Friday, August 19, 2022

Census Bloodbath: Looks Like It's Me And You Again Tonight, Rosie

Year: 1985
Director: Leland Thomas
Cast: S. E. Zygmont, Suzanna Smith, Brian Burt
Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Plot: Bits and Pieces follows Arthur (S.E. Zygmont), a mother-obsessed killer in the San Gabriel Valley, as he attempts to hunt down Rosie (Suzanna Smith), a potential witness to one of his crimes.

Analysis: Apparently, even five years after the release of Friday the 13th, we were still down to rip off Psycho occasionally, for old time's sake. The one wrinkle that Bits and Pieces offers is that it does so by way of ripping off 1980's Maniac, so I guess that's something. It at least adds another creepy mannequin to the offing, which never hurts. 

Really, there's almost nothing to Bits and Pieces. The film alternates between stalking scenes, vague Herschell Gordon Lewis style kills that indiscriminately splash red tempera paint everywhere they can rather than depicting violence with any sort of clarity, and scenes of bland police procedural that abruptly give way to a creepy age gap romance between the cop and a young woman who was friends with the first victim. 

The one thing it has going for it (other than the fact that there are multiple scenes set at a male strip club, which I believe to be a first for the subgenre) is that it's fully committed to being itself. When it's doing a topless scene, it's doing a topless scene, with bared breasts that are just outrageously huge. When it's doing a kill scene (sometimes these overlap, of course), there's plenty of gusto if not any skill. It's not a horrible film to sit through, even if it has legitimately nothing to offer to a slasher-fatigued 1985 cinema landscape.

Killer: Arthur  Hill (S. E. Zygmont)
Final Girl: Rosie Talbot (Suzanna Smith)
Best Kill: After being interrogated about Rosie's whereabouts, her friend Jennifer is stabbed in the throat. No, it's not slit or slashed. Just stabbed. Like, straight in there.
Sign of the Times: When Rosie goes to write her paper, she sits in front of a typewriter.
Scariest Moment: Rosie finally looks at the newspaper that has been on her desk all morning and sees the front page news that her friend was murdered.
Weirdest Moment: Rosie's mom asks her to describe her night at the strip club and gets really horny about it.
Champion Dialogue: "Watch where you're going, apple ass."
Body Count: 8
    1. Tanya is sliced down the middle with a knife.
    2. Woman is killed, but the relevant weapons and body parts are offscreen.
    3. Mommy is stabbed to death.
    4. Jennifer is stabbed in the throat.
    5. Rosie's Dad is conked in the back of the head.
    6. Rosie's Mom is drowned in the tub.
    7. Lt. Carter is shot.
    8. Arthur Hill is shot and stabbed with scissors.
TL;DR: Bits and Pieces is just a generic Psycho riff with some added Herschell Gordon Lewis sleaze, but it's not altogether horrible.
Rating: 5/10
Word Count: 487

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