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The Vampire Bat

Released Jan 21, 1933 1h 3m Horror List
67% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 26% Audience Score 250+ Ratings
When corpses drained of blood begin to show up in a European village, town elders suspect a vampire on the loose. Policeman Karl Brettschneider (Melvyn Douglas) doubts the existence of vampires, but Dr. Otto von Niemann (Lionel Atwill) argues to the contrary. Fingers point at the village idiot, Herman Gleib (Dwight Frye), but after local vigilantes get him out of the picture, the killings continue. Brettschneider then tries to keep a cool head as he searches for possibly supernatural answers. Read More Read Less

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Critics Reviews

View All (6) Critics Reviews
Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Poverty Row studio Majestic Pictures had quite the all-horror-star lineup when it debuted this moderately entertaining yarn. Rated: 2.5/4 Apr 10, 2022 Full Review Tim Brayton Antagony & Ecstasy The movie is no timeless classic, but it's definitely a unique one-off. Rated: 7/10 Jun 4, 2015 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Jul 21, 2005 Full Review Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal Rated: 3/5 Aug 29, 2003 Full Review Christopher Null Filmcritic.com Rated: 1.5/5 May 4, 2003 Full Review Ken Hanke Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) Great cast and borrowed sets (from Universal) distinguish this poverty row thriller. Rated: 4/5 Dec 29, 2002 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (52) audience reviews
Chris M Amazing how backwards people were still even in the 1930s. The truth is only more bizarre and dumber when you think about it. There is no real mystery to it. You see the character come on screen and instantly you say, "He did it." And you'd be right. It's not totally horrible but it is piss poor. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 11/19/22 Full Review floyd b The quality of the video and sound need to be updated, like some Charlie Chan and other old black/white movies have been. That would make the movie a truly enjoyable classic. Otherwise, the acting is entertaining. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Blobbo like. Period piece. Old. Pretty good. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member The was a cute wannabe "Universal Horror" film. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member At the time a total cash grab, Fay Wray and Lionel Atwill had previously starred in Dr. X, and were about to film Mystery of the Wax Museum, when they made this little picture, the presence of Melvyn Douglas and the always creepy Dwight Frye add a bit more prestige to this film than most poverty row pictures usually had or deserved. The plot is beyond convoluted, to the point where you wonder why the film took such a hard right turn in about halfway through. However Atwill, Douglas and Wray keep everything watchable with Atwill getting to bring his scenery chewing up to an 11. Also worth noting since this film is in the public domain a lot of shit copies exist so finding a good one is hard to those early horror film purists out there who haven't seen it Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member The Vampire Bat is an unexpectedly effective film. Although it is completely unapologetic about copying both Draculaand Frankenstein, the recycled elements are combined in a highly imaginative way that seems to reflect a much clearer and more developed understanding of what a horror film could be than either Tod Browning or James Whale possessed in 1931. And while the recasting of traditionally supernatural horror commonplacesâ?? werewolves and zombies especiallyâ?? as the products of mad science would become a recurring theme of poverty-row fright films in the 1940â??s, few of those later movies would wed science to the supernatural with anything like the degree of care and craftsmanship on display in The Vampire Bat. Von Niemannâ??s technology-driven vampirism has an internal logic to it which is extremely rare among very old horror films (except for that part about using Emil as a remote-control killerâ?? thatâ??s just plain silly), and the real nature of his research, when it is finally revealed, is both commendably ghoulish and commendably different from the earlier cinematic mad science which so obviously inspired it. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Vampire Bat

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Cast & Crew

Mark of the Vampire 81% 47% Mark of the Vampire Doctor X 82% 49% Doctor X Vampyr 98% 82% Vampyr Murders in the Zoo 71% 54% Murders in the Zoo Murders in the Rue Morgue 79% 46% Murders in the Rue Morgue Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis When corpses drained of blood begin to show up in a European village, town elders suspect a vampire on the loose. Policeman Karl Brettschneider (Melvyn Douglas) doubts the existence of vampires, but Dr. Otto von Niemann (Lionel Atwill) argues to the contrary. Fingers point at the village idiot, Herman Gleib (Dwight Frye), but after local vigilantes get him out of the picture, the killings continue. Brettschneider then tries to keep a cool head as he searches for possibly supernatural answers.
Director
Frank R. Strayer
Producer
Phil Goldstone
Screenwriter
Edward T. Lowe Jr.
Distributor
Capitol Film Exchange Inc.
Production Co
Larry Darmour Productions
Genre
Horror
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jan 21, 1933, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Jul 1, 2016
Runtime
1h 3m
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