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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The earliest documented telecasts of this film took place in New York City Monday 23 August 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles Wednesday 26 October 1949 on KTSL (Channel 2), and in Cincinnati Saturday 17 December 1949 on WLW-T (Channel 4). See more »
Shades of Dr. Caligari, Frankenstein's Monster, and Dracula Mix Well
Though not a horror film in the traditional sense, this creepy little film delivers the goods. It seems a vampire is loose in a small German town draining its victims of their blood. Police Inspector Karl Brettschneider, Melvyn Douglas in one of his early roles, is skeptical believing a crazed killer not a vampire is running amok. The only one who believes him is Ruth Bertin (Faye Wray) the inspector's girlfriend and lab assistant to Dr. Otto von Niemann (Lionel Atwill) who though apparently an eminent scientist goes along with the vampire theory. The townspeople suspect the weirdo Herman Gleib, played with his usual frenzy by Dwight Frye who seems to be having a lot of fun with his role. The film contains quite a bit of humor which helps relieve some of the intensity involved with all the murders being committed. One funny part has Gussie Schnappmann (Maude Eburne), Ruth Bertin's aunt, thinking weird Herman has turned not into a bat but into a dog. Maude Eburne and Dwight Frye make a good comedy team.
This budget movie brings in elements from "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" with Dr. Niemann using the power of suggestion to make a somnambulist carry out his orders, from "Frankenstein" by using the human blood to help create life in the laboratory, and "Dracula" since the murders are believed by everyone except the inspector and his girl to be the work of a bloodsucker. Thses elements are mixed well by director Frank R. Strayer with a little comedy thrown in for good measure. The concoction works. The restored version I viewed used tinting to increase the spooky atmosphere. So try to see the this version if possible.
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