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The West Indies island of Portuga exists mainly for sponge diving. But the best area of collection is frequented by a very large manta ray. Nina loses her lover to the creature and is comforted by a newly arrived minister, who seems very interested in an old poster offering a reward for a convict recently escaped from nearby Devil's Island. More deaths attributed to the sea bat follow before Nina resolves her feelings for her comforter. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
After scoring well in Cecil B. DeMille's first talking picture Dynamite and opposite Greta Garbo in Anna Christie, Charles Bickford's career might well have taken a bath with Sea Bat. For those who don't know, The Sea Bat is a jumbo size stingray which can grow to the size of a great white shark. They're the terror of the sponge divers in the West Indies.
Into this tropic paradise otherwise than for the present of those giant creatures in the water comes Charles Bickford pretending to be a man of the cloth, but who is actually a Devil's Island escapee. If he were really a man of the cloth we would have had yet another version of Rain as Bickford fends off the amorous advances of Raquel Torres. But he's not a real minister and in fact has other things on his mind besides a little with nookie with Torres. He wants to get out of the area where he's been in disguise for a few years now.
Raquel Torres has made going after the giant stingray a personal crusade after her brother Nils Asther is killed during a sponge dive. With what she has to offer to the guy who gets the giant a lot of the men are ready and willing.
Bickford also has to worry about a pair of sponge fisherman who recognize him and want to claim the reward from the French. And it's not easy to keep up the pretense when folks are looking for you to preach a sermon or offer up some spiritual guidance like Raquel's father George Marion.
The Sea Bat which probably for its location shooting and special effects wizardry for its time in creating the giant stingray and its encounters with man was really something. It really hasn't aged well and now is one camp hoot.
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