Pieces. Again. Finally.
Quite a while back, I had rented Pieces for that week's SAW. but I was hospitalized, or lost the DVD or something. So this week, I get to try again, because I ordered a slasher movie boxed set from Amazon. There are 10 movies in the collection, so I can always use the set to get a movie from, if I don't get a rental or watch one on TV. Anyway, on with the show, SPOILERS and all.
So, I'm going to just say right away that this one is wacky and messed up. There are even discussion threads online that have people listing their favorite funny moments. Your mileage may vary, but there are tons of laugh-out-loud moments to be had.
The first scene sets the tone pretty well: a young boy, Timmy, is putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Oh, and he looks like he's wearing makeup. The setting is Boston, and the year is 1942. Write all of this down, there'll be a quiz later.
Timmy seems to be pretty engrossed in his puzzle, because he fails to hear his mother entering the room behind him. She's smiling down at him at first, until she sees that the puzzle is a picture of a nude woman. The only 2 pieces Timmy hasn't placed on her body are the feet and the vagina. Let's hope he knows which is which.
His mother slaps him around a bit, then starts throwing items around the room and smashing picture frames. She demands that Timmy fetch her a trash bag, and then continues to throw random debris around the room. What is this, a biopic about Joan Crawford?
Timmy returns, but has an axe instead of a bag. He gives his mother several good whacks to the forehead, killing her. Then we get rushed to the next scene, where Mary Poppins is at the front door of the murder house. She rings the bell a few times, then calls their phone. Oh, and the phone is a push-button, which apparently means that Timmy is a time-traveler as well as a killer.
Speaking of Timmy, he's been busy hacking his mother's body up, and finishing his puzzle. He looks out of an upstairs window at one point, and sees the woman from before pantomiming to 2 cops about trying to enter the house. Timmy goes back to his puzzle, and eats a cookie.
The woman outside the house enters with 2 cops, so Tim decides to hide in the closet. As the cops see all of the blood in the bedroom, they hear a noise from the closet. That's Tim's cue to pretend to be frightened, and call out for his mommy. And then the opening credits begin to roll. One kind of humorous detail about the credits: they're displayed in a font that was probably supposed to resemble dripping blood, but they're yellow. So, instead of blood, the credits look like wax.
As the credits finally wheeze to a halt, the killer is seen rummaging through a box. The items in said box are revealed to be things that his mother had on her body the day he murdered her: shoes, her dress, stuff like that. At the very bottom, there is a photo of his mother(I guess?) with a big, red "X" across her face.
Then we get the first of many, many randomly weird scenes in this movie. There's a perky brunette on a skateboard, while some badly off-tune "funky" music is playing. Groovy. In a bit of foreshadowing that's as subtle as a pneumatic drill to the groin, a truck carrying large panes of glass pulls up to the sidewalk. Gosh, I just fell off of a turnip truck, and can't possibly imagine where this scene is going...
Roller Girl rolls past several people, just grinning her oblivious little ass off. As she approaches a corner, she decides it would be smart to turn her head and wave at 2 people as she passes them. She then sees the giant glass panel and decides it would be safer to scream than it would be to, oh, I don't know, TRY TO STOP HERSELF FROM MOVING?!?
The killer then takes another box and opens it to--wait, what? What about Roller Girl? What was the point of that scene? Did he somehow cause her accident? Was he a witness? Why the Hell were we watching that scene, if it had nothing to do with the rest of the movie? Un-freaking-believable.
The second box turned out to be the one that contained the puzzle. Whatever. I'm already getting a headache trying to find the sense in this one. I hope Cabin In the Woods is better than this...(I'm going to see it tomorrow! Yayyyyyy!!!)
Okay, so the puzzle sequence also kind of just meandered, and now there's a cute chick on her stomach in some grass, just reading a book. She gets distracted by a guy trimming hedges with a chainsaw, and demands that he go work elsewhere. She goes back to reading, and gets a chainsaw through the neck, spraying blood everywhere. Then there's a brief shot of her headless body.
A pair of investigators arrive at the school's campus, dressed like bankers. One even looks old enough to have signed the Magna Carta. They ask to speak to the dean, and after a brief debate, he emerges from his office to usher them in. Good, now maybe we'll finally learn something useful about the killer. Oh, and the dean looks like Count Dracula, on a budget.
Nope. They switch scenes on us again, and we have to listen to a bunch of potheads discussing waterbeds in the school gym, and how it feels to screw on one. Then, a student with the most improbable breasts in any film ever made(including the 3-breasted woman in Total Recall) decides to flirt with her favorite teacher, Professor Brown
Anyway, Professor Brown looks like he's about as much fun as genital warts. Maybe even slightly less so. She tries to get him to notice her breasts, but apparently he's as nearsighted as Mr. Magoo. Hell, astronauts landing on Mars could see those things, no telescope required.
Outside the dean's office, the secretary fills him in on all of the details of the investigation...after he catches her eavesdropping on them through her intercom. The cops have a theory that the killer is either a teacher or a student. Gee, that really narrows it down!
