Ralph and Rick resent: The Bat!
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Vincent Price! Agnes Moorehead! Darla Hood of the Little Rascals! And a villain who looks nothing like a bat!
In this, the first movie to be "riffed" by the team of Ralph and Rick, mystery writer Cornelia "Talentless Hack" Van Gorder rents a country house for the perpetually gloomy soundstage summer.
Little does she realize that her lease allows for a constant flow of unintelligible police chiefs, bat-obsessed doctors, elbow-packing butlers and interchangeable female characters in and out of the place.
Even a horrendous murder carried out by a masked maniac with real steel claws on his glove does nothing to assuage her annoyance.
* Choose between righteous riffs or bore-iginal audio!
* Learn about the towering talents behind "The Bat"!
* Thrill to the original the-bat-rical trailer!
* Chill to scenes from the semi-classic silent version!
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As to those holes, what woman (or man) in her/his right mind would stay in the mansion for 5 minutes, let alone all night, after finding a murdered corpse in the closet and then being told there is every chance the killer is still holed up somewhere in the huge mansion? As the bodies pile up, it is even more incredible to see a single detective guarding the place, at one point leaving an assistant in his place, who is easily drugged while drinking wine (and he's supposed to be protecting the frightened women!).
Nonetheless, the film also operates as a who-done-it and viewers are in for some surprises as they try to identify the killer.
Not Vincent or Agnes's best, by any means, but still great work by both of them, particularly Moorehead as a nervy mystery writer who isn't easily scared off.
The movie itself I didn't really love. It isn't that there is anything I can really point a finger at, it just didn't thrill me. I felt the actions of some of the characters, namely the authoress and her assistant weren't entirely believable. It's a simple whodunit? mystery. The Bat as a villain isn't much more of a villain than if he had no costume at all. The costume mainly provided a way to put him in the movie while hiding his face. The movie left me a bit confused and there really wasn't much chance to solve the crime as most of the clues were found by people searching the mansion rather than using logic from what they have seen.
In any event, 2 stars for the movie, 1 star for Vincent Price and another star for the quality of the DVD.
Recommended for old film buffs, Vincent Price fans.
Wilbur's career in the cinema, as actor, director, and writer, dated from the glorious Silent Era, and latterly included serving as screenwriter for the beautiful "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fátima" (1952).
This film regards a serial murderer who masks as the title rôle, and is, in truth, more a "Mystery Drama" (as the play based on the novel was originally called) than a horror picture. Price is very elegant and menacing as Dr Wells, and Moorehead has one of her finest outings as the "maiden lady" novelist, Miss Cornelia Van Gorder. Very much the grande dame, she is wry, passionate, and marvelously theatrical. The present writer would place only her performance in "The Magnificent Ambersons" (directed by Orson Welles, 1942) above this rather modest film in her oeuvre.
The film is charming in its ambiance of the nineteen-fifties and in the distinguished performances of the two stars. As The New York Times rightly proclaimed when it was new, "The Bat" is a "winner."
Fun. I do love movies featuring secret rooms. And better still, this is the first time I’ve seen this movie look so good. And oh yeah, Vincent Price is also in this movie.