The Vampire Bat

  • 1933
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Horror

Small, independent Majestic Studios tried to capitalize on the horror boom of the earlier 1930s by creating this unusual hybrid film comprised of sets, props, and performers borrowed from Universal and Warner Bros. Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray make their third and last horror appearance together (after DR. X and THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM), with the former...read more

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Small, independent Majestic Studios tried to capitalize on the horror boom of the earlier 1930s by creating this unusual hybrid film comprised of sets, props, and performers borrowed from Universal and Warner Bros. Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray make their third and last horror appearance

together (after DR. X and THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM), with the former playing yet another mad scientist and the latter another terrified victim. The film opens with the small European village of Kleinschloss plagued by an epidemic of murder. Several villagers have been found dead in their

beds, drained of all blood. Despite police inspector Brettschneider's (Melvyn Douglas) conviction that the killer is a common criminal, the villagers believe the murders to be the work of a vampire--their suspicions raised by the huge swarm of bats that has infested the village, and by village

idiot Herman Gleib's (Dwight Frye) unusual affection for the creatures. An angry mob brings about the death of the supposed vampire, then a stake is driven through his heart to assure the village's safety, but the terror doesn't stop. Majestic Studios shot THE VAMPIRE BAT on Universal Studio's

back lot--using the village set from FRANKENSTEIN, the house from THE OLD DARK HOUSE, and furnishings from the silent version of THE CAT AND THE CANARY--and, not surprisingly, the film has a familiar look to it. Moreover, the casting of Frye in a role almost identical to his Renfield in DRACULA

and Lionel Belmore's reprise of his burgermeister role from FRANKENSTEIN makes the film look and sound even more like a Universal production. With Warner Bros' popular terror duo Atwill and Wray added to the brew, VAMPIRE BAT takes on a very strange feel indeed. It is as if two studios had

collided and their productions became intertwined.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Small, independent Majestic Studios tried to capitalize on the horror boom of the earlier 1930s by creating this unusual hybrid film comprised of sets, props, and performers borrowed from Universal and Warner Bros. Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray make their thi… (more)

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