Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bit Parts (2007)

This is no ordinary nip and tuck…

Melissa travels to Los Angeles, responding to an audition notice for a woman with “perfect lips,” hoping to become a famous actress. She gets more than she bargains for when she discovers the man who placed the ad is disgraced plastic surgeon Dr. Cranston. He lost everything when he and his family were involved in a horrific car accident. His daughter Maggie was horribly disfigured in the accident and now he is out to collect the perfect body parts to make his princess beautiful again. Melissa’s sister Brenda begins a frantic search to find her sister when she fails to return home, enlisting the help of local cabbie Bobby. Can Bobby and Brenda find Melissa before Dr. Cranston puts her under…for good?

Thought the classic French horror film Eyes Without a Face influence is obvious, Bit Parts was a pleasant surprise! I was expecting the same old madman-goes-after-nearly-nude-neophytes storyline, but Bit Parts managed to be both deeply disturbing and entirely entertaining.

For an independent film, it certainly doesn’t betray its low budget! The film looks very clean and smooth with wonderful direction from Dave Reda. The script, written by Jon Rosenberg, features an engaging story coupled with excellent character development. The story is full of tension, with some light comedic relief thrown in. I was glued to the screen from beginning to end.

The acting is above adequate for an indie flick, featuring great performances from the entire cast. Molly Fix as Melissa plays both starry-eyed ingénue and scared victim with a poise and grace rarely seen in a low-budget horror film. Christopher Page as the bad Doctor switches between doting father and vicious psychopath with an ease that is in itself scary! Reda steps in to play Bobby with a lightheartedness and comedic touch to relieve some of the tension in the film. The rest of the cast, including the wonderful Sarah Gordon (Brenda) and Michelle Angel (Maggie) do a fantastic job as well.

Bit Parts is not a blood-soaked film, which was just peachy-keen with me. I like gore, but I always believe in story and character development first. This film had both of these elements going for it, so lack of gooey gore was no biggie for me. The engaging story did enough to hold my attention. There are quite a few gruesome scenes that horror fans will find delightful, including a vat of acid, hacking up of body parts and the slitting of throats.

I loved the realism portrayed in Bit Parts. I mean, how easy would it be for a psycho to place ads for auditions and kill off the multitude of people that showed up? Or just pick those he or she liked? There are so many actors and actresses desperate for any kind of acting gigs in the Los Angeles area that it would be easy for a psycho to hold mock “auditions” to draw potential victims in. There are so many people that flock to L.A., leaving their lives behind to chase a dream, that if they disappeared, some wouldn’t even be missed. It seems harsh, but it is an all too truthful reality. This is what makes the story so frightening, that it is entirely plausible.

I highly recommend checking out Bit Parts on DVD!

Available on Amazon!

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