Review-The fine folks at Film Chest sent me a few films that I have to admit, I have never had the chance of seeing before tonight. Is this a good thing or bad, read on and let’s see. The Bat was originally released in 1959 and is based on a play that was written in the 1920’s. Where when I saw the names Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead I was expecting horror, this film plays out more like a mystery because the Bat character really for the most part is a mystery to the viewer. Where people know Vincent Price, some may not know Agnes who played Samantha’s witch mother on Bewitched, Endora. The Bat is told to us to have no face and go around killing people while it seems the police are more concerned about other things. In ways, I feel like films like Darkman and shows like Scooby Doo were somewhat inspired by this film and the premise. This film plays on the audience who will stick with the film to see how it will all unveil. Agnes plays Cornelia who is a mystery novelist who seems to be making a living on situations like The Bat. Vincent Price I feel plays second fiddle to Agnes, which was good enough for me. I also was shocked that Darla from The Little Rascals has a role and really shines as well. The Bat is one of those films that you shut all the lights in the house and just get sucked into this story. The film has a little charm in terms of little comic touches, but for the most part it is a pretty effective whodunit. The thing this film does best is hide its enemy. You never really know what or who The Bat truly is. This film builds the suspense by perception from all the characters. The film has horror elements, maybe not enough for some but what they offer for me worked perfect. I really enjoyed this film a lot more than I thought I could, plus to see a grown up Darla Hood was a plus.
8 out of 10
Review-Talk about a misunderstood film, the sole reason I wanted to see this film is because everyone told me how bad the film was. I read somewhere that someone called this almost a Black Christmas rip-off. Which makes me laugh; this film came out a few years before that one did. I mean this film is in no way a classic, but you know what the film was not the drizzling shits either. The premise of this tale is that a house owned by Wilfred Butler has been there for a very long time, (well in movie time) he left and in 1950 came back home just in time to burn himself alive. The house is then left to his grandson Jeffrey who never appears to claim it. Jeffrey is offered as the film goes on to sell the house, and that news just goes rapid and it even reaches a Looney Bin. Somehow or another in this bin a maniac breaks loose for some revenge on the Butlers. You can tell by the atmosphere and shots it was shot in New York State during the winter. The script and characters is not the best, and at times it gets like grating, but this film has bigger issues and it is the transfer of the film, it is just not the best. Some of the frames go black, and some of the scenes are too dark. The kills in the film well the ones we do get are not too bad, and the flow of the film is smart enough to know that it tries to hide its weaknesses. Towards the end is when this film just dives right into the cheese with that bad flashback to help us learn about why the maniac is seeking revenge and killing. The payoff to the scene is pretty cool and tied up all the loose ends to finish this film semi-decently. The film has guts for sure it tries to keep the audience involved and even tries to make it feel bittersweet. I said it best this is no classic or something I would recommend, but it is not the worst thing I ever seen. It has a lot of flaws, and for the few positives I have named, they do not overcome the problems that I discussed that may piss people off watching.
5 out of 10