Dean No-Name buzzes the receptionist, to ask her to locate Professor Brown. Lucky him. He steps into the office, and is asked if he had the dead girl as a student in any of his courses. Which dead girl, the one on skates, or the one who was chainsawed? Chainsaw girl, I suppose, but I'd still like to know why we were shown Roller Girl's death scene.
It turns out that Brown teaches Anatomy, which makes him look better and better as a suspect. Brown denies even remembering the girl, and gets pretty pissed off when the dean volunteers him to show the detectives around the campus.
Outside of the office, the detectives question Brown about the girl, as well as his department. When Brown implies that some of their questions seem random, or unrelated to the case, the older detective uses the analogy that they're "buying clothes without labels, just trying them on for size". Uhhhhhh......huhhhhhhh....
Brown then tries to throw the investigation away from him, claiming that the dead girl had many friends and boyfriends, and was quite popular. Wow, that's pretty good, considering he wasn't even sure who she was 5 minutes ago!
Another scene, another chainsaw. This one['s being swung by Bluto himself, presumably just moments after he slaughtered Popeye with it. Seriously, though, he DID play Bluto in the movie Popeye, I wasn't just mocking his appearance. Well okay, I was, but still...
Dean Dracula spots the groundskeeper rubbing the chainsaw and chuckling((Bluto's name in this movie is "Willard"(or as the dean says it, "Will Ard"), by the way), Oh, and it turns out that his landscaping is only a temporary assignment....Drac hints that he'd like Willard to finish within a few weeks, then leave. As the dean strolls away, Willard raises the chainsaw in a vaguely menacing fashion and growls, before spotting a couple of coeds getting intimate on the grass.
Then back to the stupid jigsaw puzzle. The killer's taking his time with it, so the film teleports us to the campus library now. Plot development? What's that? Heck, let's just throw in Aunt Martha's home movies while we're at it!
A guy((I'm guessing here, because he looks like the "Pat" character from SNL) gets a note from a hot chick, then tries, and fails, to throw the note away in a waste basket. The killer, dressed entirely in black, grabs it off of the floor. You'd think that his outfit would make him stick out like a sore thumb, but these kids are completely clueless.
As she exits the library, the blond decides to have a loud, annoying chat with some friends. All 3 spot Brown walking away, and they make it obvious that he's the main topic of their discussion. Man, this one is terrible.I'd almost encourage a remake, just to make a more coherent and compelling plot out of the mess that this became.
Our pretty student exits into a poorly-lit area, and decides to become an impromptu stripper. Interesting career choice, though I'm not sure that there's much profit in improv striptease routines...especially in empty rooms.
The good news is, someone decided to be her audience. The bad news is, it's the killer. He sneaks in, waits for her to get naked, then lets her go swimming. He watches her do a lap, then uses a net to tangle her up and drag her in his direction.
He drags her out of the pool and waits for her to recover from nearly drowning--just so that he can show her the chainsaw before he hacks her to death. Does she run? Nope. Does she attempt to get away by getting back into the pool, and swimming in a different direction? Nope.
What DOES she do? Well, she sits there, and watches the killer come after her. Then she flinches and screams. And then, she just pretty much lets him kill her. This is like Slashing for Dummies.
Back in the library, the nerdy guy who got the note is still waiting for her to return. Another, even nerdier guy gives him a note as well. So apparently, "library" is code for "place where everybody hooks up for sexy party time". Oh, and the second nerd makes a melodramatic statement about leaving to commit suicide over the late delivery of the note that he just gave to the first kid. Have fun, Melvin!
Oh good, the killer's back! And he's carrying a bloodstained sack around with him. He adds it to his body part collection, then we see Bluto have a random brawl with the detectives. After that, they find the latest victim, and question Brown. Heck, then they let him tamper with the crime scene! This movie must have been written with Mad Libs....it's all just random crap!
The 2 nerds from the library are then questioned, before we get back to Dean Dracula. Most of the cast is in there as well. Y'know, if the killer set off a bomb in their, we could end the movie early....
There's an aerobics class, and the killer is enjoying the spectacle(as am I!). He waits for 1 girl to wander off by herself, and follows her. Too bad for him, she meets up with a friend, and they exit together.
After one of the male students from earlier is questioned atb the station, he meets a tennis pro named Mary. One of the detectives asks him to protect Mary, which seems like an odd request to make of a guy who may be one of your main suspects.
This, of course, means that we have to endure a tennis match. After the match, Dean Dracula flirts with Mary, probably to see where he could plant his fangs in her neck. As he promised, the kid from the previous scene is watching Mary like a hawk.
The killer puts more pieces of the puzzle together, then goes back to stalking a girl doing aerobics again. She stops doing her routine, because she senses that someone is watching her, but she doesn't see the killer. She quickly gets dressed, and then runs through the building as fast as she can move.
