We watched Pieces on Shudder, and it was a fun if extremely dated slasher from 1982. It’s got intensely awkward scenes, lots of nudity, and is the ultimate form of copycat slasher bullshit. Listen to Horror Movie Talk’s take on this fun and puzzling slasher.
Pieces can be found on Shudder and “>Amazon.
Watch the trailer for Pieces:
Pieces starts with a young boy putting a smutty puzzle together. His mom walks in on him fiddling around with this puzzle and does what any good mom would do; she flips out. The boy leaves and comes back within ten seconds wielding an ax that he uses to murder the bejesus out of his mom. This supposedly happens in the 1940s, which is weird because I don’t know for sure, but I imagine it was remarkably hard to get your hands on a smut puzzle from the ’80s in the ’40s.
We fast forward in time 40 years to a university that is having some issues with a grizzly series of chainsaw murders. The movie transforms into a who done it with plenty of potential suspects that could be the shadowy killer who seemingly only targets attractive, naked co-eds.
Pieces wants to be a fun, funny, cult slasher, and to some extent it is. It tried so hard to cash in on the early slasher craze that it actually ends up being a fun, funny, cult slasher because of how hard it falls on its face. It is good because it’s bad, and it’s funny because it’s not. Gratuitousness and bad irony are what rules the day in Pieces, and I had a pretty fun time watching this.
On paper, this movie is a solid 2/10, but somehow, through silly bullshit and charm, it edges it’s way up into a pretty watchable piece of camp fun.
Spoiler for Pieces
In the opening where the little boy kills his mom, the goof-factor is already off the charts. How did this boy make it to ten years old without already killing his mom? So much about this scene is silly that I immediately knew I was in for a good time.
When the police entered the room where the boy murdered his mother, they found her severed head in the closet, and I laughed out loud at how alive the actor who played his mother was behind that dresser. I think I saw her eyes move.
The stars of Pieces are all B movie and TV actors, with the only two actors of any real note being Lynda Day George (Mary Riggs, the hot undercover cop/tennis player) and Christopher George (Lt. Bracken who looks an awful lot like a young Roger Moore).
There was a lot of audio dubbing and voice over work in this movie, which was distracting at first, but after some time it just added to the campiness of it.
The who done it aspect of Pieces is only interesting enough for you to say, “Hey, they are trying to do some sort of Clue ripoff.” However, then you would be terribly wrong because Clue didn’t hit theaters until three years later in 1985 – silly you. The story is very heavy-handed in its suggestion that the antagonist is Professor Arthur Brown, which leads you to believe that it’s probably him.
Professor Brown is in charge of the Anatomy Dept. and is always sneaking around where he shouldn’t be.
It also insinuates that the killer might be the beefy groundskeeper with the shifty eyes who enjoys stroking his chainsaw when he isn’t raking the grounds of the University or shiftily shifting his eyes.
At one point in Pieces, a girl asks one of the lead characters, Kendall, if he wants to have sex in the school pool. He answers in the affirmative, then becomes sidelined by a plot point. As she waits for him in the pool, she is murdered, which is a good thing because let me just say, you should never have sex in a pool.
Not only is pool sex gross for everyone else who has to use the pool after you, but it can also cause some nasty UTI’s and other infections that can mess up your system for weeks, maybe months. This girl is extremely lucky that she was killed before having sex in the pool.
The deaths in Pieces are ridiculous to the point of being hilarious. Some of the ways that people die in Pieces are:
- Skateboarding through a mirror
- Chainsaw in the pool room
- Chainsaw in the garden
- Chainsaw in the elevator
- Waterbed stabbing
- Ax to the noggin
- Death by pool skimmer
- Death by dick grab
Pieces also include a tremendous amount of what is almost stock-footage-level boring shots and scenes. Some of the most notable boring bologna that you will have to sit through includes:
Stock Footage Bonanza
- The killer solving a smutty puzzle
- The lowest energy tennis match I’ve ever seen at any level, let alone “pro” level
- Boring chit chat
The ending of this movie reminded me of the 2018 The House That Jack Built ending. The lousy Dean was building a corpse replica of his mother out of the PIECES of his victims. It made me wonder if The House That Jack Built was paying some respect to this somewhat lovable piece of shit
In the end, it was that LOUSY DEAN!
Hard to Enjoy
I wanted to review Pieces because we had such a great time reviewing Sleepaway Camp that I wanted to try and recapture that. I don’t feel as fondly about Pieces as I do about Sleepaway Camp, but I can’t quite pinpoint why. It has something to do with the stock footage and the lack of care or empathy that I had for any of the boring characters in Pieces.
Pieces is a movie to get drunk or high to, a movie to eat pizza to, a movie to talk over. It’s campy, it’s fun, it’s bad. It’s even got aggressive Kung-Fu. If you like any of those things, check it out on Shudder or “>Amazon.