Horrorfest 2017 Presents: Pieces (1982, Juan Piquer Simón)


The 1982 film Pieces is what you would get if someone decided to create a Texas Chainsaw Massacre type giallo in the 1980s. The movie is pretty wild and has some random moments that don’t really fit yet make the movie entertaining as a result. It’s not enough to have a killer roaming a college campus killing people with a chainsaw and cutting them up, the killer also has to be taking body parts too! There was a kung fu scene thrown in for good measure because why not, and the main character (played by Ian Sera) is both likable and a complete leech all at the same time. He ends up investigating the crimes along with one of those 1980s movie detectives (the always great Christopher George) who never go home and end up obsessing over one case when I’m sure they have at least 20 others to solve. There is also a long list of female victims, and a female undercover cop played by Lynda Day George.

This movie has both a great tennis related thriller scene and a waterbed moment that is very memorable in all kinds of ways. The ending doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me-I won’t say more about what happens, you just have to watch-yet I come to expect that in a lot of these movies. I’m not sure I liked this movie a whole lot the first time I saw it, yet I came to appreciate it more after viewing this during Joe Bob Briggs’ return to Shudder marathon back in 2018. I’m sure better writers than me could elaborate more on any of the film’s meanings, still all I got out of it mostly was there are some really crazy people out there in this big old world. I believe I viewed this movie on Tubi, although I’m not 100% sure as it was five years ago. Man time flies.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Mortuary (1983, Howard Avedis)


Mortuary starts off in a decent 1980s slasher movie fashion, even having a goofy seance moment. This movie has Bill Paxton and wastes his talents, descending midway through into a silly, weak mess of a movie. The characters are not very bright, and the obvious is ignored in favor of continuing the movie. Mary Beth McDonough’s Christie keeps telling her mom that someone is after her, and she responds by dismissing her daughter’s concerns as hysterical.

Personally if someone kept telling me someone is stalking them, I would believe them. However that probably would have cut down the movie’s run time, I guess. Look I can abide dumb behavior in horror movies up to a point, yet this movie specializes in dumb behavior beyond annoyance. Sadly this was Christopher George’s final movie, which is a shame as he was a really good actor not afraid to take any role. He’s not even given a chance to ham it up here or have much of a presence beyond a lame father role.

There are much better 1980s slashers, ones that are more fun or actually frightening. Mortuary is a disappointment, and even the last act stinks. The worst thing about this movie is that isn’t not even bad enough to be more than forgettable. In a year all I will have to remind me I ever saw it is this review.

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: Day of the Animals (1977, William Girdler)


Unfortunately Day of the Animals is not as good as William Girdler’s other, more solid effort, Grizzly. However I still enjoyed certain aspects of this wonderfully dumb movie made at the height of the killer animal craze that all started with Jaws in 1975. One the main reasons to watch this hilariously bad film is to witness Leslie Nielsen hamming it up as the film’s racist, woman hating bad guy who ends up fighting a bear shirtless. Yes, you read that right: for some reason Leslie Nielsen loses his mind and decides that he is king of the forest, until a giant bear shows up and shows him who’s boss. However some of the animal kills are surprisingly good for a low budget horror film made in the 1970s.

Oh and Christopher and Lynda Day George are both likable main characters, so that helps. The reasons for nature being so angry are poorly explained, and I doubt in a year or so I will even recall watching this film. I did not hate Day of the Animals, but I didn’t like it, and so it exists in the collection of “Hey I saw that! I guess!” movies that I often see during the year.

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