myers.

       At this point I should say that the version I saw was a surreally edited composite print. Dialogue switching from English, to Spanish, to French and then back again. Try thinking of the worst ever dubbing you have ever seen and then imagine the soundtrack was running five seconds behind the picture. Not to mention two musical soundtracks that bounced around like an epileptic on a trampoline! Still, the one plus point, all the gory action was complete. Mind you, even if I saw a top notch, pristine copy I doubt it would make the film any better. In it's enthusiastic attempts to be sleazy and offensive it, more often than not, comes across as dull and mind bogglingly inept. Occasionally, but unintentionally, there are a few chuckles to be had. One where the Dean of the college wants to put an incident,...'an unfortunate accident'(!) where a student had her head chainsawed off whilst sun bathing, down as "...an unfortunate accident" ! Or where the female detective (and tennis ace!), is attacked by a Kung-Fooing assailant who turns out to be a teacher who blames the unprovoked attack on some bad chop-suey he must have eaten! Or,....I'm on a roll now, Willard , the gardener's arch looks and gnashing of teeth as he provocatively fondles his Chainsaw. Or the skateboarding disco bunny who crashes through a large mirror being moved by two men, that old trick, that has absolutely *NO* relevance to the rest of the film. Oh, how I could go on....and indeed I've just remembered the gratuitous disco aerobics session. How could I ever forget it!

        Incidentally, PIECES stars Christopher George, he's really slumming it here,who was also in the more enjoyable, but equally daft, GRADUATION DAY- from the same year. That movie also had a kung-foo fight involving the leading lady- coincidence?....Actually, it probably was!

       Occasionally good cinematography, a few amusing moments and, admittedly, gruesome gore can't really lift this movie above the sub-par. Its a mess.

       ....Put it this way, a better title would be FAECES.

BODYCOUNT 8  bodycount!   female:7 / male:1

       1) Woman axed to death and then dismembered with a saw (in prologue)
       2) Skateboarding female teen crashes through mirror
       3) Sunbathing female teen decapitated with chainsaw
       4) Female teen dismembered with chainsaw
       5) Female teen has her arms chopped off in lift
       6) Woman stabbed to death on water bed
       7) Female teen cut in half with chainsaw
       8) Man shot dead- between the eyes