DVD Review: Pieces embodies the vulgar pleasures of exploitation horror

Who doesn’t love watching scantily clad women having their body parts sawed off? Lots of people, really: In its simplest form, horror is grotesque emotional allegory, taking the usual beats of drama (Going through a breakup feels like having your heart ripped out!) and cutting right to the icky stuff (Oh God, someone’s heart is literally being ripped out!). What’s commonly referred to as “exploitation” horror does one better: Dispensing with anything not essential to the primal concepts of sex and violence, it gleefully leads the viewer straight into the Manichean world of murderers and nymphos, where you’re either killing or being killed—or getting naked, in which case you’re probably halfway to the second option already. The appeal, as with anything, lies in the execution (or executions, really), and in the world of crazy, bloody mayhem, 1982’s Pieces remains an under-seen treasure.

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