Adventures in B-Movie Horror 3

It’s Halloween and my horror review series for this year is ending in a bloody mess.

I’ve continued my journey through low budget B-Movies and, keeping with the rest of the 2020 series, stayed in the 1980s. For this post, I’ve reviewed two slashers and a paranormal horror comedy.

Pieces, 1982

The advertising for this movie says “you don’t have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre.” Well them’s fightin words, because TCM is one of my favorite horror movies.

All kidding aside, it’s safe to say the advertising is accurate considering the movie delivers on chainsaw deaths.

The film was helmed by Spanish director Juan Piquer Simón and it’s somewhat of a mix of genres. The movie is a body-counting slasher, but also seems inspired by Giallo filmmaking.

Giallo is an Italian film genre that mixes mystery and thrillers, while also including some surreal sequences. This movie certainly covers all of these bases, as the film follows a police unit and a college student trying to figure out who the killer is.

PiecesBlog1
This movie doesn’t waste any time before getting to the kills.

The mix of genres works in favor of the film. The movie delivers plenty when it comes to gore and blood. However, it feels a bit more well-rounded thanks to how it also showcases the investigation into the murders.

The investigation aspect is wonderful B-Movie cheese, with exaggerated characters like a suspicious groundskeeper and a part-time cop who’s also a pro tennis player. The movie’s B-Movie charm is only enhanced by the dubbed over English voices, too.

PiecesBlog2
Bathroom stalls never provide enough privacy

“Pieces” can certainly surprise a person, too. There’s an unexpected use of kung fu at one point, for example. There’s a part at the end that is really unexpected and makes little sense, too.

Despite a few WTF moments being a little much, this one is worth checking out. It’s really entertaining and there are some really memorable kills here.

3 out of 3 lewd puzzles.

Hell Night, 1981

HellNightLogo

Linda Blair, best known for her role as Regan in “The Exorcist,” stars as the lead protagonist in this film. Here, she plays Marti, and is one of four college students staying overnight in a creepy looking mansion to join Greek houses on campus.

Three members of a frat tell the students a creepy story about the home, but note that no one lives there now. That trio decides to scare the inductees as a prank, but unfortunately for them, the house is occupied.

HellNightBlog1
Scariest experience since a demonic possession.

“Hell Night” is kind of hit and miss. The movie is a pretty typical slasher and doesn’t have the most memorable deaths. Plus, the film’s dialogue gets pretty rough and there are certainly lulls here and there. That’s not a good thing for a horror movie that goes over an hour and a half.

A real saving grace of the film is the setting, though. The building is wonderfully Gothic and gives off major Hammer vibes. Watching the characters move around through the large house is enjoyable.

There are some legitimately good, creepy moments, too. A few of the scares do work, and the film’s final confrontation is done pretty well.

A bit too long with some noticeable breaks in the action, but some of the thrilling moments make it fun, as does the setting.

2 out of 3 scary frat pranks.

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, 1988

SoroBabesFeature

This one is completely absurd. I get it’s a horror comedy, but this one is really bonkers. The dialogue here is so over the top and silly. It’s all cheesier than a big bowl of mac.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The exaggerated writing and acting make this one rather entertaining and fun to watch. Also making this enjoyable is Linnea Quigley’s performance as the tough-as-nails biker Spider.

SoroBlog
That moment when you’d rather be dealing with a gremlin.

Another highlight was a bumbling janitor character, played hilariously by George “Buck” Flower. Spider and the janitor make the film fairly a pretty good time.

Not making the film as enjoyable, though, is the main antagonist. The little imp has a ridiculous voice and is never threatening. I don’t mind wise-cracking horror villains. Chucky, Freddy and the like work . But the one here is just too nonsensical and is never all too threatening.

The kills here are a  bit of a let down, too. For a horror comedy, one wishes they went with more absurd kills too with blood sprays. There is a really good one involving a bowling ball polishing machine, though.

There are things that could have worked better here, but this one is still fun to watch and laugh at with a group of friends (once COVID-19 is over) and some cold beers.

2 out of 3 heads used as bowling balls.

That’s it for 2020! Have a happy Halloween!

Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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