aka Mil Gritos Tiene La Noche (Original Title)
89 min., 1982
Written by Dick Randall/John Shadow
Directed by J. Piquer Simon
My rating: ★★★★★
It’s exactly what you think it is (and yes I stole the movie’s actual tagline).
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Our movie begins in 1942 where little Timmy Weldon (Alejandro Hernández) is putting together a puzzle. His mom (May Heatherly) comes and sees what the puzzle consists of, that being a naked lady. She flips out and starts trashing his room and comparing Timmy to his father. She tells him to go get a bag because she is going to burn all of the smut that is in his room, but instead of getting a bag Timmy gets an axe and hits his mom in the head. A few minutes later Timmy is sawing off her head and then he’s back to putting together the puzzle. The police finally show up and Timmy decides to play it smart and hides in the closet, and when to cops open it he talks about a big man (smart little shit). We then jump forty years later (that would be 1982) where killings begin at a school. Lt. Bracken (Christopher George) is on the case and after he talks to the school’s dean (Edmund Purdom), Kendall (Ian Sera) who is one of the students and the college lawn care specialist, Willard (Paul Smith), he decides that he needs some help and gets Mary Riggs (Linda Day) to come to the college and go undercover. Will Mary’s expertise be enough to bring down this chainsaw killer who takes pieces of his victims or will he complete whatever he is working on?
I decided to watch the English version of the movie, not because I dislike subtitles or anything like that, but it’s because before I ever watched this movie I saw a bunch of clips from it. They were some of the most over acted scenes I think I’ve ever seen. So instead of watching the “normal” version, I opted to go for the more “entertaining” version. That being said, the acting in this movie is just insanely over acted and normally that would just drive me crazy, but for some reason it works on a bizarre level with this movie. The concept is your standard slasher material and I wasn’t expecting any great acting, but oh my god this is over-the-top. Christopher George and Ian Sera are the two main actors that are a little more restrained, but even then it’s nothing but “power dialogue”. I don’t know if that term exists or not, but that’s the best way I can describe it. Every line is delivered with an intensity behind it that just propels it into the powerful category. The worst of the bunch was Linda Day (who I didn’t realize was actually married to Christopher George). Probably the most famous scene is where a girl is cut in half and upon her character seeing the body, she comes out of the building and starts yelling at the top of her lungs “bastard, bastard, bastard, basTARD!” It’s so over-the-top that it’s impossible to even take it remotely serious. Then again that’s the whole feel of the movie.
The effects of the movie are quite cheesy, but in a really fun way. There are flying heads, fountains of blood, chainsaws cutting off limbs and cutting through people, but you really can’t take it serious because it’s so absurdly gory that you begin to giggle every time someone dies. Then again, after the first two deaths you are hoping for another one, because you are so curious how far are they going to go with the gore and the craziness. All around good effects even though they are pretty cheesy but like the acting it just fits perfectly.
There are so few movies that give you a tagline that actually fits the movie. The tagline to Pieces was “It’s exactly what you think it is” and they weren’t kidding. They tell you from the get-go exactly what to expect and you shouldn’t look any deeper. Now I’m not saying that there isn’t anything deeper in the movie, if you actually look you will find a pretty interesting story and the ending (okay the first ending) is really fucking great, almost on the same level as the ending to Sleepaway Camp. From the beginning of the movie you are subjected to crazy people, in fact this movie is filled with crazy people, a kid smiling while he cuts off his moms’ head, people being cut to pieces, a crazy grounds keeper that is consistently giving the stink-eye and an extremely racist depiction of an Asian man. Perhaps I should go a bit into the Asian man scene? We have Mary walking around with a flash light when all of a sudden she is attacked by an Asian man. Why? Who the fuck knows, but he of course knows kung-fu. She ends up kicking him in the balls and he falls over. Kendall shows up as he is getting up. Apparently it’s Kendall’s karate teacher. He stands up and says that he was walking and that he woke up on the ground. Okay? Maybe he was under hypnosis or some mind control? Nope! The explanation he gives is that it was bad chop suey. No joke. That’s exactly what he says and he walks off, never to be heard from again. To make it even better I don’t remember him being in the movie before that scene. I’ll just leave you with that on your mind. If that isn’t enough for you to watch this movie, then I don’t know what is.Have You Read...?