31 March 2014

"THE GHOST" (Chilling Classics 50 Movies Pack, #39) + "THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK"

THE GHOST

Original Titles:
Lo Spettro / Lo Spettro del Dr. Hichcock

Alternate Title:
The Spectre

Italy, 1963
Director: Riccardo Freda
(as Robert Hampton)

9/10




Yes, there's lots of rubbish on all these Mill Creek movie packs, but once in a while you stumble about a movie that is so freaking good, it almost makes you wanna buy every single movie pack you can find in hope of finding another piece of awesomeness like "The House That Screamed", "A Bell From Hell" or this one: "The Ghost", one of the very first horror films of acclaimed Italian sword-and-sandal/swashbuckler director Riccardo Freda, best known for being the guy who kickstarted the incredible career of Mario Bava.


"The Ghost" is an absolutely fantastic old-school ghost movie about the wheelchair-bound Dr. Hichcock (sic!) who returns from the dead after getting killed by his wife and her lover. It's extremely tense and thrilling from the very first to the very last minute, packed with effective scares and shocks, great plot twists and inscrutable characters, and an ending that knocks you off your feet and leaves you breathless and gobsmacked.

I admit, the whole thing isn't that original and often reminded me a bit of "Diabolique" or good old 1950's Hitchcock, but that doesn't matter because the way director Freda handled the story with all its twists and turns... well, it's simply amazing and almost flawless. There are even a few scenes that could be described as "slightly predictable" but due to the fact that they are all so incredily gripping and captivating, you still end up glued to the screen, eyes wide open and goosebumps all over your body.
I don't exaggerate: that movie really is that frightening!


The cast is perect: Barabara Steele once again proves why she frequently gets called "Queen of Gothic Horror". I also loved the wonderful performances of Harriet Medin (a regular in 60s Italo Horror), Peter Baldwin [father of acclaimed script supervisor Eleonora Baldwin ("The Passion of the Christ", "The Haunting of Helena"), and Elio Jotta as Hichcock himself.

Highlights: the excellent score credited to the pseudonym Franck Wallace (which could be either Francesco De Masi or Franco Mannino. It's a bit confusing
- read more about it here!),
the gorgeous cinematography of Raffale Masciocchi ("Death on the Fourposter"), the superscary scenes in the crypt and in the attic, one unbelievably brutal and gory kill, and like I already mentioned, the amazing ending.

And just when I thought it couldn't get more awesome, right before I started to write this review, I realized that this is actually a sequel!! An amazing sequel to another amazing movie!! WTF?? See below!!

Imdb





THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK

Original Title:
L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock

Alternate Title:
The Terror of Dr. Hichcock

Italy, 1962
Director: Riccardo Freda
(as Robert Hampton)

9/10




Yes, the amazing "The Ghost" is actually the sequel to the equally amazing "The Horrible Dr. Hichcock", Riccardo Freda's very first fully finished horror film. He was assigend to two horror films in the 50s, "The Vampires" (1956) and "Caltiki, The Immortal Monster" (1959), but never finished them, though he allowed his cinematographer Mario Bava to complete them.

"The Horrible Dr. Hichcock" is a miracle, just like "The Ghost". It's an unbelievably overlooked gothic-horror suspense-fest that is able to thrill and scare the hell out of you. Here, Dr. Hichcock is alive and kicking, though he actually prefers death and sexual funeral games because he's a fucking necrophiliac! And if that's not enough, he even tries to bring the dead back to life! Yes, this doctor is quite insane...


Freda keeps the pace slow but the tension high by combining the bizarre story with super-eerie but damn gorgeous settings, weird but fascinating characters, and shitloads of breathtaking and totally captivating scenes that are just mindblowing, as well as some awesome goosebumps-moments, like the dream sequence with the melting face, or the scenes in the secret passages of the castle with dark tunnels and secret rooms. Highlight is obviously the extraordinarily tense climax which kept me busy biting my nails.

