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In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »
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Reginald Le Borg
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
When Cornelia and Lizzie go into Cornelia's bedroom and prepare to spend the night sleeping in the same room, Cornelia puts the chair in front of the door. Soon after that, Lizzie mentions to Cornelia that she has forgotten her nightclothes, among other things, in her room and has to go get them. When she opens the door to leave the room, the chair that Cornelia had put there is gone. See more »
Lt. Andy Anderson:
[finding Judy dead]
Cornelia van Gorder:
Yes the Bat, he caught her at the head of the stairs. We saw him rushing down the stairs as we came out of our rooms. I hurled that
[a fireplace poker]
Cornelia van Gorder:
at him, I hit him I believe. 'I'm going to cover this place from attic to basement' you said, well what were you covering out there while that poor child was murdered, where were you?
Lt. Andy Anderson:
I saw a man outside on the grounds. I went out and hunted him, I hunted him among the trees so far as the brook down near the back road,...
[...] 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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