Director Reda is rushing through “Bit Parts,” and I could never figure out why.
From the beginning, Reda runs through the entire story in the speed of light and can never settle down long enough to build tension or mount suspense. A young girl named Melissa arrives from Phoenix into L.A. to become a famous actress, meets a cab driver, and is kidnapped at an open audition.
In a “Psycho” twist, she’s held hostage and goes missing, and now her sister Brenda arrives from out of town only a day after, to look for her. There, she and cabbie Bobby go looking for her, while we take an early and all too quick glimpse into the eyes of the man mutilating young actresses to fix his disfigured daughter Maggie.
Only after the first plot twist does Reda give the killer a moment to explain his intentions in premature dramatic monologue, while Melissa’s sister copes with the psychotic doctor Cranston and his demented daughter (featuring an awful performance by Melissa Angel). The sequences involving the maniacal family are all too familiar, and Reda’s glimpse into their lives are never sinister enough to warrant fright and shock. Reda rushes through the story revealing these characters at a rapid fire pace, and all essence of its horror and or dark comedy is lost within the first ten minutes.
Rather than make our villain a merciless monster, he’s a doting father, our heroine in peril is a putz, her sister looking for her has no idea what she’s actually doing, and we’re left wondering how this man can hold open auditions and not be caught in the act, eventually. Why send a woman with no experience to look for a missing girl instead of a private investigator? Reda’s directing is frantic and never manages to invoke enough tension or comedy to drop this film in either genre.
Reda places all the elements of L.A. and twists them to his liking with little effect. A psychotic plastic surgeon in L.A., offing young gorgeous women to rebuild the beauty in his daughter, okay, I get it, it’s more farce than horror, but I’m just not laughing.