At an elevator, she seems to relax around the killer. Oh, and she completely misses seeing the large chainsaw he's holding behind his back. Awesome. Just like the girl in the pool, Elevator Girl pretty much just stands there and lets him murder her. This story was written by a committee of geniuses.
Our intrepid investigators arrive on the scene,and find both the professor and the young guy there already. The body is taken away, and one of the detectives tries to figure out if it might be worthwhile to get suspicious about one of the 2 suspects, just to have something to do. By the time they solve the case, the campus will be empty! Oh, and Dean Drac arrives, just as a flash of lightning strikes. I can't wait to see him transform into a bat! And Bluto is on the scene as well!
Frantic to solve the case, the detectives decide to have full background checks done on everyone on the college staff. Wait, they just decided that NOW??? Wouldn't that have been a smart move about 3 murders ago?
That night, a naked couple has a chat in their bedroom, just as the pretty tennis pro decides to take a late stroll. This being the most random film ever, the tennis player is attacked by a martial artist, then she hears a chainsaw. Nothing happens to her, because that young guy is still watching over her.
Then the movie decides to switch her out for a different girl, also walking around the dark campus. This girl decides to stroll past some trees, then she enters an unlit house. As she continues to walk around in the dark, the killer leaps out at her, brandishing a huge butcher knife.
She runs around screaming, and falls into what looks like the waterbed mentioned earlier. The killer lets her turn onto her stomach, then he shoves the knife into her head, so that the blade emerges from her mouth. Ouch.
The young guy heads home, where he gets scared by some random nerd in a rubber mask. Then we see the killer put more pieces into the jigsaw puzzle. Aren't movies fun when they don't have an editor? Nope.
An attractive brunette takes a shower after tennis practice, while some marching music plays. After her shower, the killer finds her in the locker room, and a chase sequence begins. Wow, so 1 girl has the common sense to run! Good for her.
She gets to an exit, but the door is jammed. The killer just casually strolls over, and the girl runs into the restroom, where she locks herself into a toilet stall. The killer saws through the flimsy door, then hacks her up. While she's being killed, the tennis pro is talking to both Bluto and her "protector", so I guess we can rule those 2 out as suspects now.
The tennis pro, Mary, claims that she can hear someone screaming, and asks Bluto where the control panel is for the loudspeaker. As they go together to turn off the band music, the young guy suspiciously ducks into the locker building.
Bluto silences the music, then they realize that the "bodyguard" is no longer with them. It turns out that his name is "Kendall", by the way. He comes out of the locker room crying, and tells the others that he found the latest victim of the maniac.
Mary decides to see the body for herself, and pukes. Then she pulls the same kind of "shouting" scene that Jen Love Hewitt did in the first 2 "Last Summer" slashers. Then there's a pointless scene where one of the investigators asks someone else to do his job for him. Wow...is there anyone in the movie who isn'T lazy???
Back on campus, Mary walks to class with Professor Brown. He tells her off when she asks about his private life, and storms away in anger. Then Mary nearly gets flattened when she literally bumps into Kendall. He watches her walk away, then helps one of the cops weed through student files for clues.
Mary visits Dean Dracula at his home, and he steps into the kitchen to make her a hot beverage. She takes a few sips, and tells him that the detectives will be getting search warrants to look through every building at the school, even resident buildings. DracuDean brings her drink back into the kitchen to freshen it up, and possibly spikes it with something...
Kendall and the detective discover that Dean Dracula was the boy from the first scene. Kendall then remembers that Mary was going to his home, and they rush off to rescue her. Yeesh. These guys couldn't catch a cold with a fishing net.
Mary starts to feel he drug paralyzing her, and Drac makes his move. As the heroes drive as fast as they can, Mary watches the dean fetch a large knife from a nearby drawer. He raises the weapon just as the detectives and Kendall get to his home. They find Mary, but no sign of the dean.
The cops leave to put out an APB, and Kendall stays behind to help Mary get out of the house. From behind a curtain, the dean emerges to attack the young couple. As the dean gets into position to stab Kendall, the cops(and, for some reason, the professor) come back in and shoot the maniac in the forehead.
The older cop finds the jigsaw puzzle and shows it to Kendall, and a false bookshelf swings open. The woman the dean was building out of body parts falls out of the secret compartment, and all 3 of the witnesses scream. In the final scene, Kendall stands over the body, and it raises a hand to claw his penis off through his jeans. I shit you not. THE END
Well, sorry it took so long to watch this, but it was a pretty busy week. Bizarre movie. There must have been some epic weed in the writing of this script. I can only imagine. 4 ot of 5 killer trees, simply for not boring me half to tears...for most of it, anyway. And what the heck was that roller skating scene about?
And what did I take out of watching Pieces?
-Well, some women find it impolite to try to run away from their murderer.
-Jigsaw puzzles make you completely batshit crazy.
-Roller skates are deathtraps.
No idea what my next movie will be, or when it will arrive. I'm going on a small vacation in a few days, so I may just have to wait until next week to watch another slasher. We'll see....