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The Bat; Bat Clips

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On the cover of this twin-cassette package is a sketch by Batman cocreator Bob Kane. Looking suspiciously just like Batman, it’s supposed to be the Bat, the costumed criminal of a delightfully odd mystery about stolen loot hidden in a mansion. The Bat, draped in black and wearing a full-face mask adorned with fangs and tall ears, is an acrobatic thief who scales buildings and even uses a ”bat signal” as a calling card. Holy coincidence! Yet after a lively opening, The Bat descends into a talky drama, which is weird since it’s a silent film (with title cards). Because this tape is recorded at the EP speed, the noirish scenes look unduly murky, though the orchestral score remains full-bodied. (The same story was also filmed in 1915, 1930, and 1959.)

The half-hour companion tape, Bat Clips, has no ”exclusive interviews” with the cast of the ’60s TV show as promised on the box. It does have a public- service announcement from the Department of Labor, starring Adam West and company; a promo introducing Batgirl; trailers for the 1966 spin-off movie; and two amateur videos: one of hugs and kisses following a cast reunion on Fox’s The Late Show, another of West as Batman at some recent convention. Looking fit and in good humor, he’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking. For fans, this tape is one neat little memento.