By John T. Soister
Through the Silent period, whilst such a lot motion pictures handled dramatic or comedic takes at the "boy meets lady, boy loses woman" subject, different films dared to take on such issues as rejuvenation, revivication, mesmerism, the supernatural and the gruesome. A Daughter of the Gods (1916), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Magician (1926) and 7 Footprints to devil (1929) have been one of the strange and startling movies containing tale parts that went some distance past the area of "highly unlikely." utilizing surviving documentation and their mixed services, the authors catalog and speak about those departures from the norm during this encyclopedic consultant to American horror, technology fiction and fable within the years from 1913 via 1929.
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Extra info for American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929
It is John Harrison! ” A foreign ﬂeet appears outside of New York City and, while out of the range of our coast-defense guns, proceeds to batter the town to pieces. Shells crash their way through New York’s huge buildings. One explodes in the very meeting rooms of the peace advocates. Human beings, ﬁve minutes earlier happily unconscious of danger, now madly rush to and fro like hunted animals— many wounded and torn, some lying very quiet, others moaning inarticulately. Death and destruction stalk forth unhindered, and panic and terror hold The Battle Cry of Peace sway over the doomed city.
Roland West’s direction and mounting of the story is excellent and in addition to the other values there is a lot of good comedy contributed by Louise Fazenda…. The Bat offers excellent and thoroughly exciting entertainment for all classes of patrons. One reason The Bat— and Roland West, for that matter — is not better known among latter-day ﬁlm fans who bother to acquaint themselves with silent thrillers is that the picture was considered lost for many years and even now is primarily available only in poor quality, public domain videos despite a supposedly “lovely” print residing at UCLA.
This is only the ﬁrst in a series of misdirections on West’s part. While the ﬁrst third of the ﬁlm introduces a number of plot complications that have the audience wondering just what is going on, this sequence — apart from its depicting how ruthless and homicidal is The Bat — has absolutely nothing to do with what follows. The next sequence is actually the one that sets up the ﬁlm: The Bat ﬂies to the top of the Oakdale Bank only to observe, through an enormous skylight, that someone else has beat him to the loot.
American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929 by John T. Soister