Starring Nicole Maines (Supergirl) as Laurel, Bit gifts us with a feminist vampire film that celebrates all of the colors of the Pride flag without ever hitting us over the head with preachiness or slowing down the action in favor of heavy handed moral lessons. After graduating high school, Laurel drives to Los Angeles to stay with her older brother and in the movies you can never just go to L.A. for the first time without any kind of personal growth or lifestyle upheaval.
Her first night in town, Laurel meets Duke and it is so much like Michael meeting David in The Lost Boys in all of the very best ways possible. Played by Diana Hopper (Goliath) Duke is undeniably magnetic and one of the coolest, baddest bitches you have ever seen. Hopper is a powerhouse of steely-eyed, cold blooded feminist power and her sexiness oozes off of the screen: you simply cannot take your eyes off of her. She is the leader of a group of female vampires who are all unbearably hip and though they kill indiscriminately, they also try to take out people who are on the wrong side of humanity. Laurel quickly lands herself in this group of women, but it won’t be without consequence.
Bit is never afraid to lovingly nod to the vampire stories that have come before it and it’s this embracing of past history that makes it feel cutting edge and nostalgic all at once. With a fun flashback that covers multiple decades and also serves to illustrate how Duke came to be the Gloria Steinem of vampires, we are treated to so many delicious visuals while fully coming to understand Duke and her rule of No Fucking Boys. As in, you can fuck boys, but don’t turn a man into a vampire because they can’t handle the power. “They have it already and look at what they’ve done with it.” Duke’s way of life is succinctly summed up with the following quote: “The world is a meat grinder, kid. Especially if you’re a woman. I don’t think you need a Power Point presentation to know that one is true. We’re politically, socially and mythologically fucked. Our roles are secondary, our bodies suspect, alien, other. We were made to be monstrous so let’s be monsters. Let’s be gods.”
Feminism that doesn’t man bash isn’t the only thing about Bit that makes it mandatory viewing. Part of Laurel’s backstory is that she is transgender, but this is never made into a big deal. There is a blink and you’ll miss it moment when Laurel asks Duke if her gender identity could come under scrutiny with the rules of the group, but Duke tells her, “It never crossed my mind.” While this modern thinking is refreshing, it would have been nice to have had a bit more of Laurel’s story shown, but ultimately, I suppose I shouldn’t nitpick while celebrating the positive representation of a transgender character.
Bit delivers new feminist horror icons in the form of Duke and Laurel and I am one hundred percent here for it. With a rocking soundtrack, a knowledgable, winking history of vampire lore, a good dose of homage and a story that effortlessly presents the queer community in the correct and natural way that is deserved, Bit is the modern day vampire film we have been waiting for.