Friday, June 26, 2009

Going Bats

Back to the Old Dark House movies: The Bat/House on Haunted Hill -Actually, just The Bat, we've seen House on Haunted Hill.

The Bat starts with a great title card, straight out of American International, with a very jazzy bongo-drenched theme. Not what I was expecting, but it was made in 1959. The look of the movie is low-budget B/W, almost made for TV. It stars Agnes Moorehead as mystery writer Cornelia "Corny" van Gorter who rents a spooky house with her maid from a small town banker. In quick succession, they learn about the serial killer, the Bat, who has been killing women, then they find that the bank has been embezzled, then the banker dies in a forest fire while hunting - with town doctor Vincent Price.

A characteristic of the classic Old Dark House, is that it takes place in a single house, often on a single night (saves money on sets). This movie doesn't follow those rules, but we do eventually get the big group of random characters, one of whom must be - the murderer!

Agnes Moorehead spends a lot of time in a negligee, which is a little wierd.

The Haunting of Hill House - wait - The Hill of the Haunted House - no - The House on Haunted Hill is probably the better movie. Vincent Price offers a group of random strangers (?) $10,000 each to stay overnight in a spooky house (Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis house in exteriors!). He then gives them each a gun and gets shot. Whodunit?

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