The cinematography is lush and powerful (Raffaele Masciocchi), the music is simply eargasmic (Roman Vlad, "Caltiki"), and the cast is almost flawless (Barbara Steele, Robert Flemyng, Harriet Medin...).


A cinematic triumph in Italo horror, and together with "The Ghost", one of horror history's most thrilling double features. Wowsers!

"TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST" (Chilling Classics 50 Movies Pack, #38)

TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST

USA, 1972/1976
Director: Richard Ashe

0/10











Congrats to this crapfest for being the first movie in ages that put me to sleep. Somewhere in the middle my mind gave up and headed into dreamland for about 10-15 minutes. No wonder, it's one of the absolute dullest and most uninteresting flicks I've ever seen... and I'm also struggling with words, as there's hardly anything interesting to say about it.

"Track of the Moon Beast" was the first, and gladly the only directorial effort by Richard Ashe. It was shot in 1972, but not released until 1976 - of course, straight to TV because no one bothered putting it into theaters.



There's a guy that got hit by a lunar meteorite which later transforms him into a laughable rubber-lizard a.k.a "Moon Beast", but only at night, and only at full moon. Sounds familiar? Yup, it's basically a werewolf-film, but with a monster lizard. There's also a hippie with a guitar, singing about his 'croaky voice' and about 'rhyming words I cannot touch', Indians talking about stew, stupid policemen constantly sticking their thumbs into their belts, and some blonde girl who looks like a blend between a z-grade pornstar and a street harlot (no offense).

Camera work is bland, the music is boring, the effects look ridicuously bad, every single actor is terrible, and the direction is comletely inept. Yes, it makes sense that this is currently on #34 in the Imdb Bottom 100. Pure garbage.

27 March 2014

MACHETE + MACHETE KILLS

MACHETE

USA, 2010
Directors: Robert Rodriguez & Ethan Maniquis

7/10











"Machete" is a very solid and brilliantly entertaining love-letter to the grindhouse and exploitation films of the 70s and 80s. It's an expansion of the glorious fake-trailer that was shot for, and included in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's "Planet Terror"/"Death Proof" double feature. The original script for "Machete" was written by Rodriguez back in 1993(!) while he was working on "Desperado".


It's not as awesome as other Rodriguez-classics like "Sin City" or "From Dusk Till Dawn", but it's a fun flick that delivers almost everything you expect when you see the poster: guns, girls, explosions, good guys, bad guys and one helluva Mexican motherfucker :) Not everything's good: it has some serious pacing issues, the tone is a bit too all over the place, and it's definitely way too long. 105 minutes?? Fuck this, 80 minutes would have been enough...

...but that's all forgivable, because everything else about it is damn cool. The entire cast is nearly perfect: Danny Trejo as ace-looking badass Machete ("Machete don't text." / "Machete improvises." / "You just fucked with the wrong Mexican."), Robert De Niro in one of his most amusing roles as corrupt Texan Senator ("Red Rover, Red Rover, let the terrorists come over."),
the super-hot Jessica Alba as immigrations officer ("We didn't cross the border - the border crossed us!"), and the even-hotter Michelle Rodriguez as revolutionary Taco-truck lady ("Habla inglés?" - "Depends on the question.").


Also: Jeff Fahey as damn cool business guy ("I'm sending you to a convent."), Don Johnson as even cooler border vigilante ("The war's begun. Helter Skelter's here!"),
Cheech Marin as crazy Padre ("God has mercy. I don't."),
a chubby Steven Seagal as ruthless drug lord ("Your Machete's girl. I know, 'cause you're his type." - "What type is that?" - "Dead."),
Tom Savini as badass hitman, Nimród Antal (director of "Kontroll", Predators" & "Vacancy") as funny bodyguard, and Lindsey Lohan as 'nun with a gun'.

