Bit (2019)

CONTENT WARNING: SIMILAR TO JESSICA JONES, THIS MOVIE HAS A WOMAN BEING FORCED TO FOLLOW A MAN’S EVERY COMMAND

How do you define an “X movie” where X is whatever trait you’re talking about? Is something a gay movie only because it features at least one gay person? Is it still “gay” if they’re not the main characters? And is it still “gay” if one of the main actors is gay, but it never comes up so we’re not sure if their character also is? I know it sounds like I’m talking around the Beauty and the Beast live-action remake, but that’s a chore for some other time. After all, it’s still Pride Month, so we’re talking about overtly queer movies! Bit is queer, to be sure, largely because the main cast are lady vampires who are into other ladies, but that’s not the only reason…

Don’t you hate it when you move to a new city and meet a cute girl on your first night, only to find out she’s a vampire and you wake up half-dead in a dumpster? Totally relatable. That’s exactly what happens to Laurel (Ms. Nicole Maines, AKA Dreamer from the Supergirl series) after she crashes at her brother’s place in Los Angeles. She’s soon welcomed into a gang of female vampires: leader Duke, as well as Izzy, Roya, and Frog. Is that a The Lost Boys reference…? Anyway, Duke has two rules for this undead life: don’t use mind powers on other vampires, and never turn a man. Very specific rules, but it turns out Duke was a slave to the Master–a master vampire, naturally–for decades and believes that men become too corrupted with power. Problems arise when Laurel embracing her new life means she’s neglecting family and friends, culminating in her “accidentally” feasting on her brother during an argument. Meanwhile, the Master is rejuvenated and reveals that Duke’s been mind controlling the other girls. Oops. Laurel kicks his ass pretty hard, then locks Duke up for her sins. Now that her brother is also a vampire and the surviving vamps are unified, the question becomes not what to do next, but more what can’t they do?

So, about that vague introduction. To talk about Nicole Maines being a trans woman means making a bigger deal about it than the movie does. If you didn’t know ahead of time, then a moment or two might stand out as weird, but the movie largely glosses over it. Granted, not being aware might be hard to do since just about every summary opens with “transgender teenager.” Seriously, the fact that she’s into girls is a more relevant plot point and I get that advertising a trans girl playing a trans character is worth sharing, but the movie just doesn’t really care about that. She’s trans; deal with it. The movie as a whole has that sort of progressive feel, with the girls hunting down right-wing online trolls and rapists (that last part more suggested than outright stated). A female led movie with strong progressive vibes? I’m sure this has a normal score on IMDB where almost 30% of the reviews aren’t one star!

I generally liked the movie, but the ending didn’t sit well with me. My main problem is that Laurel is now the leader of the vampire… coven, I guess. But she’s been a vampire for, what, a week? She’s barely able to properly feed but now she’s dictating what they should all do and how to share the Master’s power. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of a vampire commune more than one master in charge of their minions, but we aren’t really sure if Duke’s warning that vampirism corrupts men was real or her reaction to being a slave to a man for years. I suppose we’ll find out if Laurel’s brother becomes a monster in the supposed sequel. While Bit doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, the movie clearly wants to do more with these characters, and I’d check out the next chapter for sure.


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