Pieces ★★★

What a way to announce that I’m once again subscribed to Shudder.
Last night the decision was made to see something on that service; as over 100 films are in my queue, the struggle is selecting one of them. Then, the realization hit that it was finally time for me to discuss this infamous cult movie, which is incredibly perplexing more than just for its WTF ending that I knew of long before this was seen. This features Christopher George, his wife Lynda Day (but of course), Edmund Purdom, Paul L. Smith and someone I recognize from the director’s Pod People.

The characters, their occasional bizarre behavior, the astounding plot point that multiple graphic murders happen on a college campus yet the movie portrays it as something which is able to be kept under wraps, and MANY befuddling moments are why this has many fans. I can’t exactly share in the joyous love for a movie that occasionally gave me a headache; still, there’s a lot of graphic gore which is decently realized for those of a craven nature and nudity.

The plot for the movie known in its native Spain as The Night Has a Thousand Screams-a great title-is that a 10 year old boy butchers his mom after she… is incredibly histrionic over his putting together a pornographic puzzle?! That prologue is set in ’42, and the rest is 40 years later on a New England college campus. Is it that boy all grown up? Is it a member of faculty or is it a swerve entirely, and the killer is a student? There is at least one character which is a possible red herring. The killer uses a chainsaw to dismember various women, for a rather perverted reason. To list an example of the insanity, a police officer asks an anatomy professor to confirm that a chainsaw killed a woman… note that the bloody chainsaw is right by the woman who is missing her torso!

How strange and off-kilter this movie is—that is better seen than described. The same goes for the occasional OOT acting and a nice score… at least in the International version done in English that’s on Shudder where the score was taken from some Italian films, mainly done by Stelvio Cipriani—meaning it’s awesome. The plot in general does make sense; it’s just the execution which makes me wonder if director Juan Piquer Simon was a madman. Remembering Pod People from MST3K and what I know of the reputation of Slugs… he just might have been!

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Blair Russell liked these reviews