Pieces (1982) Review

pieces 1982 dvd coverThis film is also known as Mil Gritos Tiene la Noche, which is interesting for several reasons, which we can talk about right now if you like.

Firstly, it’s definitely longer than Pieces, which is pretty fascinating when you really think about it. Second, Mil Gritos Tiene la Noche roughly translates as ‘A Thousand Cries in the Night’, which is quite a nice title really, reminiscent of some long forgotten gothic novel.

So what does all this have to do with the price of fish? Well, let’s see what happens when I tell you that Pieces was actually filmed in Spain! That’s right – your head is almost definitely spinning right now. If not, then you just ain’t got no soul, but that’s another matter. So, yes, Pieces! Coming to you from deepest Europe! Wow?

But this isn’t no Argento style Euro-freak-out, because the wise people who put this bad boy together had the decency to draft in some good old American talent to lead the cast to glory.
Well, maybe they’re not fit to lead anyone anywhere, least of all glory, but there definitely are some Americans in it.

Pieces movie horror

You might even recognise them, especially if you watched a lot of t.v. in the seventies – Wonder Woman, Bonanza, Petrocelli, Mission: Impossible and Love Boat to name but a few. Forgive me for not naming these talented performers individually, but it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the cast, who without doubt also turn up at various points in the film…

Alright, look. Pieces is a mess: the plot is nonsense, some of the scenes appear to be out of synch, and the dubbing, clearly a necessary evil due to both the language and acting barriers encountered by the cast, is just weird.
But so what? Any one of the many bad things about this film would ruin most movies, but it’s the sheer volume of total ludicrosity (Word!) that somehow keeps this thing together. For example, the giant man playing the suspicious janitor looks like someone captured a mongoloid-bear, snapped some dungarees on him, gave him three vials of crack and a copy of Cannonball Run to study, then stuck him in front of a camera and shouted acción!

Pieces film horror Pieces movie 1982

Want more? Then it’s just as well they threw in a scene where a young woman is having a whale of a time skateboarding around town when, for God only knows what reason, two men carry a huge sheet mirror across the street which, Oh My Gosh, she totally crashes through! The suspense!

Speaking of suspense, there isn’t any. Unless you’ve been pounding the drinks for a few hours before viewing (highly recommended where appropriate), you’ll know who the killer is really, really quickly.
But no matter because he still creeps about with a chainsaw, making the same sound my dog makes when he snores, killing those silly college girls at a devilishly leisurely rate.
Oh, and there’s a plot twist involving a pro-tennis player going undercover at the college where the murders are taking place. Yeah, really.

Pieces film 1982 Pieces film

So it’s stupid, it’s obvious, at points it’s unintelligible, but none of this really detracts from the viewing experience.
There are some pretty grotty chainsaw moments, a room-full of fine electro dance moves, a few great suits, and a principle character (the principal) who looks like former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, if Gordon Brown were a vampire. What’s not to like?

In case you’re still not convinced, allow me to share with you my favourite moment from the whole movie: it’s late at night. Mary, the tennis-pro turned undercover cop, is wondering the campus, nervously keeping an eye out for dead people.
From out of nowhere, she is attacked by a track-suited Asian man! He leaps around, throwing chops and kicks her way fast as lightning, then stops. He falls to the ground, unconscious.
Is he drugged?
Hypnotized?
Insane?
No. He is the college kung-fu teacher. He has been sleep-fighting. His excuse? Must have had some bad Chop-Suey.

Pieces movie

Now that’s what I call Acción!

Movie Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

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About MacReady

When you’re stuck outdoors in the frozen Antarctic, for months on end with no food or water, after surviving a horrific life and death encounter with a parasitic extraterrestrial life form that kills and assimilates other organisms (including all your friends) and then imitates them with disturbing and grotesque results, you have a lot of time to think... More

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