Inside you’ll find David Harley’s review of Grindhouse Releasing’s two-disc Deluxe Edition of PIECES. In the film a psychopathic killer stalks a Boston campus, brutally slaughtering nubile young college co-eds, collecting body parts from each victim to create the likeness of his mother who he savagely murdered with an axe when he was ten years old! PIECES is a wild, unrated gorefest, with enough splatter and sleaze to shock the most jaded horror fan.
PIECES is a film that I’ve wanted to see for a really long time. “You’ve got to see it to believe it” is what I kept hearing from fellow genre fans over and over again. On my initial quest for a copy, I found out that the only way I could see it would be by choosing between two really awful DVD versions. I heard that Grindhouse Releasing was going to put out a special edition and considering that the better of the two releases was OOP (and a little pricey at the time), I decided to hold out. I saw what an incredible job Grindhouse did with putting together the 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and I knew that if anyone was willing to do something really special for PIECES, it would be those guys.
Time went by and I completely forgot about PIECES until Eli Roth showed it at The New Beverly earlier this year on a double bill with TORSO. Then it all came flooding back to me: what ever happened to that Grindhouse edition? After a few emails, I was assured it would be coming later in the year, along with THE BEYOND. Long story short(er), a little over 10 minutes into my virginal viewing of PIECES, I decided that if I ever wrote a book about it, it would be called “Horror Junk Food for the Gorehound Soul.” The film is completely incomprehensible, filled to the brim with terrible dialogue, continuity errors, bad dubbing and random, over-the-top scenes of violence. But that’s the charm of PIECES: its a horribly made film that manages to offer first-class entertainment.
PIECES was a script given to director Juan Piquer Simon by producers Dick Randall and Steve Minasian after he turned down LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT 2. Originally titled Jigsaw and conceived as a two-part TV miniseries, Piquer was given the task of “mak[ing] it even moderately believable.” Well, he completely failed on his end of the bargain!
The film opens in Boston, 1942, with little Timmy putting together a puzzle of a naked woman on his bedroom floor. His mother walks in and goes berserk, slapping him around, breaking a mirror and threatening to kill him. If threatening her son’s life for porn doesn’t strike you as odd, her asking for a plastic trash bag should, since they weren’t invented until 1950. Timmy comes back in the room with an axe, gives his mother less than 40 whacks and then pulls a hacksaw out of thin air, dismembering her corpse. He finishes putting together his puzzle, amidst the distraction of a ringing touch-tone phone (which wasn’t introduced to the public until 1963), before a random woman and two police officers break in, finding him in a closet telling tall tales about a brutish man murdering his mother. But what’s that in the background? Is that a New England Patriots pennant flag? They weren’t even founded until 1959!
And that’s just the first 4