It's packed to the brim with hilarious and highly memorable scenes, like the brutal opening, the "intestinal swing" out the window, Machete making out with Lindsay Lohan and Alicia Marek in the pool, the gory crucifixion of Cheech Marin, the awesome "Ave Maria"-shootout, the outrageously xenophobic TV commercials for the Senator, and the entire finale with the low-rider invasion, Lohan's holy moment and Seagal's suicide.


When the CGI is good, it's good. When the CGI is bad, it's at least forgivable because it's always over-the-top in an Asylum-like way. The music by Rodriguez' band Chingon is fabulous, Jimmy Lindsey's ("Spy Kids 4D") cinematography is superb, and like in almost every Rodriguez-flick, the editing is top-notch.

Machete rocks!

Wiki ~ Imdb



MACHETE KILLS

USA / Russia, 2013
Director: Robert Rodriguez

4/10











Straight to the point: "Machete Kills" is a fucking disappointment and it's undoubtedly Robert Rodriguez' worst non-kids-movie so far. It's not that my expectations were that high, but damn, this could have been so much better. While "Machete" was a very solid homage to good old old-school exploitation flicks, the sequel looks and feels more like a lazy spoof of the original, or like one of the countless unoriginal post-Grindhouse-crapfests that shamelessly riped off Rodriguez' and/or Tarantino's style and annoyed the shit out of me and countless other peeps. You know, shit like "Zombie Hunter" or "Run Bitch Run".


Actually, it's exactly like the Cinema Snob described it:
"It just feels more like somebody wrote a Machete fan-fiction sequel and Rodriguez filmed it. (...) It feels like a 90-minute Funny-or-Die sketch that happens to have Machete in it."

The original had a story to tell, had great characters, had a beginning, a middle and an ending. Hell, I'd even say that "Machete" had heart. "Machete Kills" has almost nothing of that. It's 110 minutes (again, WAY too long) of Machete going here, going there, killing people, doing this shit, doing that shit, characters popping up and disappear, things happening for no fucking reason, people doing stuff for no fucking reason, and when you think it's over, it's NOT because it ends with a dumb To-be-continued cliffhanger.


I enjoyed the first 10 minutes, consisiting of a funny fake trailer for the yet unmade third part "Machete Kills Again... In Space", Jessica Alba getting shot and Machete getting almost hung. From there, it goes downhill. You get rehashed stuff that you've already seen (intestinal swing, politic commercials), predictable and completely boring action sequences, supposed-to-be-hilarious over-the-top kills that just come off as uber-meh, and truckloads of SyFy-like CGI-turd. The direction is pretty bad, the script is a fucking mess, the editing is rather amateurish, and the music... well, apparently Chingon had no time (or interest) this time.

We get to see many few terrific performances by some really great actors, but aside from Mel Gibson (who's simply excellent) and Michelle Rodriguez, nearly all of them just appear, do their thing and after a couple minutes, they're gone which is very frustrating. Cuba Gooding Jr., Antonio Banderas, Tom Savini and (best of all) Demian Bichir - all amazing, but we don't get to see enough of them, and that just sucks.


As for the others... *sigh* Danny Trejo is just there, looking grim, delivering stale lines like "Machete don't smoke", "Machete don't Tweet" etc. etc. Amber Heard and Lady Gaga are both fucking horrible, Sofía Vergara and Alexa PenaVega are pretty annoying, and Charlie Sheen... um sorry, Carlos Estevez is about as mediocre as always.

Waste of time. Machete blows.

FRACTIONAL

FRACTIONAL

Ireland, 2011/2013
Director: Malcolm Deegan

3/10











I hate to be the buzzkill, but... alas, I can't help it. Despite the enthusiasm of other critics and reviewers, I couldn't do anything with Irish director Malcolm Deegan's feature debut "Fractional", a horror thriller about a supposedly insane sadist who kidnaps a psychiatrist and tortures him in an abandoned warehouse.

