Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Bat

"The Bat" (1959, Crane Wilbur, Allied Artists) is a film adaptation of a stage play by the same name. This was not the first film version of the script, but it's the only one I've seen. Mainly because it stars Vincent Price.

Cornelia Van Gorder (Agnes Moorehead) is a leading female crime novelist whose mansion house is in a town currently being stalked by a masked killer with blade-tipped fingers known as The Bat, who is on the hunt for a large sum of money which is hidden somewhere nearby.

Her housemaid (or possible lesbian lover, I've not decided), Lizzy (Lenita Lane), is bitten by a real bat one night, and so they call out Dr. Malcolm Wells (Vincent Price).

But when The Bat is seen snooping around the house, the mystery novelist is having to unravel a real mystery for a change as she and the police try to decipher who is behind the murders and why, before it is too late!

The Bat himself is actually quite creepy with his faceless mask and his Freddy Krueger-esque gloves. Of course, he's not scary in comparison to some of the more modern villains, but his sneaky antics are fun to watch.

Old fashioned, creaky and fun (with some very tame humour) I enjoy this mystery movie for what it is. It remains one of my favourite Price films as his delivery is great and he remains suspicious and suave but not hokey throughout. Although, I hasten to add, he does not feature as much as the poster would have you believe!

[Image: Allied Artists]