When the villagers of Klineschloss start dying of blood loss, the town fathers suspect a resurgence of vampirism. While police inspector Karl remains skeptical, scientist Dr. von Niemann cares for the vampire's victims one by one, and suspicion falls on simple-minded Herman Gleib because of his fondness for bats. A blood-thirsty mob hounds Gleib to his death, but the vampire attacks don't stop. Written by
Sister Grimm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Majestic Pictures cashed in on the success of Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray, who had been a sensation in the Technicolor thriller Doctor X (1932) and had already completed Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), which was also being heavily promoted at the time. Majestic was able to get this film into theaters over a month before the release of the latter one. See more »
In the Trail of the Success of Dracula and Frankenstein (1931)
In the small village of Kleinshloss, the locals are scared with a serial killer that is draining the blood of his victims, and the Burgomaster Gustave Schoen (Lionel Belmore) is convinced that a vampire is responsible for the deaths. The skeptical police inspector Karl Brettschneider (Melvyn Douglas) is reluctant to accept the existence of vampires, but the local doctor Otto Von Newman (Lionel Atwill) shows literature about cases of vampirism inclusive in Amazon. When the apple street vendor Martha Mueller (Rita Carlisle) is murdered, the prime suspect becomes the slow Herman Gleib (Dwight Frye), a man with a mind of child that loves bats. The group of vigilantes chases Herman, while Dr. Von Newman's housemaid Georgiana (Stella Adams) is attacked by the killer.
"The Vampire Bat" is an entertaining low-budget horror movie from the 30's that is visibly inspired in the success of Universal "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" in 1931. There are many analogies in the stories, like the living growing tissue or the innocence of Herman or the raged crowd. The characters are not well developed, and I did not understand the relationship of Ruth Bertin and her annoying hypochondriac aunt Gussie Schnappmann with Dr. Otto Von Newman, or how the doctor hypnotizes or controls his assistant Emile. It is great to see Fay Wray acting in the same year of "Mystery of the Wax Museum" and "King Kong". My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "O Morcego Vampiro" ("The Vampire Bat")
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