The movie starts out as stale but still pretty chilling run-of-the-mill semi-torture-porn flick, but quickly downshifts to somewhat familiar and sadly super-weak psychological-thriller territory, at times quite uninteresting but mostly rather tedious, boring and foreseeable due to Deegan's crude and inept direction, the weak script and some unnecessarily slow pacing. This could have been so much better if the pace would be faster and tighter.


Desmond Daly gives a strong and believable performance as the kidnapped victim, but Peter O'Toole (not to be confused with Lawrence of Arabia) is just terrible. He tries way too hard to deliver an unsettling and menacing performance, and eventually ends up as ridiculously over-the-top and unintentionally amusing.

The warehouse-setting looks bland and not scary at all, the music is boring and repetitive, the lighting is at times too bright, at times too dark, and although there are lots of unexpected plot twists and turns, none of them were surprising, shocking or satisfying, same for the plot-twist ending.
Final verdict: I wasn't captured by "Fractured"...

Imdb

Thanks to Malcolm McDeegan for providing me with a screener!

25 March 2014

Interview with Lou Simon, director of "HazMat"

I got the chance to 'sit down' with the highly talented and damn gorgeous LOU SIMON, director of the amazing slasher "HAZMAT", one of very few films that got 2(!) reviews from me (#1 here and #2 here). Enjoy! :)

M: Hey Lou! What or who inspired you to write and direct horror films? How much of a horror buff are you?
L: Hi, Maynard! It’s so cool that we’ve been brought back together. Your reviews of “HazMat” were so generous.

I started writing about spooky and mysterious stuff when I was ten. In sixth grade, I wrote a story about my class going on a field trip, but when the bus breaks down, they go to the nearest mansion that just happens to be haunted. I think I was inspired by Scooby Doo. Since then, I’ve been hooked on all sorts of scary stuff. So I guess you can say it all started with Scooby Doo.


M: "HazMat" reminded me a lot of slashers like "My Bloody Valentine" or "See No Evil", as well as of camera/webcam-related films like "Grave Encounters" or "Halloween: Resurrection". Was this intended? Did any of these movies inspire you?

L: I like and own all the movies you just mentioned. It’s really hard to do something that is completely original in a genre with so many entries. So you try to do the same, but different. I wanted our killer to have a distinct and memorable look. How it turned out the way it did, I have to be honest that I don’t even remember. The writing process for me is very strange, because so much seems to come from somewhere else and not a conscious decision I make.

M: How was it shooting "HazMat"? Fun? Exhausting?

L: Both. We had so many issues with sound, because the week we started production, construction began on the street in front of the abandoned building where we were shooting. We had to stop every few minutes, and when it wasn’t the construction, it was the airplanes. But it’s always fun when you’re seeing the film come together, and you’re working with other people who are passionate about your project.


M: As you may know, there aren't many female horror directors out there and it looks like this won't change anytime soon. What are/were your experiences with the film industry so far? Will there be more or less female horror-filmmakers in the future?

L: There are more of them than people know. I am part of a group in Facebook for women directors of horror, sci-fi and fantasy, and there are 509 members. That’s quite a lot more than people realize. Just like male directors, their biggest obstacle is getting the financing to make their films. So they may not be as well known, but they’re out there working on their projects. Historically, horror was targeted at a young male demographic, so it didn’t leave much room for what we women find scary.  However, in the last few years, the most successful horror movies have been targeted toward a larger audience and female moviegoers have made up more than 50% of the audience. That opens up new opportunities for women directors to tell the kind of stories that they want to see onscreen.

M: Any chances we might get a "HazMat" sequel? What do you think of sequels in general?

It would be great if we could have a sequel. I like sequels when they add to the backstory. If we were to do a sequel, I would love to expand on the backstory of how the workers died in the fire at the chemical plant and that’s why the place is haunted. Although, I would miss most of my cast that didn’t live through the first film.

