A chainsaw wielding madman roams a college campus in search of beautiful young co-eds to slash and kill. This secret psycho has a secret of his own: h...
3 reviews from the community
Review of "Pieces (DVD)"
Not around quite so much at the moment - new job and mum getting married - will catch up when I can.
In the early nineteen forties, a young boy resents his mother's intrusion into his bedroom and takes an axe to her, pretending afterwards that he was an innocent bystander. Some forty years later, young girls on a college campus begin to be picked off by an electric saw-wielding madman. It seems that the killer must be someone on the campus, perhaps a teacher, and the police officers in charge of the case, along with a fast-thinking student, do their best to keep on the killer's tail. Yet the murders continue, each one gorier than the last. Will they ever catch the murderer? And what is the link with the young boy?For some strange reason, there is a following for horror films that are so bad that they are good - I, for one, am a fan. Pieces, or Mil Gritos Tiene La Noce (One Thousand Cries Has the Night) as it was originally called, is one of these films with bells on. It is a Spanish-made film (hence the Spanish name), but has a really American feel as it is supposed to be set in an American college (and in fact was partly filmed in Boston). And some of the actors are American. Although the whole film is in English, I am not entirely sure what language it was originally filmed in - most of the time the actors appear to be speaking English, at least what I can make out from the poor lip-synching, but some of them may have been speaking their own language, because the lip-synching is sometimes worse than others. This is a little off-putting, but having watched a lot of similar films, I am accustomed to it.
The acting is generally poor, although some actors are a lot worse than others. The most hilariously bad was Mary Riggs, played by Lynda Day George, who is an undercover detective in the college. Her acting, at times, is nothing short of appalling, particularly when she has to do anything out of the ordinary, like look scared or pretend she is drugged. She is so bad that I loved her! She is more or less matched by Ian Sera who plays Kendall, the student who thinks he is Miss Marple. He is supposed to be the college lothario, but doesn't really have the looks to be one - in fact, he looks decidedly geeky - and his ability to be two seconds away from all of the murders is annoying. We do get to see his willy though, so I suppsose that's a plus!Christopher George is first in the billing for the film, although I don't think he is as prominent as either Lynda or Ian Sera. He plays the detective in charge of the case, and actually does an okay job. Not brilliant, but enough to inject a dose of reality into the proceedings! The rest of the cast have fairly small roles, but many of them have brilliantly wooden lines that seemed totally out of place and unnatural. There has to be a sort of genius for being able to write lines like that!
The plot isn't the best I've seen, but it does have the advantage of combining a slasher film with a whodunnit, which is exactly the sort of horror that I like. We know that the murders are somehow connected to the young boy in the early forties, but we don't know how, or who, until right at the end of the film, which keeps us on our toes. Like many slasher films, there are many plot-holes and unexplained happenings. For example, why do all the girls on the campus wonder around alone, and often naked, when they know there is a murderer around? The best bit, however, is when a Chinese student attacks Mary Riggs for no apparent reason, then stops when he realises she is with Kendall, and apologises by saying he must have eaten bad chop suey. Bizarre, but really quite funny.There is a rating of 18 on the film, and this is for a good reason - there are very graphic images of the deaths, with blood spurting everywhere and bodies being chopped into pieces. They are not the best special effects - the blood is way too red for a start, particularly when we see a pair of shoes that the murdered woman in the forties had been wearing - the blood was still as red as it had been when she was dying. However, I can quite imagine that those uninitiated into horror films would find it difficult to watch, so be warned! There is also a lot of nudity, mainly female, but enough to tick off the easily offended.
The quality of the DVD is not brilliant and is very grainy - I would have expected it to be better for a film made in the eighties. However, it wasn't bad enough to ruin my enjoyment of the film. And yes, you read that last sentence correctly, because for all this film is badly made and acted, I really enjoyed it. It is really entertaining, all the more so because of the dodgy script, wooden performances and poor lip-synching. And just as I thought it couldn't get any funnier, the ending came with a truly fantasically bad final scene that had me howling with laughter because it was so unexpected. Wonderful stuff.I bought this for the bargain price of a pound in Woolworth's, and am very pleased with my purchase! The film needs to be watched in the right frame of mind - if you sit down expecting to watch a serious film, you are going to be very badly disappointed, but if you realise in advance that it is going to be bad, you might just enjoy it like I did. Recommended.
You can buy the DVD from play.com for £3.99, but watch out for it in Woolworths where you can grab it for £1 (August 2008).Classification: 18
Running time: 89 minutes
Product Information : Pieces (DVD)
Manufacturer's product descriptionA chainsaw wielding madman roams a college campus in search of beautiful young co-eds to slash and kill. This secret psycho has a secret of his own: he's collecting human body parts to complete his own thesis. His truly original approach to study involves the creation of the world's first flesh jigsaw puzzle!
Listed on Ciao since: 02/11/2011