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The Devil Bat (1940)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 13 December 1940 (USA)
A mad scientist develops an aftershave lotion that causes his gigantic bats to kill anyone who wears it.

Director:

(as Jean Yarborough)

Writers:

(screenplay) (as John Thomas Neville), (original story)
Reviews

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Suzanne Kaaren ...
...
Johnny Layton
Guy Usher ...
Henry Morton
...
Maxine (as Yolande Mallott)
Donald Kerr ...
'One-Shot' McGuire
Edmund Mortimer ...
Martin Heath (as Edward Mortimer)
Gene O'Donnell ...
Don Morton
Alan Baldwin ...
Tommy Heath
John Ellis ...
Roy Heath
Arthur Q. Bryan ...
Joe McGinty
Hal Price ...
Chief Wilkins
John Davidson ...
Prof. Percival Garland Raines
Billy Griffith ...
Coroner (scenes deleted)
Wally Rairden ...
Walter King (as Wally Rairdon)
Edit

Storyline

Dr. Carruthers feels bitter at being betrayed by his employers, Heath and Morton, when they became rich as a result of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers' family members by instilling in the bats a hatred for a particular perfume he has discovered, which he gets his victims to apply before going outdoors. Johnny Layton, a reporter, finally figures out Carruthers is the killer and, after putting the perfume on himself, douses it on Carruthers in the hopes it will get him to give himself away. One of the two is attacked as the giant bat makes one of its screaming, swooping power dives. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's Trained His Brood of Blood-Hungry Bats to Kill on Command! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Killer Bats  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first, and most successful, horror film from Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) after it was formed from the failed Producers Distrubuting Corporation (PDC). Filming began October 28 1940. See more »

Goofs

When the reporter wrestles the doctor to the ground near the end of the film, their feet clearly wrinkle the fake grass on the set. See more »

Quotes

Editor Joe McGinty: Say, have you ever had a date with a girl?
Reporter Johnny Layton: A girl? Oh, yes, a girl. I believe I did take a girl out once.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pale Moonlight Theater: The Devil Bat (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Silly B-film programmer is still fun to watch...
10 October 2004 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

If you're a fan of BELA LUGOSI you'll get a kick out of his sinister role here as a scientist who is bent on getting revenge because he never got his full share of the profits on his inventions.

Given the low-budget look and tacky special effects (a live bat appears in close-ups only), the modest little thriller entertains even though it doesn't quite provide the shudders intended. Still, if you're in a Halloween mood, you might want to sit through this at least once.

Interesting to note Dave O'Brien in the role of Johnny Layton. O'Brien is familiar to me because of all the Pete Smith Specialties he starred in during the '40s and which TCM has been running frequently. Others will recall him in a bunch of westerns he made at poverty row studios. At any rate, he gives the only really professional performance in the film aside from Bela who seems to relish his role as the mad scientist. Most of the acting among supporting players is on the less than credible side.

Also interesting to note that O'Brien was a very versatile man who acted, directed and wrote throughout a prolific career that began in the 1930s--with over a hundred films to his credit. He was my main reason for enjoying THE DEVIL BAT.


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