Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1983 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.
We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly four dozen.
Yes, we’re insane, but 1983 was that great of a year for film.
The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1983 so that it is their true 40th anniversary. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.
This time around, it’s September 23rd, 1983, and we’re off to see Pieces.
Quick side note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that Vintage Video Podcast is doing the exact same project with two differences: First, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they are doing every major film. We’ve listened to numerous episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.
Something tells me that Pieces was meant to be a regular slasher film that would be more about scaring the audience. Instead what we got was something that almost borders more on parody with some horror aspects to it.
The film kicks off in 1942 when Timmy Reston’s mother catches him playing with a jigsaw puzzle of a naked woman. When she takes it from him, he kills her with an axe, cuts her up with a hacksaw, and then pretends to have only witnessed the event.
Flash forward to “the present day,” and murders begin happening on a college campus where women are killed with a chainsaw and then a body part is removed from them. It seems Timmy now lives somewhere on the campus, but no one knows who he is, or that he is assembling a jigsaw woman.
The film is laughable in some of its most absurdist moments, such as how this enormous chainsaw keeps going unseen until it’s too late. But at the same time it has some interesting kills such as on the one involving a waterbed (that, for some reason, is in the school’s gymnasium building and it is discussed like “Finally! We got that gym waterbed!”)
Pieces is also the first time I can remember in this project that a naked male has been shown. While topless and fully naked women has been a mainstay of 80s films, this one somehow managed to cross into a naked male as well.
If you’re trekking through 1980s films, this one feels like a good stopping off point to see just how silly the slasher genre could be at times.
1983 Movie Reviews will return on Sept. 30, 2023 with The Big Chill, Brainstorm, and Going Berserk!
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