L: Thank you, Lou!


ROSEWOOD LANE

ROSEWOOD LANE

USA, 2011/2012
Director: Victor Salva

2/10











"Rosewood Lame" is a frustrating nothing of a movie and I'm shocked that this was written / directed by the same guy, who is responsible for alltime horror favorites like "Clownhouse" or "Jeepers Creepers". What could have been a creepy and unique semi-home-invasion-chiller, ended up as lousy and super-sloppy borefest that has more plot holes like a piece of Emmental cheese.

Gone are the days when Victor Salva surprised us with terrifying creatures and unpredictable plot twists - hello and welcome to the new age of Salva-laziness where people disappear and no-one cares about them, where weird paperboys threaten and kill people in suburban areas and the police gives a shit, where people, who feel unsafe in their houses, buy cats instead of alarm systems...


No-one in this garbage is able to give a satisfying performance. Ray Wise is just a shadow of his former self, Daniel Ross Owens pretends to be scary but comes off as semi-ratarded, Lin Shaye's cameo is totally wasted, and Rose McGowan... ugh, she's simply embarrassing. I loathe her character, a radio host who thinks that "There are no accidents" is the answer to everything. Oh fuck.

No thrills, no chills, trite cinematography, laughable dialogue and a horrendously awful screenplay. 1 point for Bennett Salvay's ("Jeepers Creepers 1 & 2)" excellent music and 1 point for the super-cute kitteh.

21 March 2014

SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (Restored Version)

SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT

Alternate Titles:
Night of the Dark Full Moon / Deathouse / Death House

German Titles:
Blutnacht - Das Haus des Todes / Haus des Todes

USA, 1972
Director: Theodore Gershuny

7/10




"Silent Night, Bloody Night" (of course, not to be confused with the 80s classic "Silent Night, Deadly Night") is a chilling and, despite its title,
rather un-christmas-y horror thriller about a dangerous escaped mental patient on the loose, and a mysterious old mansion with a dark secret.


The movie - produced by Troma boss Lloyd Kaufman(!), and written by author Jeffrey Konvitz ("The Sentinel", "The Guardian") - was one of only a handful movies by director / writer Theodore Gershuny ("Sugar Cookies"), husband to "cult queen" and "Warhol muse" Mary Woronov (1970 to 1973).

I've already seen and reviewed a low-quality version of "Silent Night, Bloody Night" as part of Mill Creek's 'Cult Terror Cinema 12 Movies Pack' (see here!).
Now, it finally gets a proper HD-quality DVD re-release,
thanks to FILMCHEST who restored it from a 35mm copy. There seemed to be no more useful copies of the two 70s prints which were released under the titles "Silent Night, Bloody Night" and "Night of the Dark Full Moon", so instead, they restored a "Deathouse"-titled copy that was re-released during
the early-80s horror craze. Well, I'm perfectly okay with that :-)


The movie's first and last hour are both unbelievably tense and eerie as fuck, thanks to a few gorgeous-looking and highly atmospheric scenes, a few terrific scares, many stunning-looking settings and some excellently gory sequences, incl. a gore-laden plot twist halfway into the movie that comes so sudden, so shocking, it's actually almost as powerful as the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's proto-slasher "Psycho". Other highlights: the pretty macabre man-burns-to-death opening scene, and a gobsmackingly good, slightly brutal and wonderfully filmed sepia-colored flashback sequence.


I already mentioned that it's pretty un-christmas-y, despite its yuletide-y title (some christmas decorations, some christmas music - that's it).
Yet, what's even more awkward is the fact how similar it looks to Bob Clark's highly overrated 1974 classic "Black Christmas". Damn, it actually feels as if Clark was really inspired by "Silent Night, Bloody Night" (although he never mentioned something like that).
There's countless eerie wide-angle POV shots of the killer hiding upstairs or wandering through the house, and there's also many unsettling phone calls of a creepy voice mentioning female names, similar to Billy mentioning Agnes
in "Black Christmas".


