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The Bat

USA 1959
produced by
C.J. Tevlin for Liberty Pictures/Allied Artists
directed by Crane Wilbur
starring Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Gavin Gordon, John Sutton, Lenita Lane, Elaine Edwards, Darla Hood, John Bryant, Harvey Stephens, Mike Steele, Riza Royce, Robert B. Williams
screenplay by Crane Wilbur, based on the play by Avery Hopwood, Mary Roberts Rinehart, music by Louis Forbes

The Bat

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Mystery writer Cornelia Van Gorder (Agnes Moorehead) has taken up residence in the mansion of banker John Fleming (Harvey Stephens) while he's out on a hunting trip with his friend doctor Wells (Vincent Price). What nobody knows is that Fleming has actually embezzled a million Dollars from his own bank, and he wants to make Wells his accomplice to fake his death to get away with the loot scot-free, promising half the money in return. Wells though thinks it's a better idea to kill Fleming for real and then go and get the money from Fleming's family vault, which is hidden somewhere in the mansion.

Back at the mansion, Cornelia and her maid Lizzie (Lenita Lane) find themselves under attack from a mysterious and masked killer locally known only as the Bat, who seems to be able to slip into and out of the house with the greatest of ease, but who every now and again leaves a dead person behind. Soon, police Lt. Anderson (Gavin Gordon) starts to investigate, but seems to be unable to take control of the situation - and thus, Dr Wells has to be called upon frequently to do a first autopsy on the dead bodies, but he sometimes also shows up just like that, and of course, he's on the look-out for the family vault. There is no love between Wells and Anderson, that much is for sure, as each seems to suspect the other of something, but then even a third suspect is thrown into the mix, Warner (John Sutton), whom everybody soon believes to being the Bat.

Eventually, the Bat shows up at Wells' place and kills him, just to eliminate the competition ...

While all this is happening, Cornelia comes to her own conclusions (she wouldn't be a good mystery writer if she didn't), and eventually, she is able to find the family vault before everyone else - but as she finds out, that only puts her more at risk ...


The as of then third adaptation of Mario Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood's play, and certainly not the most impressive one. Basically it's a bit over-crowded and thus over-convoluted, is not all there when it comes to atmosphere, and can't totally shake its staginess - not so much due to its source material as that has been quite some liberties with, but simply its modest budget that doesn't allow for much more than what's on screen. But that said, The Bat is stil a film that's very much worth your while, for one as it's an epitomy of 1950s low budget horror, but more importantly it's also carried by a top-notch cast that really makes up for most of the film's shortcomings and should make this a favourite with any vintage horror fan!


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD