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Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Bat (1926) - Roland West


The Bat by Roland West is a crime/mystery movie that is wrapped up in a nice little creepy house story. West is known for his noir-style films and this movie is a testament to those. The heavy shadow use and dark almost never ending night sequences are enough to really play into the horror genre. If it weren't for the forced comedy, this movie would have been top notch. It just isn't scary.

The movie has to do with a group of people all spending the night in a creepy house, looking for a lost fortune in a secret room. Unbeknown to them, they are joined by The Bat, a creepy thief that murders people in the group one by one. The Bat is pretty interesting, he dresses up like a giant bat. Not like the Batman, just actually in a giant bat costume. It's pretty strange. However, according to Bob Kane this character was the inspiration for Batman. Hell, they even had a Bat Signal in the movie. Pretty interesting stuff.

The movie has a lot of moving shadows that are meant to keep you entranced. Tons of sneaking around and a plethora of finger-pointing. Oh, it even has a cockney maid that plays comedy relief, to round out the crowd. The Bat plays into just about every stereotype in the movie. The only outlier being The Bat himself. He is pretty original. It isn't until 1930 that we see the return of this guy, and I understand that this is remade in the 50's with Vincent Price. I will be sure to give that a peek.

While this movie was provided on YouTube without a soundtrack, I suggest watching with Danny Elfman's Dark Shadows: Original Score. It actually followed the film quite nicely and did it justice in a few scenes. The times don't really add up with the scenes, but who really cares. The movie doesn't scare you but it does keep you entertained.

Stay here jappy, watch that other room!
  • This was a former Lost film. It has been found. 
  • The filming was done mostly at night. Just a few scenes were done during the day. 
  • The villain for the movie, the Bat, was the inspiration for Batman.  

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