The Bat (1926 & 1959) – Review

4

Hello Creeps.

Today we are going to review the film “The Bat” both the 1926 and the 1959 versions. As the vintage film nerd that I am, I have to say that I recommend both versions to the horror or mystery fanatic. Let’s begin with the beloved 1926 version shall we?

The Bat (1926)

First off, you can’t exactly call this a horror or why it’s under “vampire” I do not know becuase it’s more of a comedy/mystery/thriller. The eccentric maid in the film is who gives us the comedic effect. The story line of the film is that a masked criminal dresses up as a gigantic bat figure and terrorizes guests of a house that is being rented out by a well-known mystery writer. The film is based off the play by Avery Hopwood. Miss Cornelia Van Gorder is the famous mystery writer who rents the house to continue working on a novel. She is accompanied by her faithful maid, Lizzie Allen who was played by Louise Fazenda – whose over reactions made the character all more eccentric and comical. The murderer is interested in the wealth that is hidden within the house and will get rid of anyone in their way. What I like most about the 1926 version is the effects. For back in the day, these effects are pretty kick ass and it’s always a marvelous thing to see old school films with such marvelous effects without the aid of computers and green screens. They are proof that we don’t need to make everything digital! The actors and actresses within the film expressed their roles accordingly. Meaning, there wasn’t too much of the over expressions that you saw in many silent films. (Silent films actors/actresses were so goddamn talented! 🙂 ) For me, this film pulled me into the story and I really enjoyed the shadiness of the film. Honestly, a film like this belongs in the silent film era. Could you imagine the people seeing it for the first time on the screen?! It would have been down right terrifying for them to see this considering it wasn’t a monster film at all!

If you’d like to check out the 1926 version, I found the full movie on YouTube:

 

The Bat (1959)

Well, you already know the story line with the paragraph above. I must say for this version they couldn’t have picked better actors and actresses to play within this version. They had the marvelous, Vincent Price as Doctor Malcolm Wells and the ever so classy, Agnes Moorehead as Cornelia Van Gorder. Their actor and actress choice was perfect because they fit the roles so well. You could pictures Agnes as Cornelia. It didn’t seem like she was acting at all, but being herself. Mr.Price of eerie nature plays the doctor who is suspected to be the bat. When I first saw this version, I was immediately hooked. Although, I had seen the silent film version first and knew the story line, this “talkie” version was as amazing as the original. The acting was perfect and when I watched it, I had a list of suspects in my head, checking them off as the film went along. It takes you for a lot of twists and turns until you reach the end. This is an instant thriller classic. The “who-done-it” theme song of this version is quite catchy! (It was stuck in my head for a few hours.)

If you’d like to see the 1959 version of The Bat, I found the Full movie on YouTube here:

 

 

 

Thank you for wasting time with my existence. I hope you enjoyed this short review. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments below.

-Mercy Desdemona of Unsuccessful Entertainment

Advertisements

The Lodger – A Story of the London Fog (1927)

2

Hello Creeps. I apologize that my Friday Night horror film review is taking place on this Saturday morning. I completely lost track of the days. Today I would like to discuss one of my personal Hitchcock favorites: The Lodger – A Story of the London Fog. This film is one of his silent films from 1927, and is one of the few that didn’t end up lost. Let’s sum up the story line: News has spread that there is a killer on the loose who is killing women with blonde hair. A man asks for a room at what I assume is an inn or apartment building. The mother of the daughter begins to question if the man is in fact the serial killer.

The film starts out with a police men talking to a distressed woman. They find a piece of paper with the words “The Avenger” on it. I felt this opening made you feel like you were part of the movie. We find out that the Avenger is a Tall man with his face wrapped up. That is the only description that could be made about the serial killer The Avenger. He favored to kill women with beauty and golden hair. It’s quite apparent that The Avenger is like a Jack the Ripper who favored to mutilate prostitutes.
What I enjoy most about this film is the fact that it feels like you are part of it. It feels like you are someone walking down the street listening to the paper boy scream about the recent news. It feels like you’re in the car with the police officers driving through the streets. It feels like you are at the apartment building living with the family and worrying about who could be next.
This film mixes horror, comedy, and romance all into one in a great manner. For example, the daughter of the landlady is a fashion model with golden hair. To keep safe from The Avenger she wears a hat the covers the rest of her hair but has dark curls at the front end to make it look like she’s a dark haired woman.
When we get to the apartment building, we meet the mother, father, and the lover of the daughter. The lover of the daughter is a detective who goes on the search for The Avenger within the film. When the lodger comes to ask for a room, he immediately begins to stare at the daughter. At first, you start to believe that he finds her to be a very beautiful woman and she has captured his interest.
The daughter and the lodger become good friends and she doesn’t think it will cause any harm done by being friends. Her family and her lover don’t approve of the friendship since the Lodger is nothing but a mere stranger.
I enjoy the fact that this film can mix your emotions towards everyone in the film. There isn’t a moment where you aren’t actually thinking about each character in the film. Since it’s silent, the actors and actresses portray the emotion very well. It comes out of the screen and into your body to flow within. Unlike many silent films of the time, the body language of the people in the film isn’t over acted. Their reactions are more realistic as to what the reactions would be if we were all there in real life.

If you’d like to get lost within this Hitchcock film I found the full movie here:

If you do check out the film, please feel free to comment back and share with me your thoughts. I’d be interested in hearing them.

Blood & Guts,
Mercy Desdemona.