Pieces (Juan Piquer Simón, 1982)

The unseen killer in this Spanish-lensed attempt to ride the over-the-top stylistic coattails of giallo and exploit the teen-dollar market of slasher (with results that are neither homage nor piss-take) wears black gloves to better wield a chainsaw and brandish a knife while stalking female students in various stages of workaday eroticism, but leaves them on when doing the delicate work of piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, a cinematic choice that reminds us not of the (surprisingly gory) butchery we’ve seen, but makes us wonder if the mashing-together of tiles might be some ham-fisted visual metaphor for the way the two genres refuse to make nice. At least in this film.

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