The Bat (1926 version)

A creek, then a croak. Was that the flutter of wind or wing? A silhouette glimpsed briefly within the penumbra of thick cobwebs. Who (or what) could it be? Why — it — it’s — The Bat! He’s a criminal mastermind, a true haunt with ears to flaunt, who predates Bruce Wayne by a solid decade! This eponymous fiend is the fright-inducing focus of Roland West’s early horror film homerun. With enough mood to suck the air right out of the room, your breathless terror will be as silent as the picture itself! It’s a game of bat and mouse, as a group of questionable characters struggle to survive in a spooky mansion while the fanged fiend picks them off one by one. There’s hidden treasure! Vein-popping tension! Mobsters with guns and mean, pinched faces! The Bat’s not only one of the earliest examples of incredible, atmospheric horror — it’s also one of THE BEST! The evening’s screening is preceded by a trio of spooky 1930s animated shorts: Night On Bald Mountain, Spook Sport and Skeleton Frolics!

The Bat Dir. Roland West, 1926, 35mm, 86 min. (Restored 35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive)
Night On Bald Mountain Dirs. Alexander Alexeieff & Claire Parker, 1933, 16mm, approx. 8 min (print courtesy of the iotaCenter Collection at the Academy Film Archive. Special thanks to Cecile Starr)
Skeleton Frolics Dir. Ub Iwerks, 1937, 35mm, approx. 8 min (print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
Spook Sport Dirs. Noman McLaren & Mary Ellen Bute, 1939, 35mm, approx. 8 min (print courtesy of the FPA Collection at the Academy Film Archive. Special thanks to Cecile Starr)

Watch Cinefamily’s trailer for “The Bat”!