Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us.... See full summary »
Mystery writer Cornelia Van Gorder has rented a country house called "The Oaks", which not long ago had been the scene of some murders committed by a strange and violent criminal known as "The Bat". Meanwhile, the house's owner, bank president John Fleming, has recently embezzled one million dollars in securities, and has hidden the proceeds in the house, but he is killed before he can retrieve the money. Thus the lonely country house soon becomes the site of many mysterious and dangerous activities. Written by
RKO bought the rights to remake the film off Mary Pickford who had produced the first screen version in 1926. See more »
The Bat uses a suction cup and a glass cutter to cut a hole in the glass in order to reach in and unlatch the door. The circular piece of glass attached to the suction cup is twice as thick as the glass from which the hole has been cut. The glass attached to the suction cup is also too thick to cut a hole in using a simple glass cutter. See more »
This film is a lot better than you might expect. It follows the story of a wayward million dollars that is believed to be hidden within the walls of an old house. The inhabitants of the house are a female writer and her crew of servants.... oh, and a prowler known as 'the bat', who evidently wants the fortune for himself. The Bat is notable for a great macabre atmosphere that creates a sense of claustrophobia, as the house is in the middle of nowhere. It's also notable for an early performance from Vincent Price, who appears as the doctor, Malcolm Wells. Price was better known in 1959 for the William Castle classic "House on Haunted Hill", but 'The Bat' is still an able entry in his list of acting credits. Price evidently grew as an actor throughout the 60's and 70's, but his early performances always have that x-factor that would go on to instill the man in the hearts of horror fans forever, and his performance here has that also.
The story itself has lots of room for tension and intrigue, and it makes best use of it as the film is constantly intriguing, and many scenes, particularly the ones involving the menacing bad guy, are filled with suspense. The film is at it's best when 'the bat' is on the prowl, and features several lovely shots of the fiend poking his arm through various crevices in the house. The house itself is riddled with various traps and secret passages in true haunted house style, and it adds to the inventiveness and effectiveness of the movie. The film gives the twist away far too early, however, and it kind of spoils the ending as it turns out that, logically, there's only one person who the bat could possibly be. It doesn't really matter though, as the film is always a lot of fun and if you're a fan of Vincent Price (and who isn't?!), or just classic horror movies in general, I highly recommend this movie.
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