Mil Gritos Tiene La Noche also known as Pieces is one of my favourites slasher films of all time...it has chainsaw violence, absurd scenes, nudity, and a bizarre ending. Oh and also has the best tagline "Pieces..it's exactly what you think it is". The best chainsaw flick since the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
"The most beautiful thing in this world is smoking pot and fucking on a water bed, man!"
"Oh dear god, what a mess! something obviously got butchered here.... well, i guess we better search the place!"
"Ken, buddy, where have you been? i've been lookin' all oooover! lookin' ALL. OVER."
"While we were trying to figure out how to stop that awful sound, the laughing bastard was killing her! and he was laughing at us. the bastard. BAS-TARD... BASTARD!! BAAASTAAARDD!!!"
"C'mon, Mary, try to walk. here, i'll help ya. thats it, thats it. now the other foot. soon you'll be ready for the marathon!"
Shamelessly crass, sleazy, and lovably disgusting, extremely gory horror movie is so bad its good. Yes, it's that kind of film. Dialog and acting are pretty bad, all right, and the music downright silly at times. Then again, none of us watch this sort of film hoping for Oscar worthy material. It's just plain old blood-squirting-everywhere 100% pure fun. Plus, we get such hysterical show-stopping scenes such as a kung fu instructor popping in for no good reason just because the producer of this film was also making those kinds of films at the time. Bonus: the politically incorrect humor has the guy blaming his attack on "bad chop suey". This writing is priceless! Hulking Paul L. Smith (of "Midnight Express" and "Popeye" fame) is a highly amusing presence as the campus gardener, who fights it out with the cops - again, for no good reason. I also can't let this review go by without a mention of the funniest utterances of the word "bastard" in motion picture history.
This is like I said just so-bad-it's-good or so-ridiculous-it's-fantastic depending on your point of view. It's recommended for gore hounds everywhere who are looking for a film that they can't possibly take seriously.
The posters and advertisements for Juan Piquer Simon's "Pieces" claim that you don't have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre; and so you don't. Most of the film takes place at a New England college campus; where a chainsaw-wielding psychopath is joyously slicing and dicing his way through pretty men and women, although preferably and mostly the latter. What you get is a cross-breed of slasher and detective narrative clichés; something that's not so much a story but more like an experience. But then again, anyone watching this film will most likely leave all complaints at the door, ready to just go along for the ride; because that's really all this movie is. It's a sleazy, morally and artistically irredeemable celebration of exploitation and schlock. It's cheesy, unnecessary, vile, and gross; but when you frequent the Grindhouse side of cinema, those are merely charms and simple pleasures. To others, they'd be good reason to stay far away.
Beloved by some, and surely despised by a good many; "Pieces" has been re-issued and restored by Grindhouse Releasing, and if you happen to get the chance, it can be found on DVD (courtesy of both Grindhouse and Box Office Spectaculars). All-in-all, I'm pretty glad they brought this long-lost exploitation/sleaze classic back from the dead. It belongs in the collection of most avid horror fans, and it deserves to be seen; perhaps there's still an audience out there that we're not aware of, because they have yet to discover this violent, gruesome gem. It's not the most populace pleasing film out there, but it's unique and easy-going enough. I was very entertained by it, and while it's not my favorite Grindhouse film, it's still pretty solid for what it is. Keyword: what it is.
So yeah, the madness all begins back in 1941 when a young child is piecing together a puzzle that his mother finds crude and inappropriate; thus causing her to throw a big fit, threatening to burn anything else in the kid's room that she deems unsuitable for his age group. Angered, he chops her up with an axe. The police arrive shortly thereafter and discover the horrific remains of the incident. Fast-forward about forty years later, and we've got the college campus; with a killer on the loose, hacking his way through the students, not much unlike what the kid did to his poor (and unnecessarily frustrated at the time) mother. There's a plethora of characters, although they're all so unnecessary; any one of them could be the killer, but the film throws so many red herrings and false alarms in our face that we stop caring about the little implications of the story. All you need to know is that the identity of the killer is terribly (or rather, terrifically) obvious from the start.
