The eleventh entry in the 31 Days of Slashers series is a bizarre and absolutely incredible film simply called Pieces (1982). The film starts with 10-year-old Timmy murdering his mother after she has yelled at him for putting together a puzzle with a naked woman on it. Forty years later, a university is shocked by several murders of female students and staff. Could Timmy be back to build a real-life puzzle with pieces from his victims?
Pieces is a co-production between Spain, Puerto Rico, and the US, with the majority of the film being filmed in Boston. It was a popular target during the UK’s attack on “video nasties,” or films that featured gore and sexual images. While the film does feature high amounts of gore, it is presented in a fantastically campy manner that just adds a wonderful layer of enjoyment for the viewer.
The film throws in so many random characters that sometimes serve as red herrings while sometimes just being a fun distraction from the narrative. There will be moments, like when the karate instructor appears seemingly out of nowhere to showcase his skills, where you will find yourself asking, what am I watching exactly? But that is all part of the fun with this campy cult classic. This tongue-in-cheek attitude mixed with the gore of the film is perhaps its most appealing attribute. I’ve never really seen another slasher film that feels just like this one.
The film features fun performances from its leads in Kendall (Ian Sera) and undercover detective Mary Riggs (Linda Day) as they work on solving the mystery. There is a peculiar scene later in the film where Kendall is assisting Sgt. Holden (Frank Braña) with research for the case where they showcase their food from Wendy’s in several incredibly blatant shots. This was one of the funnier bits in the film for me, as Kendall is seen really enjoying his Wendy’s food.
If you’re looking for a film that will genuinely scare you, Pieces is not the film for you. It is a campy and hilarious delight mixed with quite a bit of blood and gore. It is a true oddity and one that needs to be shared with friends this Halloween season! After finally seeing it while quarantined towards the start of the pandemic, Pieces has become one of my absolute favorites!
Pieces can be streamed for free on the Kanopy and Tubi apps and with a membership on the Shudder and AMC+ apps. It can also be rented on Amazon. The Grindhouse Releasing blu-ray, which features an excellent restoration, a director’s cut of the film, and solid special features, can be purchased HERE.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another exciting entry in the 31 Days of Slashers series!