The cast is terrific, especially the top-notch performances by somewhat-grumpy-somewhat-creepy-looking James Patterson who sadly died from cancer after the movie's completion, the great John Carradine as mute newspaperman, hottie Astrid Heeren and the above-mentioned Mary Woronov.
Adam Giffard's photography is stunning and the intense violin-diven score by Gershon Kingsley ("A Return to Salem's Lot") is just marvellous, especially his fantastic minor-key version of Xmas carol "Silent Night". Listen below:



Bonus fun fact (thanks to Wikipedia): next to Mary Woronov who starred in Andy Warhol's "Chelsea Girls", many other members of the cast  were former Warhol superstars, like Ondine ("Batman Dracula", "Vinyl", "Four Stars"), Candy Darling ("Flesh", "Women in Revolt"), Tally Brown ("Batman Dracula", "Camp", "Four Stars") or Jack Smith ("Hedy", "Batman Dracula", "Camp").

Last but not least, I compared a few shots of the Mill Creek DVD (the version which is also downloadable from Archive.org) with a few shots of the restored Filmchest HD version. Damn, this movie has never looked so good!




Only annoying flaw: the middle part is a bit too tedious and could/should have been a lot quicker. Aside from that, "Silent Night, Bloody Night" is a must-see for everyone who gets a kick out of 60s / 70s chillers.


Thanks to Kelly Williams from "Greenleaf + Associates, Inc." for the screener!

20 March 2014

D-TOX

D-TOX

Alternate Title:
Eye See You

Working Titles:
The Outpost / Detox

German Title:
D-Tox - Im Auge der Angst

USA / Germany, 1999/2002
Director: Jim Gillespie

7/10


Oh man, it's a fucking tragedy what happened to this criminally underrated horror-thriller. With a budget of about 55 million dollars
(20 millions alone went to Sylvester Stallone!!), "D-Tox" was shot and finished in 1999 by director Jim Gillespie ("I Know What You Did Last Summer") from a screenplay by Ron L. Brinkerhoff ("The Guardian") based on Howard Swindle's novel "Jitter Joint".


Despite the high costs, despite the stellar cast (Sly, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Berenger, Charles S. Dutton), despite the pretty cool plot (Brutal cop-killer kills the fiancé of an FBI agent who becomes an alcoholic and checks into a rehab clinic that specializes in rehabilitating alcoholic cops, not knowing that one of the resident patients is in fact the cop-killer...), and despite Universal's original plans to release it end of 1999 or early 2000,
it actually got delayed over and over and over again (for whatever reason), until Universal got tired and sold the rights to DEJ Productions who finally released it in 2002. It got a limited theatrical release and was later dumped to DVD.

The movie's overall worldwide gross: about 6,5 millions. Looking at the movie's
55 million budget... yes, "D-Tox" was a financial disaster. A huge bummer because it's actually a really cool flick, not as great as Gillespie's previous flick "IKWYDLS", but good enough to make you wonder if someone put something in the Universal executives' drinks...


The first half of "D-Tox" could be vaguely described as mix of "Se7en and "Copland" (serial-killer thriller meets police drama), while the second half is more of a whodunit-mystery-thriller with some slasher elements. Also, due to the claustrophobic setting, the eerie-looking building and the snowy landscapes, the second half often reminded me of one-location classics like "The Thing" or "Alien 3", and other gems like "Lighthouse" or "The Hole (2001)".

There's lots of really gripping tension and absolutely fabulous atmosphere. The direction is tight and the pacing is spot-on. The body count is high, there's some ace gore, a few brilliantly brutal kills and many hung bodies. The acting is thoroughly good, especially the performances of Sly, Kristofferson, Dutton, Christopher Fulford and Polly Walker. Love the gorgeous cinematography by Dean Semler ("Mad Max 2 & 3") and the sinister production design by Gary Wissner, who was also responsible for design / art direction
in "Se7en", "8MM" and "IKWYDLS".


