Hey gang, Valkor here. Before I dive into this next film, I wanna point out that I'm no stranger to independent films and I appreciate all the hard work and dedication the cast and crew put into their work. But just because you're film is low budget doesn't mean you get a pass. And to put those words to the test, I'm taking on low-budget superhero flick "The Black Bat Rises" aka "Rise of the Black Bat".
The Black Bat Rises mixes elements of Batman and Daredevil and centers on District Attorney Tony Quinn (Jody Haucke). Quinn has his sights set on convicting local drugs and arms dealer Oliver Snate (Leo Frost). But when his assistant, who also works for Snat, splashes acid into his eyes, he believes his world as he currently knows it is over. That is until he meets Carol (Dixie Collins), who offers Quinn an opportunity to have his eyes healed through some unorthodox methods. He agrees and is flown to the Orient (this is how the film describes it) and is put through rigorous testing, but all have failed. It's not until he's introduced to a not so medical method that heals his eyes, with one side effect – Quinn cannot see in the daylight, but at night he can see perfectly. And that is when he decides to use this new gift to fight evil as "The Bat".
Dressed in a Batman-esque cowl (sans pointy ears), draped in some heavy padding and a black trench coat, plus he's armed with a pistol (very unBatman-like) The Black Bat takes to the streets, using the shadows as his cover, and fighting crime where evil rears its ugly head, until he reaches his final goal – a one on one with Oliver Snate.
The Black Bat Rises is actually an adaptation of a character created back in 1939 by Norman Daniels. So the character pretty much precedes Daredevil, but was around when Batman hit the stands. The Black Bat is currently public domain and thus this film was born. But how does it fare overall?
The only good thing I can say about The Black Bat Rises is that it makes me appreciate Ben Affleck's Daredevil and god help me Joel Schumacher's two Bat films a little bit more. Yes I'm saying if I had to choose between this film and the over the top campiness of Batman and Robin… I choose Batman and Robin.
Much of what I said about the film Riddle, pretty much applies to this film – mainly the film is a total drag. And that's not good since the film is only 80 minutes long, but it feels so much longer. The plot is simple but it could have used some ironing out to flesh out much of the story and some of the characters. The action sequences were pretty uneventful, save for that one explosion at the end. And speaking of endings, how does Snate get away from Quinn, when he has him right there before the explosion? Even if the explosion made for a distraction, the guy is kinda big, so he couldn't have gotten far. There are other silly moments in the film such as the beauty pageant with the three people in the audience and the loud, pre-recorded cheering that makes it seem like there's more people in the audience - but you only ever see three people! And you know normally when the superhero dons his costume for the first time, it's usually done in a series of quick edits as he slaps on each piece. In this film, the hero dons his suit in slow-mo, so what should be a quick couple of seconds for the guy to put on his entire costume, Black Bat takes all but a minute to strap on his boots - just his boots takes almost a minute to put on! I'm not even kidding. There's nothing really special about the costume that we need to take up so much time. And if you really needed to do the slow-mo bit, it should have been relegated to the cowl. Lastly, one of the silliest moments in the film is when a guy named Silk (Richard Groen) breaks into Quinn's home – to warn him that someone is going to break into his home and kill him. I'm sure there were better methods to warn the guy that someone was gonna kill him.
If I missed anything, it probably belongs here.
You can find The Black Bat Rises on most VOD services and given the title you might even be tempted to purchase it. But let me just give you a heads up –it's not worth it! Bad acting, bad action sequences, and so many silly moments garner this film 1 star out of TOV 5. Why the one? I think the costume is just OK and the artwork at the end was pretty cool…