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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Pieces" (1982) - An Appreciation


Pieces (1982) nudie jigsaw puzzle


Pieces (1982) poolside aftermath      Pieces (1982) is pure freak show exploitation, and it's advertising campaign sells it like a huckstering carnival barker.  

     "You Don't Have To Go To Texas For A Chainsaw Massacre!" chides the tagline.
Pieces (1982) knife through mouth 
     The poster even more pointedly assures "It's Exactly What You Think It Is!"  

     The clear implication is that Pieces offers all of the bad dialog, gratuitous nudity, and gorey violence you're looking for, all in one sleazy  package.  Unlike most exploitation, though, this package mostly delivers. Even better, it does so with a charming lack of pretense.
Pieces (1982) chainsaw through door  
     Director Juan Piquer Simon knew what he was making here,  and he doesn't let decorum get in the way.  Legend has it that an actress lost control of her bladder while filming when a functioning chainsaw strayed too near.  That shot made it into the film's final cut, a testament to the aesthetic of tacky, unrefined showmanship that makes Pieces great.      
Pieces (1982) chainsaw through flesh
     Director Simon once stated, "I don't know anyone who says 'I'm going to make a bad movie.'  Nor do I know anyone who says 'I'm going to make a work of art' and makes it."

Pieces (1982) bloody half body     Somehow, Pieces manages to be both bad movie and work of art.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) may be the undisputed masterpiece, but Pieces earns its place in the chainsaw movie pantheon.  By being devoid of delusions of grandeur and simply delivering what it promises, Pieces truly is exactly what you think it is. 



                                       Scope out Simon's equally gonzo Slugs (1988), as well!


Posted by Brandon Early


Giovanni Susina said...

Awesome write-up, Brandon! What I seem to remember most about Pieces were the diverting moments like the Kung Fu scene, the Casanova part, and of course “bastard!!!.” I’m always hungry for Wendy’s after watching it too. The kill scenes are definitely both trashy and artistic, which is something I totally go for.

Brandon Early said...

Pieces was the first movie shown at the first Movies At Dog Farm Event. I had grave concerns that the viewers wouldn't get into the spirit of it, but I needn't have worried. It's just chock full of so many of those diverting moments of WTF that it played beautifully.