Wednesday, 8 October 2014

31 Days of Horror: Pieces (aka Mil Gritos Tiene La Noche) (1982)

Pieces (aka Mil Gritos Tiene La Noche) (1982)
Director: Jaun Piquer Simon
Starring: Christopher George, Lynda Day George and Frank Brana
Running Time: 85 min

I love slasher films, as a kid from the 80's, these films were just as normal to watch as any Saturday morning cartoon.  I've been dying to see this film for a long time and I've heard good and bad things about it, however it does show up on every respectable and unrespectable list of disturbing and gory films. So, I'm pretty excited to finally check it out and I hope it's as disgusting delightful as I'm hoping it is.

Timmy is ten years old and he's upstairs minding his own business and quietly putting together his pornographic puzzle.  His mom bursts into the room and literally loses her mind! She is screaming at poor Timmy about the puzzle and how he's like his not good father, then she smashes his mirror and sends little Timmy to get a garbage bag for all this "filth".  She searches Timmy's room for more pornography and Timmy returns with an Axe.  Timmy then hacks his mother to "pieces" and then hides in the closet until the police arrive.  Being a smart kid, he blames an intruder for his dead mother.  Never threaten a kid's nudey mags. 
  40 years later, Timmy pulls out the puzzle again after seeing a girl on the street smash into a large mirror in a skateboard accident.  We do not see Timmy face but his hands start putting together the porno puzzle as he plans his killing spree which begins on the grounds of a Boston College campus.
  One a sunny afternoon, mysterious Timmy disguised as a haz-mat grounds keeper, decapitates his first victim and steals her head.  The faculty are scared and Lt. Bracken is convinced that he can catch this killer, if he can find the right clues.  However, Timmy's collection of bloody body parts continues and Lt. Bracken has no choice but to bring in the professional tennis player/police detective, Mary Riggs as a plant at the college and to deputize a college student, Kendall to help the police before things get really out of hand... or foot... or torso?.  Can this unusual team of crime fighters unmask Timmy and stop his reign of bloody bodily terror or will he complete his puzzle of death with the students of this lame college?


  I really enjoyed this film, there are so many weird and strange things going on in it.  I love that the genesis of Timmy's murderous nature is because his mom caught him doing a porno puzzle.  If every kid did this, there would be a lot less mothers or at least snoopy ones.  Also, I love the ridiculous mystery to this and the number of red herring killers out there that director Jaun Piquer Simon (Slugs, Cthulhu Mansion) creates.  Could it be the angry gardener, Willard played by Paul L. Smith (Bluto from Popeye, Dune), the reclusive Anatomy instructor, Arthur Brown, played by Jack Taylor (Conan the Barbarian, Horror of the Zombies) or could it even the skittish Dean, played by Edmund Purdom (Don't open til Christmas, Absurd).  It's kind of obvious but still a lot of fun to watch the cops bumble through the case.
  Also, the special effects team did a marvelous job on the slayings, especially for such a large body count, it was pretty cool that the didn't reuse ideas.  Each death scene has it's own flair to it and a person ask for more blood. Seriously they used all of it.
   Finally, the soundtrack to this I found particularly good, for the most part.  The killer's theme reminds me of a cross between Goblin's "Dawn of the Dead theme" and Carpenter's "Halloween theme" Very plodding and effective.  There are some other alright pieces on the score but the main piece really nails it and creates the tension the film needs.


  There are so many things that don't make sense in this film, where do I begin?  How about Mary Riggs, who is a professional tennis player and is also a cop.  WTF! I don't think that a professional tennis player has time to fight crime, maybe there was an attempt to get a spin off TV show out of it.  Tennis Cop, If she busts you, you're doing 5 to 10, love! It's actually amazing that whole idea didn't get axed because I read that none of the women on the film knew how to play tennis and Jaun Piquer Simon had to hire a tennis instructor to teach them quickly how, so the one scene looked realistic.
  Also, this college student Kendall, played by Ian Sera (Extra Terrestial Visitors, Los Diablos del Mar), he ends up in an awkward relationship angle with just wouldn't really happen.  Nothing like investigating butchered people to make you horny, eh Mary?
  However, my favourite is the kung fu instructor, I think it was actor Bruce Le, that comes out of nowhere and attacks Mary Riggs for no reason at all.  The character claims that he ate something that didn't agree with him and that's why he did it.  This whole scene makes absolutely no sense at all, is incredible unnecessary and that's probably why I love it. 


  This is my new favourite slasher film, it's got a somewhat interesting and amusing mystery, tons of gore and excellent special effects, as well as lots of unintentional humour to boot! So, if you're looking for a really fun throwback film, grab this and it will scare you to pieces or it will at least keep you in stitches.


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