• "Pieces" follows a college campus where a psychopath with psychosexual problems is hacking up pretty, naked coeds with a chainsaw. How many victims will be claimed, and can an incredulous detective and an undercover cop solve the case?

    One of the notoriously-trashy slashers from the early eighties, "Pieces" is an unforgettable piece of celluloid (pardon the pun) because it's both an absolute disaster and something of a mild masterpiece in the realm of trash cinema. I did not like this film when I first saw it years ago, though it has grown on me. I still think it's patently bad, but it does have its charms.

    The narrative is a disaster--poor editing and unrefined writing are part of what make "Pieces" the bad film that it is; it's also unoriginal, cribbing elements of several of its contemporaries. What's good about the film? The main selling point is the over-the-top, gruesome gore effects, which are actually rather effective; the other is the dingy, rough-around-the-edges aesthetic the film has, which a potential viewer will either find off-putting or inexplicably attractive. I fall into the latter; the film's gritty, low-budget presentation gives it something of a hard edge that I find appealing, especially paired with the gore effects.

    The acting is all over the place and the film suffers from bad dubbing (this was a Spanish production with token American actors Christopher George and Lynda Day George), though the finale, as rough and abrupt as it is, is rather unforgettable (and unconscionable). Overall, "Pieces" is a mixture of both bad and good, and the kind of film that caters to a very specific audience. It's bad, but it is amusing, and I do find its atmosphere weirdly engrossing all these years later. 6/10.