The Bat Whispers (1930)

Article #320 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 1-29-2002
Posting date: 6-15-2002

A supercriminal known as the Bat terrorizes residents of a country home.

This movie used a very early widescreen process, which makes it somewhat novel, and frankly it needs all the novelty it can get. The first twenty minutes aren’t bad, with some very effective swooping camera shots; you can see how they were done, but they’re still fun. It’s only when the action settles into the country home where it starts to feel like a photographed stage play, shot with the same stiff snooze-inducing style that hamstringed DRACULA, and considering the fairly large array of characters that get thrown your way in a very short time, this is not a good thing. The comic relief maid wears thin very quickly, and the lack of music makes it all that much more hard to pay attention. It has a nice gimmick ending, though.


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