These are the TALONS of The Vampire Bat

The Vampire Bat
1933 | B&W | 65 Minutes | 1.37:1 | TV-PG | Horror | Mono | Majestic Pictures

Source: DVD

Director: Frank R. Strayer

Writer: Edward T. Lowe Jr.

Lionel Atwill
Fay Wray
Melvyn Douglas

In the small village of Kleinshloss, the locals are scared with a serial killer that is draining the blood of his victims, and the Burgomaster Gustave Schoen is convinced that a vampire is responsible for the deaths. The skeptical police inspector Karl Brettschneider is reluctant to accept the existence of vampires, but the local doctor Otto Von Newman shows literature about cases of vampirism inclusive in Amazon. When the apple street vendor Martha Mueller is murdered, the prime suspect becomes the slow Herman Gleib, a man with a mind of a child that loves bats. The group of vigilantes chases Herman, while Dr. Von Newman's housemaid Georgiana is attacked by the killer.

I love when somebody starts talking about a movie and you're intrigued to sit down and watch it. Well, that is kind of what happened here the only thing is they were talking about The Bat, not the Vampire Bat so I will have to look into that as well. As for Vampire Bat what a pleasant surprise.

 Now the print I watched was from the Bouns Feature on Trailers From Hell DVD it claims to be a New Digital Transfer. Well, it looks ok but they did not put too much time or money into the restoration of this movie. Never the less it looks good enough and the scratch's or bad spoke holes do not slow down the movie to bad. There are a few scene that you wish were in better shape but for a poverty row movie that is still around I will take what I can. Now some spoilers might come from this so do not read too far into it if you plan on watching this.

What a knock out cast we have at hand with this movie. Sure Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray are huge names, but the rest of the cast work very well together. In fact, Majestic Pictures cashed in on the success of the two shortly after the blockbuster Doctor X from 1932. They were also trying to jump ahead of the next movie they did the already completed Mystery Of the Wax Museum from the same year as Vampire Bat. They were able to get this film into theaters over a month before the release of Wax Museum. This was also filmed at night on Universal's European village set. The interior of Lionel Atwill's house is the set from The Old Dark House from 1932. Which helps explain the wonderful looking set's even if there were only 3 plus on outside location at the Bronson Caves.

The soundtrack is not really much in fact stock music by Charles Dunworth, "Stealthy Footsteps", was used to accompany the opening credits. But the movie still moves at a nice pace never giving you time to lose interest. Even though I'm not a fan of Vampire movies this one only leads you to believe that is what it is.                        
 *Spoiler alert* 

I really loved the medical use making this a thriller more than a horror movie. Mad Doctors rock the house baby. Why not make your small village think there is a Vampire on the loose just to use their blood for science. I did not really see the ending coming and it was brilliant like I said you don't realize the time otherwise I just might have guessed it. So the short run time works well to the movies advantage. Save this movie for a rainy day this summer it is pretty easy to find. My only complaint is that this fell into Public Domain and we are getting 2nd and 3rd generation prints I need to look and see if this has a good Blu-Ray print, it sure deserves it. The only other thing is at times I wonder if they were trying to go for a Horror or Thriller slash comedy. It fit in ok just makes you wonder if it is necessary. 

Do yourself the favor and track this quick fix down.

3 Bloody Brains out of 5!


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