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The Vampire Bat

USA 1933
produced by
Phil Goldstone for Majestic
directed by Frank R.Strayer
starring Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Dwight Frye, Maude Eburne, George E.Stone, Robert Frazer, Rita Carlisle, Lionel Belmore, William V.Mong, Stella Adams, Paul Weigel, Harrison Greene, William Humphrey, Fern Emmett, Carl Stockdale, Paul Panzer, D'Arcy Corrigan
written by Edward T.Lowe

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In the central European village Kleinschloss, a killer is loose, and since he sucks the blood of all his victims, the superstitious villagers, including the Bürgermeister, believe it was either a vampire bat, or a vampire. Only the very sober police inspector Brettschneider (Melvyn Douglas) and Doctor Niemann (Lionel Atwill) seem to disagree, but before long the evidence seems to become overwhelming, and the villagers even think they have a prime suspect, Herman (Dwight Frye at his usual crazy best), the village idiot, who can somehow be tied to most of the murders ... so the villagers form a mob to hunt him down.

Meanwhile another murder happens, in Niemann's own house, and once again, all evidence seems to point to Herman ... when the Bürgermeister arrives and announces Herman is dead, killed way before the murder and like a proper vampire (including a stake through the heart and head cut off) ... so that throws a spanner in the vampire theory.

The audience of course knows by now that the real killer is Doc Niemann himself, who hypnotizes his servant Emil (Robert Frazer) to bruing him his victims he then sucks dry in his laboratory, for his experiments - but inspector Brettschneider doesn't know that, nither does he know that the sleeping pills the good doctor is handing him are poison, and that he, Brettschneider, is supposed to be the good Doctor's next victim.

Later that night, Niemann's assistant Ruth (Fay Wray) catches Niemann holding Emil - who's already in Brettschneider's room - under hypnoic spell from afar. Immediately she realizes that Niemann is actually the killer, and pretty much immediately Niemann has her tied up ... then he goes to his lab to work his magic on Brettschneider, but has to realize that Brettschneider has not taken his sleeping pills, has actually overcome Emil and is now threatening him with a gun. Niemann manages to disarm Brettschneider, but then Emil picks up the gun and turns against his master who has turned him into a murderer. Ultimately, Emil shoots Niemann and then himself ...

 

The Vampire Bat is a very likeable, typical 1930's B-horror movie, featuring a story with both horror and sci-fi-elements and some of the best genre actors around during that time, including Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray and Dwight Frye. If you like 1930's horror, you won't be disappointed.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD