Taglines: Pieces… It’s exactly what you think it is!
While playing with a puzzle, a teenager is repressed by his mother, and he kills her and severs her body with an ax. Forty years later, in an university campus in Boston, a serial killer kills young women and severs their bodies in parts, stealing body pieces from each student. Lt. Bracken makes a deal with the dean of the campus, and infiltrates the agent Mary Riggs as if she were a tennis teacher and together with the student Kendall, they try to find the identity of the killer.
Pieces (original title: Mil gritos tiene la noche translation: ‘A Thousand Screams in the Night’ or ‘The Night Has 1000 Screams’) is a 1982 exploitation slasher film directed by Spanish filmmaker Juan Piquer Simon and stars Christopher George, Linda Day, Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom, Paul L. Smith, Ian Sera, and Jack Taylor. Set at a college campus, the film follows a murderer brutally killing many of the students and using their body parts to make a human jigsaw puzzle. Since its release, the film has attracted a cult following and has been a drive-in favorite.
About the Story
In 1942, a 10-year-old named Timmy plays with a jigsaw puzzle of a nude woman when his mother walks in and chastises him for it. After she orders him to get a plastic bag, he returns with an axe and murders her, then saws her body with a hacksaw. When the police arrive, they find him hiding inside a closet and Timmy acts as if he was a witness of the crime scene. The police believe this, not suspecting him as the murderer, and is sent to live with his aunt. Forty years later, an black-clad figure opens a box containing the bloodied clothing and a photograph of Timmy’s Mother. He also unboxes the bloodied jigsaw puzzle and starts to put it together.
Meanwhile, as a nearby girl studies outside in broad daylight, she is decapitated with a chainsaw by the unidentified killer and steals her head just before Lt. Bracken and his partner Sgt. Holden arrive to investigate the murder. After the detectives explain to the college’s Dean that there were no witnesses or suspect, the Dean asks the rather sinister Professor Brown (Jack Taylor), who teaches anatomy, to show the detectives around. Outside, the groundskeeper named Willard (Paul Smith) is seen trimming a hedge with a chainsaw, similar to the killer’s.
In the campus’ library, a student named Kendall receives a note given by a girl to come to the pool later; the killer finds it and tracks down the girl at the swimming pool, where she is brutally sawed with the chainsaw. A little later, Willard arrives on the scene and is arrested, believing to be a suspect. Near the pool, they find the chainsaw and the girl’s body parts, with the exception being her torso is missing.
The next day, Dr. Jennings meets with Kendall at the station in hopes that Kendall can help provide a profile of the murderer. Lt. Bracken brings in an undercover cop named Mary Riggs, who was also a former tennis player. Bracken explains to Holden that Mary is going undercover to pose as a tennis instructor at the college, and Kendall is going to assist her whenever he can. As a reporter named Sylvia Costa is stonewalled by Bracken, the killer stalks a girl later that evening, who had finished her dance routine, and saws her arms off inside an elevator just before Kendall and the police arrive. During the same evening, the killer also stalks Sylvia and stabs her on a waterbed.
Pieces – Mil Gritos Tiene La Noche (1983)
Directed by: Juan Piquer Simón
Starring: Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom, Ian Sera, Paul L. Smith, May Heatherly, Hilda Fuchs
Screenplay by: Dick Randall, Joe D’Amato
Cinematography by: Juan Mariné
Film Editing by: Antonio Gimeno
Costume Design by: Gumersindo Andrés, Gonzalo Gonzalo
Set Decoration by: Gumersindo Andrés, Gonzalo Gonzalo
Music by: Stelvio Cipriani, Carlo Maria Cordio, Librado Pastor
Distributed by: Artists Releasing Corporation, Film Ventures International
Release Date: September 23, 1983