Unfortunately, the music is pretty lame, but it's not the fault of John Powell ("The Bourne Trilogy") who wrote two(!) complete scores for the film - but thanks to Universal's absurd dissatisfaction with the whole thing, both scores largely got replaced with rather boring music from William Ross ("Tin Cup"), Geoff Zanelli ("Disturbia") and Nick Glennie-Smith ("The Rock").

Doesn't matter. "D-Tox" is a very solid film, totally worth checking out, especially when you're a late-90s buff.

19 March 2014

THE BAT (1959, Restored Version)

THE BAT

German Titles:
Das Biest / Der Mörder mit der Kralle /
The Bat - Die Fledermaus


USA, 1959
Director: Crane Wilbur

8/10







"The Bat" is the slightly underrated third film adaptation of Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood's 1920 Broadway play of the same name. The other two adaptaions are "The Bat" (1926) and "The Bat Whispers" (1930) - the latter inspired comic-book legend Bob Kane to create the coolest comic book superhero of all time: BATMAN!


I'm not exactly sure what I expected of "The Bat", but I definitely didn't expect it to be that entertaining! Versatile filmmaker Crane Wilbur's last directorial effort is a marvellous murder mystery, at times hilariously amusing, at times stunningly suspense-laden and surprisingly captivating, including a mysterious masked killer (called 'The Bat') who kills his victims body-count-style with cool-looking Krueger-like metal-claw-gloves, which makes this film actually one of the very first proto-slashers of all time.

There's fun kills, unforeseeable plot twists, a fabulously eerie semi-haunted-house with secret passages and trap doors, and an absolutely pitch-perfect cast delivering terrific performances, dropping tons of wonderful dialogue lines.
It's a pleasure to see god-like actress Agnes Moorehead as successful mystery author Cornelia van Gorder, interact with the jolly Lenita Lane as van Gorder's maid Lizzie. Their scenes together are the movie's absolute highlight.


It's brilliant lines like these that make their performances so hilariously awesome:
Lizzie: "His specialty seems to be killing women.
My goodness, two of them in one night. All his victims died the same way, like their throats had been ripped open with steel claws."
Cornelia: "That's charming. I'll have to try it sometime... in a book."
~  ~  ~
Cornelia: "Oh, the doctor's out on a case. I hope it's not a delivery. A baby, I mean. They can be terribly complicated."
Lizzie: "It never bothered me none."
Cornelia: "Oh Lizzie, you never had a baby."
Lizzie: "Of course I didn't. That's why it never bothered me."
~  ~  ~
Cornelia: "Lizzie, haven't you seen anything?"
Lizzie: "No... no and even if I had, I ain't afraid of ghosts. They're afraid of me! Honest, Miss Gordy, a spiritualist once told me that ghosts was allergic to me!"


The other actors are excellent too, especially the great Vincent Price as bat-researcher, Gavin Gordon as weird chief detective, and the gorgeous Darla Hood as sweet secretary. Oh, I forgot to mention: Agnes Moorehead was at the age of 59 during shooting, but oh my god, she looks as hot as in her younger years!
The photography is superb (Joseph Biroc, Oscar for "The Towering Inferno"), the music is terrific (Louis Forbes, "Intermezzo") and the entire set decoration looks just awesome (Rudy Butler, "The Monster that Challenged the World").

FILMCHEST once again did an ace job by restoring the film and giving it its very first HD-quality DVD re-release. I compared several shots of it with the Public Domain version that is donwloadable from Archive.org. Can you see the difference? Beautiful, huh?




"The Bat" is a fabulous little b&w chiller, highly recommended to fans of classic 40s/50s murder mysteries and open-minded fans of the slasher-genre.

Thanks to Kelly Williams from "Greenleaf + Associates, Inc." for the screener!

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