"Pieces" would not be an entertaining film if it weren't so goddamn bad. It's a movie of corny dialogue, terrible dubbing, mediocre performances and even worse emotional reactions, poor plotting, and uninvolving character development. So basically, it's a critic's worst nightmare. However, if you can distance yourself from the said flaws, it's the kind of crappy movie that's so bad it's kind of good, or even great. It does indeed only get one thing right (the gore effects, which are outstanding), but if you're as twisted as me, that's essentially enough to satisfy. You get what you want out of the thing.
My favorite aspect of the film was the murder sequences. High on gore and low on logic; there are some fantastic kills to be found here, if you find yourself able to survive through the thick much that is the story and the dialogue first. A nude beauty meets her end by the swimming pool, a young woman sun tanning gets way more than a tan, a kindly lady gets slaughtered in an elevator, and yes, some girl even gets the bottom half of her body sawed off; creating one of the most famous - or infamous - stills from the entire movie. Such scenes (and more) are absolute gold, the key to the film's almost accidental success. In fact, the mad concoction of blood, gore, and boobs makes the film what it is; one big guilty pleasure. A lot of the scenes are so down-right ridiculous that they're memorable; in particular, there's a great one where an Asian dude lunges from the darkness of the night and does some random Kung Fu, in the presence of one of the lead female characters. Such a scene is painfully funny, and so randomly and immediately endearing that I can't help but praise its oddity.
Bottom line: bad movie, but a good, good time. Kick back, relax, drink the beer, and you'll probably enjoy this one as much as I did. Like a lot of exploitation flicks from the 70's and 80's time period, there aren't any brains in this slasher flick - nor is there any suspense - but there's a lot of blood and guts, and that's where it counts. It's sick, warped, and grotesque; but also kind of memorable. I'm glad that films like this exist to prove that sometimes, there's little to no shame in liking something that's ultimately just really, really bad. If I had any sense, I'd hate this movie; but instead, I'm giving it three stars because the fact of the matter is that I had a good time watching it, and yeah, I'd buy it and watch it again. I don't expect it gets old very fast.
The ridiculously hard to catch killer, lugging an ENORMOUS chainsaw around a college, casually carving up girls to collect whatever pieces he needs for a pet project - this film is a lot of fun and well worth a look for the awful dubbing and dialog alone.
The film opens in the 1940s (though many of props say otherwise) with a boy chopping up his mother with an axe after she discovers his porno picture puzzle. Flash-forward to the 1980's and brutal killings with a chainsaw start occurring on a college campus which for some reason seem to dumbfound detective Christopher George. Red herrings are aplenty (like groundskeeper Paul "Bluto" Smith and dean Edmund Perdom) as our useless college student and undercover tennis pro try to solve the case before the killer completes his pieced together human jigsaw puzzle.
Schlock producer Dick Randall set out to make the most violent, intentionally offensive slasher ever made and he succeeded in every way imaginable. These killings are so over-the-top that they become unintentionally funny, adding to the sheer fun nature of the film. The most brutal scenes include a bathroom dismemberment and waterbed killing with a kitchen knife. Why a kitchen knife? Maybe just to switch things up a bit though it does seem a step down the ladder from a mighty chainsaw.
The plot and dialogue is a complete mess no doubt due to English not being Spanish director / screenwriter Juan Piquer Simon's first language. We get tons of unintentional laughs as characters say the most absurd things at the worst situations, like our cop wanting to know someone's opinion if a chainsaw was the murder weapon. What, you mean that large bloody chainsaw sitting next to a pile of body parts... uh... yea I'd say so!
Three other things that give me a good chuckle is that 1) the killer is shown in shadow form and with his hat he looks just like the old radio show hero, 2) the outrageous WTF ending and 3) a psychotic Chinese kung fu expert that almost kills our dull college guy playing detective. Seriously this scene comes out of fucking no where! Well there is an explanation... sort of. Producer Dick Randall traveled all over the world to make movies and one of his stops was in Hong Kong to make a number of Bruceploitation efforts including "The Clones of Bruce Lee" and in order to generate some free advertisement for his other productions, he forced the director to throw one of the Bruce Lee clones in the film. Bruceploitation and slasher films go together as good as blood, milk and sky!
"Pieces" is sleazy, degrading, but damn if it ain't entertaining! It's definitely not for all tastes but for fans of grindhouse type cinema that prefer their slashers to go-over-the-top and overflow the blood gates with gore than this is a must. A great film to get together with friends and watching them squirm and yell "oh my god!".... and that's why it's one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures!