In 1942 young Timmy Reston is putting together a jig-saw puzzle of a naked woman. His mother (May Heatherly) comes into the room and abusively chastises the ten-year-old. Little Timmy gets a chainsaw and cuts up his mother. When the police break into the house Timmy hides in the closet and tells the police that a stranger came into the house and killed her.
Forty years later a young woman is lying in the grass at a Boston college campus studying when she is attacked by a chainsaw wielding man. He cuts off her head and takes it with him. Lt. Bracken (Christopher George) and his partner, Sgt. Holden (Frank Brana) are assigned to the case. After interviewing the staff, they come up with several suspects, The Dean of the school (Edmund Purdom), the gay anatomy teacher, Professor Arthur Brown (Jack Taylor) and the spooky groundskeeper, Willard (Paul L. Smith).
Kendall (Ian Serra) is a student at the college, and a bit of a Casanova. The killer overhears him make a date with Jenny (Cristina Cottrelli) at the pool. Getting there ahead of Kendall, the killer chops up Jenny and takes her torso. Kendall finds her body parts. Just then, the groundskeeper, Willard walks into the pool area. Kendall races out and calls the cops. The police hold Willard since Jenny was cut up with the school chainsaw. Willard goes to the head of the list as far as suspects are concerned.
Lt Bracken brings in policewoman Mary Riggs (Lynda Day George) to help on the case. Mary poses as a tennis instructor for the college. Since he knows just about everyone in the school, Kendall becomes involved with helping the investigation. As the killings continue various body parts are taken away by the killer. The police don’t realize that the killer is using the parts to create his own jig-saw puzzle woman to replace the mother he killed years ago.
“Pieces” AKA “Mil gritos tiene la noche” or “The Night Has 1,000 Screams” was released in 1982 and was directed by Juan Piquer Simon. It is a Spanish American co-production slasher film.
This is your basic matricidal maniac creates homicidal high-jinx style movie. In other words, plain old exploitation. It is also a close relative to the body horror subgenre. Special effects include pig carcasses and guts. There is also a heaping helping of nudity and gore.
In one scene a young woman is roller skating and crashes into a giant mirror that two delivery men are moving. This is what triggers the killer to start slicing up co-eds. The movie includes a twist at the end that has nothing to do with the film and really doesn’t belong. It’s similar to the unnecessary ending of Stephen King’s “Carrie” 1976 or the strange one in “A Nightmare on Elm Street” 1984.
The leading stars, Christopher George and Linda Day George were husband and wife. They were married until his death in 1983. The naked woman in the puzzle that Timmy is fixated on is Spanish actress Victoria Abril.