Eight strangers are invited to spend the night in a penthouse apartment. After being wined and dined, a voice on the radio informs them that they will be murdered unless they manage to outwit the ninth guest: Death.
Roy William Neill
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Despite advance warning to the police, who seal off the area, The Bat, a master criminal, steals a necklace from the safe in the house of a rich socialite. He leaves a note saying he is going to the country to give the police a rest. Pausing only to rob a bank at Oakdale, he proceeds to terrorise the occupants of a lonely country mansion, in a mixture of thrills, chills and laughs. At the end, an actor steps forward through a proscenium arch and asks the viewers not to reveal the Bat's identity to their friends. A film noir shot in black and white, mainly at night in dimly lit scenes. Written by
Michael Crew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The special effects were shot in 35mm. Process photography techniques, not optical printing, was used to make the 65mm negatives of this footage. See more »
When Lizzie screams after seeing "The Bat" coming in through the window and going up the stairs, Cornelia enters the room and turns the light switch - but the lights don't come on until she's a couple steps into the room. See more »
A tour-de-force of chases, shootouts, and robbery, as "The Bat" terrorizes a city, and particularly the renters of a mansion where he makes his hideout. Nearly everybody is a suspect, but the key lighting pretty much gives it away. Nonetheless, West keeps the pace moving so fast that we don't really have time to stop and think about much of anything. Features West's trademark effects with miniatures and wires.
Some remarkable photography (in 65mm, no less) in the disappearing silent gothic tradition makes this movie a link from the newly emerging horror scene to the old "haunted house with criminals" genre into which it more properly falls.
"Goofy gothic" excellence.
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