The Daily Stream: Bit Is The Raddest Vampire Movie You Haven't Seen

(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they've been watching, why it's worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)

The Movie: "Bit"

Where You Can Stream It: Amazon Prime and Tubi

The Pitch: Brad Michael Elmore is one of the most exciting independent filmmakers working today. After feeling fed up with the gatekeeping of a studio system, he released his debut feature, "The Wolfman's Hammer" for free online. His second film, "Boogeyman Pop" was picked up by Blumhouse and played at a few festivals, but as of today, remains in some weird release limbo that no one seems to know much about. In his third feature endeavor, Elmore took his signature punk-as-f*ck "DIY or die" aesthetic and added a little sugar, spice, and everything not-so-nice to make what The Advocate called, "a bloody good time" and "a milestone in queer female visibility in the horror genre."

Eighteen-year-old Laurel ("Supergirl's" Nicole Maines) is looking to start a new life in Los Angeles with her brother, Mark (James Paxton), whom she's been somewhat distanced from since her transition. On her first night on the town, Laurel ends up at a club run by Duke (Diana Hopper), a sleek and terrifying misandrist who is also the leader of a group of intersectional feminist vampires. Laurel meets Izzy (Zolle Griggs) at the club and the two look as if they're about to embark on a meet-cute adventure, only for Izzy to reveal that she is part of Duke's vampire crew, and Laurel now has a choice to become vampire food, or join their crew and help them to continue draining the lives of abusive men.

Why It's Essential Viewing

Since the film's release in 2019, I personally have not been able to shut up about how important this movie is in the grand scheme of queer horror cinema. Elmore struggled for "Bit" to be shown at horror festivals, but the film was met with rave reviews at LGBTQ+ film festivals, namely Outfest, where star Nicole Maines took home the top acting prize. During the early months of the pandemic, "Bit" was unceremoniously dumped on streaming services to zero fanfare, with the film's success standing firmly on the shoulders of vocal fans who have done as much as they can to spread the gospel of "Bit."

"Bit" has been met with a multitude of criticism, mostly by people who haven't even seen the movie, fearing the film is too "woke" for featuring a trans lead and a crew of vampires who intentionally target skeezy dudes. The code of conduct the vampires follow is not unlike the other "rules" typically set in place for creatures of the night, but it's a code that has evolved to reflect the modern era. The most important rule of "Bite Club" (yes, they do make the joke) is that the vampires gals never turn men, because as Duke says, "They have [power] already and look at what they've done with it." Men are not presented as the enemy in "Bit," but rather awful people who have been corrupted by their own power and privilege. Considering the power dynamics of America, that does mean that yes, most of those becoming vamp snacks happen to be men.

Giving Girls Their Own Lost Boys

Elmore went into creating "Bit" with the intention of providing the same love so many people have for movies like "The Lost Boys," but with female audiences in mind. In an interview with Vulture, he said, "I think we all kind of know that most R-rated movies are sort of coded for 13-year-old boys. I'm not saying 13-year-old-girls don't like them, too! But I wanted to make a movie that was coded for young girls that's just as R-rated as anything else."

Y'all, "Bit" is absolutely that movie. On top of the incredibly progressive and empowering messaging, "Bit" is stylish as hell and absolutely brutal. The lighting is gorgeous, the fashion is expertly crafted, there's blood dripping from every angle, and the film is responsible for quite possibly the best use of Boney M's "Rasputin" in a horror movie, or any movie, for that matter.

Vampire films have a long history within the horror genre, and "Bit" is an absolute triumph. It deserves to stand alongside the films that we love, because it serves as a love letter to films like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Craft," and "Blade," while also subverting some of the harmful tropes toward marginalized people that horror is unfortunately also known for. "Bit" is also a film that has been lost in the shuffle of an over-saturated film market, and continually kicked down by a culture that loves to review-bomb films with pro-woman themes simply for existing. Elmore took a huge swing in making "Bit" and totally knocked it out of the park, but he hit that homerun in front of a small, albeit dedicated, fandom. It's time for horror fans everywhere to give themselves the gift of watching "Bit" this Halloween season, and in doing so, give Elmore and the rest of the team the flowers they so deserve for making one of the coolest vampire movies in years.

"Bit" is currently streaming on Amazon Prime or for free with ads on Tubi.