Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Vampire Bat (1933)

A small European village in an indeterminate time period has a problem. Locals think the town is cursed by vampires! I mean, look at all the bats! The police chief (Melvyn Douglas) thinks there's a bad man at work. Much to his surprise, the scientist boss (Lionel Atwill) of his hottie girlfriend (Fay Wray) lends scientific credence to the locals wild superstitions.

Hey, look! A vampire movie! Back to my theme, and just in time. I requested a collection from the library containing the rest of the Universal Dracula collection back in September, and may get it before Christmas. Can't wait to put this franchise to bed.

It appears that I've seen this before. I remember the tragic simpleton whom the locals first suspect. This well may have been Dwight Frye's best performance, and remember how much I liked him in Dracula. He was completely believable in the role. Atwill and Wray were teamed up again (they did three together) because of their previous success. Strange pairing actors like that when the characters are never a couple, but that's what they did.

What's interesting? Not a whole lot. Eastern European town fears the supernatural, modern thinkers try to convince them otherwise, typical investigation, typical climax, roll credits. Not entirely to formula, but close. A fun B-horror for Halloween.

TCM typically has the better copies and the poor quality of The Vampire Bat implies that this is the best out there. It was very viewable, and apparently complete, but the soundtrack was a long, annoying hiss. Not sure if a pristine copy would have made this more memorable. Interesting, short, no major flaws. AMRU 3.

"No, no, no, no! Bats no do! They soft, like cat. They not bite Herman!"

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