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Review: Brad Michael Elmore’s “BIT” (An Inclusive, Female Driven Lost Boys)

The vampire subgenre has needed a major overhaul since the damage that the Twilight saga delivered. A younger generation needs to see vampires in all their crazy glory. This idea is alluded to twice in Brad Michael Elmore’s BIT. What he did was take a concept originally seen in The Lost Boys, and he added the flair of The Outsiders to it and switched the hierarchy to tip the scales in favor of women. Shot under Provocator, BIT sees recent high school graduate Laurel as she leaves her small town behind to live with her brother in Los Angeles. Her first night out on the town, she stumbles into a bar filled with stunning females and ends up on a rooftop date with one of them. When the date ends, she is attacked and left for dead, only to discover later on that she’s being turned into a vampire. Lead by a leader named Duke, the vampires live by a set of rules and act as vigilantes, killing men who have wronged or hurt women, and never turning them into one of the undead. Despite centuries of promised youth and power, Laurel doesn’t know if she can kill men to survive, and her inner battle brings conflict and constant hunger to her after-life. A dark and bloody coming of age story centered around female empowerment, BIT was written and directed by Brad Michael Elmore. TJ Steyn, Louis Steyn, Robert Reed Peterson, Nicholas Cafritz and Peter Winther produced.

I hate describing BIT as cool because it sounds like I’m an emo teenager, but BIT is the embodiment of cool. From the moment the film starts rolling, it’s a modern take on vampires that’s appealing to multiple generations of cinema viewers. The women are beautiful, smart, strong, sassy and unique in different ways. Laurel is the outsider looking for friends and acceptance, and when she finds it, she struggles to stay the same and be herself in a world that wants to change her. Featuring cinematography by Cristina Dunlap and editing by Ryan Dufrene and Kirk Stonicher, BIT looks and feels like a million bucks. It looks like content created for a big YouTube network, meaning it has the same style that teens and college aged kids are attracted to. It’s virtually flawless from a production standpoint, and the mood is just so chill despite the canon fodder having their throats ripped out every few minutes. Despite this, you’re still going to want to be a part of the women’s vampire group, no matter what gender identity you fall into. Being able to say, “I want to be one of them,” is a big testament to the success of this film because it means the audience has been reached and captivated; hook, line and sinker. Filled with action, pyro-effects and maniacal deaths, BIT also contains one of my favorite characters of 2019 in leader of the pack Duke. What an awesome chameleon and enchanting talent.

Though it’s a horror-drama about feminist vampires, a title like BIT is important to the advancement of society. I’m a member of the LGBT community, but I’ve struggled to accept transgendered people as a minority group. However, film, media, art and music can touch a person’s soul much deeper than any political article or pointed online debate. Same as recognizing Kim Petras as an amazing singer with a catalog of bops, watching trans actress Nicole Maines co-lead this production was such a rewarding experience for me. She turned in a stunning performance and as the hero being pushed and pulled in two directions, I found her story relate-able and fun. I didn’t watch her on screen and say “oh, that trans actress is doing a great job,” I watched her on screen and just thought, “that actress is doing a great job.” If my eyes could be opened a little more through watching BIT, it’s my hope that others within the horror community can experience the same light-bulb moment of realization and embrace others who don’t fit into society’s pre-determined box. A poignant moment in the movie comes when Duke tells Laurel (Nicole Maines) that they only turn women, and Laurel says “what about me [being trans]?” and Duke answers, “Never crossed my mind.” Same here, girls. Same here.

BIT is smart because it lets the group of vampires be heroes and villains at the same time. They’re magical and peculiar, yet calculated and ferocious at the same time. It gives them a way of being nurturing and deadly at the same time; altogether a really invigorating set of characters devised by Brad Michael Elmore. With several plot twists and erotic moments to entice viewers, BIT stands as a contender for a spot on my “best of 2019” list. Don’t let the word feminist or feminism turn you away from this movie. It’s not preachy and overly political. The themes of love, acceptance, and girl power are subtle, meshing perfectly and beautifully with a story about one of cinemas oldest villainous troupes. Remember, this horror drama is a modernized, gender-swapped version of Lost Boys that’s much smarter and just as gory. BIT will be screening at Outfest on Friday, July 26th 2019 and I highly suggest you checking it out if you’re in the area. Starring Nicole Maines, Diana Hopper, Zolee Griggs, Friday Chamberlain, Char Diaz, James Paxton, Greg Hill and Julia Voth, BIT is the pure embodiment of female strength and cunning intellect. It’s a powerful statement on acceptance of all kinds, and a bloody-tall tale for a new generation to hear. This was completely unexpected by me and I can only champion every aspect of this movie. Well done. Final Score: 10 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)