Saturday, October 11, 2014
31 Days of Halloween - Day 11 - Movie 1
The Bat (1959) is the third movie incarnation of a 1920 play. It's an old dark house mystery involving a mysterious house being rented by a successful mystery writer (Agnes Moorehead), a missing million dollars stolen from the local bank (which is also owned by the owner of the rented house), and strange murderous figure known as "The Bat." There are also secret rooms, red herrings, mysterious noises and the usual trappings to be found in this sub-genre. It also features Vincent Price as a local doctor who is very interested in the unfolding mystery.
It's obvious that this movie is based on a play. The dialogue,staging, and some of the performances practically broadcast that fact. It's also quite a bit longer than it needs to be. The identity of the Bat is handled in a way that allows for some uncertainty. There's some nice misdirection here, too, but if you know how these things work, the identity will still be pretty obvious.
The Bat itself is the real disappointment here. You'd expect the character to at least dress in some manner that is suggestive of a bat, such as was done in the 1926 version, but instead we're given a man in a suit and hat with a black stocking pulled down over their head and black gloves with claws on the finger tips. You could call him just about anything for all he resembles a bat.
The Bat is a moderately fun and diverting movie, but there are far more movies of this kind that are superior.