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Alfred E. Green
Edward G. Robinson,
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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
This movie starts out with a premise that works. There are people dying, drained of their blood. There is this middle European connection to times past when vampires were believed in and actually seemed to exist. They knew all the rules, head cut off, silver bullet, stake through the heart. Everyone is in a tizzy because no one can seem to figure this out. They lock their door, close their windows, do all the right things, but the killing goes on. Crosses and other anti vampire paraphernalia don't seem to work. That's because there's more to it than meets the eye. As long as it was truly a vampire story, it worked. When other elements enter in, it starts to fall apart, if one does the least bit of thinking. Since seeing Dracula, I've enjoyed watching any appearance of Dwight Frye. He is the consummate scene stealer. The poor guy here comes and goes among the gentry, with bats in his pockets, staring with those sunken eyes. Considering people are terrified of bats and suspect him already, these are not the wisest of moves.
The whole premise for this set of events is never made totally clear. The blood of the victims is needed and so old Lionel Atwill springs into action. There seemed to be a few of the distinguished actors whose careers seemed to bank on the horror genre. He plays his part well. He also has his assistant. Who is this guy and why is he willing to work so hard (of course there's a secret). The film has its moments and it's not bad for this type of film, but it could have rivaled some of the better ones by banking a little more on the supernatural.
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