· By Rachel Clinesmith
Bit (2019) is a criminally underrated independent Vampire film. More vampire fans NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE. Harmony M. Colangelo’s review on Medium touted it as the best example of trans representation when it first premiered. Largely because it doesn’t even really mention that the main character Laurel, (and actor Nicole,) is a trans girl at all, but rather treats her just like every other girl in the movie and barely even alludes to it. However, that’s not the only thing that makes Bit stand out so far from other vampire films. It offers us a completely new perspective on the power dynamics of vampirism, as well as some incredibly relevant social commentary in a relatable but easy-to-digest way.
When we meet a Lesbian Vampire Coven, the biggest rule of their Bite Club (also referred to by many names, including V squad, very tongue-in-cheek,) is that they are not allowed to make men into vampires, as they fear that they will inevitably come to abuse their power. Rather than being a heavy-handed feminist film, Bit organically examines the roles that we might all choose to play and the duality of the human condition when faced with various circumstances and privileges or the lack thereof.
In the end, it’s not just a blatant attack on the patriarchy, but we see how easy it can be for someone who’s fighting against oppressors to become an oppressor herself. It’s a slippery slope, as History has also tried to warn us.
SPOILER: the ending sees our main character and her brother moving forward as vampires and trying to find a way to navigate their unlife ethically. Laurel states “Maybe we should do what everyone in power should do but never does: share it.” Aside from the sociological messages in the movie, overall it’s just a gorgeous film from the fashion and cinematography to the score and setting. We get to see evocative scenes of the underbelly of Los Angeles’ underground club scene as well as plenty of ambient shots around the city itself. Maybe it’s just because the subject matter is so relatable to me, but for a while it really feels like we are being pulled into this world with her.
Bit has real cult classic potential.