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Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Bat Whispers (1930) - Roland West


I had to go back a few years and re-watch this movie. The review is from 2009 and I re-wrote some pieces. Enjoy.

The Bat Whispers is one of the more thriller heavy horrors flicks. The movie focuses on the crime side of the narrative; Quite a bit heavier than its horror side. However, it does have its spooky moments. A lot of the movie was in questionable condition. I had to turn my television all the way up past eleven just to hear the damn thing. The movie has some amazing shots and even better sets that make it look just like a noir comic book.

For sets, the producers use everything from trick photography to scale models. They really put everything into this one. The movie is very dark and has this almost freakish tone that really sets the mood. The film about a caped theif/killer called 'The Bat' who terrorizes the occupants of an old mansion. It follows the "Old Dark House" narrative.

The art in the movie is superb, the audio sucks but it was the 30's. This is a depression era movie so it gets a pass. Pretty impressive for its time. The acting is pretty bad, then again the depression was afoot so people were... depressed. This is also a very strange time for film. This is our first talkie and the actors were still getting used to that new format. This movie serves as a precursor to great noir films like The Killing and Vertigo. The latter was directed by Hitchcock. I cannot wait to get into some of his stuff.

The scariest part of this movie would have to be its dark tone and lack of soundtrack, both make for one creepy, dark movie. The premise is mostly mystery but the tone makes it horror. The use of light, or lack thereof, is amazing, it really adds something to it. I am going to give The Bat Whispers a 5 out of 10. The movie is great but the thrills are just two few and far between. The action is great and the film is well done but that doesn't make it a great Horror movie.

Who am I? Who do you think I am? W.T. Jones. Super-sleuth of Oakdale County

  • The film's action scenes were filmed in 35mm. 
  • The film was transfered to 65mm safety tape. 
  • The film was remade in 1959.

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