Bit Parts (2006)
Take the Best Parts of Me - Literally!
Score 5/10 - Standard Faire
Posted by Samuel Glass | February 6th, 2022
Synopsis - A plastic surgeon has badly injured his daughter in a car accident. In order to make her look "perfect", he lures unsuspecting young actresses to an abandoned warehouse, kills them, and put their "perfect" feature (like a nose) on his daughter's face. When Brenda's sister turns up missing, she comes to Los Angeles to find her.
What the hell is Bit Parts? Well, for starters, it’s one of those scrappy little indie horror films, where you know what it is, not just by the shoestring budget, (and this is one of those where the shoes may not even have HAD strings!), but when the acting cast is also wearing different hats as producers, etc., and in this case, director Dave Reda is a producer, director AND the leading man! Hey, when you want opportunities, sometimes you gotta MAKE them!
Bit Parts also “borrows” from some pretty high-toned sources, even if the resources to make it weren’t exactly what they needed to hit the bullseye that writer Jon Rosenberg was aiming for. This time the references are from Georges Franju’s cult horror classic, Eyes Without a Face, (yeah, the one that inspired the Billy Idol hit), and just a smidgen of Hitchcock’s Psycho for good measure. Only now instead of Paris, the locale’s been changed to the extremely seedier side of HellLay. (North Hollywood by the looks of it.)
The story opens as many movies of this type have done before: a young, fresh and lovely starlet wannabe attends an audition in a building I’m guessing few viewers would want to have a hookup in, let alone an audition. Let’s just say that the young aspiring actress learns the hard way about doing your research on who you’re auditioning for FIRST.
Right behind her comes another beauty, Melissa Martin, (Molly Fix). Melissa’s ready for her close-up, but the only thing she winds up getting close up to is the kind of gruesome twosome that horror films, indie or otherwise, are famous for: ex-plastic surgeon Dr. Kranston (Christopher Page) and his psychotic daughter, Maggie (Michelle Angel, swinging for the fences in this role). Seems the Kranston family was involved in a horrific car crash a few years ago, and besides trying to keep his own face intact, Kranston is trying to restore his daughter’s once-beautiful face. But his “revolutionary process” requires fresh donor parts and skin to achieve this…hence the title.
I guess the Martin family must keep pretty tight tabs on Melissa, because only a day has passed since her disappearance, when big sis Brenda (Sarah Gordon) flies into town to track her down, with help from Bobby Dumont, the cabbie who took her to the “audition”, (Dave Reda – what did I say about opportunities?) When doing their legwork is leading them nowhere, Brenda, whose dad was a cop, (what did I say about keeping tabs???) turns to one of her father’s old friends, a P.I. named Tony Giallo (Peter Redman, and no, that is NOT a typo.)
Whether they locate Melissa in time, or the horrors they’ll discover when they do…that’s for me to know and you to find out! For a first-time director, Reda should be commended for getting a movie in the can, for starters. Nobody knows what a miraculous feat it is…until you try doing it yourself! DP Alice Brooks and editor Steve Escobedo both did capable jobs of making the film look good, and Steve Gilbane provided a score that’s better than some indie soundtracks I’ve heard.
The acting is okay from all the cast members, and I couldn’t help but do a double-take at Page’s striking resemblance to an actor from back in the day, Jamie Gillis! (I’ll let you Google that one, dear reader...INTERESTING man, that Mr. Gillis). I have to single out Michelle Angel, who definitely goes all-in as crazy daughter Maggie. Page has great energy as her dad, but she really sells it, especially during the bonkers climax.