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
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Mysterious murders in a European village seem the result of THE VAMPIRE BAT horde plaguing the terrified community.
This surprisingly effective little thriller was created by Majestic Pictures, one of Hollywood's Poverty Row studios. The sparse production values and rough editing actually add to its eerie atmosphere and lend it an almost expressionistic quality. Overall, it leaves the viewer the feeling of being caught up in a bad dream, which is appropriate for a thriller of this sort.
Even though the eventual explanation for the hideous crimes is quite ludicrous and is not given proper plot development, the film can boast of a good cast. Grave Lionel Atwill gives another one of his typically fine performances, this time as a doctor doing scientific research in an old castle. Beautiful Fay Wray plays his assistant in a role which requires her to do little more than look lovely & alarmed. Dour Melvyn Douglas appears as the perplexed police inspector who also happens to be, conveniently, Miss Wray's boyfriend.
Maude Eburne, who could be extremely funny given the right situation, steals most of her scenes as Miss Wray's hypochondriac aunt. Elderly Lionel Belmore plays the village's terrified burgermeister. And little Dwight Frye, who will always be remembered for his weird roles in the FRANKENSTEIN and Dracula films, here is most effective as a bat-loving lunatic.
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